Pirates get the best of Cardinals

Jeff Birchfield • Aug 12, 2018 at 9:51 PM

The Bristol Pirates knocked around 14 hits to rout the Johnson City Cardinals 11-3 in the first game of a doubleheader on Sunday night at TVA Credit Union Ballpark.

Bristol won 2-1 in the nightcap for the sweep.

In the opener, Bristol jumped out to an early 5-0 advantage with a solo home run by Sherten Apostel in the second inning. Apostel starred at the plate for the Pirates, going 3-for-3 with three RBIs and four runs scored.

Brendt Citta also had a large offensive output, going 3-for-4 with four RBIs and two runs scored. Apostel and Citta each had solo home runs.

The losses dropped the Cardinals to 21-27, while the Pirates improved to 25-26, trying to keep pace with Appalachian League West Division leader Elizabethton. Entering the final three weeks of the season, Bristol pulled a game behind Kingsport in the battle for a wild-card playoff spot.

Down by five runs in the bottom of the third, Johnson City looked to rally with a two-run home run by Donivan Williams, which also scored Michael Perri.

But the Pirates crushed hopes of a comeback in the seven-inning game with two runs in the fifth and four in the sixth.

Jonatan Machado scored Johnson City’s final run in the bottom of the sixth. He got on base on an infield single and then moved to second base on a throwing error. He advanced to third on a single by Brandon Riley and then came home on a sacrifice fly by Leandro Cedeno.

Bristol’s Oliver Garcia (2-4) struck out eight and gave up just four hits and two walks over six innings to pick up the win. Jacob Webb got three straight outs in the final inning.

Kyle Leahy (2-2) suffered the loss. He had seven strikeouts over five innings, but was tagged for nine hits and seven runs. Juan Alvarez gave up four hits and four runs over 2/3 inning before David Oca finished by giving up just one hit over the final 1 1/3 inning.

The teams are scheduled to renew their series on Monday night at 7.

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