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E-Twins keep rolling with win over Pulaski

Jeff Birchfield • Aug 28, 2018 at 10:15 PM

ELIZABETHTON — Scoring six runs in the third inning, the Elizabethton Twins continued their march toward the Appalachian League baseball playoffs with an 8-5 win over the Pulaski Yankees on Tuesday night at Joe O'Brien Field.

Lean Marrero's double down the right-field line, coupled with a fielding error, cleared the bases to finish off the big inning. The West Division champion Twins (39-26) led 8-0 at that point and were on their way to a fifth straight win and their 10th victory in the last 11 games. Pulaski fell to 31-36.

Juan Gamez (1-1) picked up the win after giving up four hits and one run over 2 2/3 inning. Elizabethton starter Andrew Cabezas struck out two of the three batters he faced in the first inning and Prelander Berroa came in the next 2 1/3 innings.

Gamez went the next 2 2/3 innings and J.T. Perez pitched the next two before Jacob Blank closed it out with three straight outs in the ninth.

Elizabethton pitchers recorded 14 strikeouts overall.

"There were guys on base all night long so we had to throw strikeouts," Elizabethton manager Ray Smith said. "If those guys make contact, they score another 4-5 runs. You have to apply the kill shot if you're way ahead in the count. The philosophy of a lot of organizations is pitch to contact, but forget the contact if your defense isn't upper shelf. I tell them if you run up your pitch count, we can bring someone else."

Yunior Severino got the party started for the Twins with a solo home run, his eighth of the season, in the first inning.

Elizabethton added another run in the second inning when Jared Akins scored off a wild pitch. However, it was the third when the Twins broke open the game. Gilbert Celestino set the stage with a double and later scored on a bases-loaded walk by Akins.

After Marrero's bases-clearing at-bat, Jean Carlos Arias singled, but was later thrown out at home to end the inning. Still, the damage had been done with the six runs scored and the Twins well in control.

The Twins were still in command after giving up four runs in the top of the fourth. Pulaski added another run on a RBI double by Griffin Garabito in the eighth.

Pedro Espinola suffered the loss. He threw six strikeouts in 2 1/3 innings, but gave up four hits, three walks and five runs.

Akins led the Twins at the plate, going 2 for 3 with two runs scored. Marrero and Celestino each went 2 for 4.

The teams will end the series and their regular seasons Wednesday night in Elizabethton. Game time is scheduled for 7.

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