The Cardinals (10-5) managed just one run on five hits off Bluefield starter Felipe Castaneda, who struck out seven batters over 5 2/3 innings. Johnson City, however, banged out 10 hits and pushed across 13 runs against three relievers to obliterate a 3-1 deficit.
Working from the top of the order, Jhon Torres batted 3 for 6, scored four times and drove home three runs for the Redbirds. He homered twice, ripping a solo job in the eighth and two-run shot in the ninth.
Victor Garcia went 3 for 5 while Diomedes Del Rio came off the bench to go 2 for 2 with a double, triple, three runs and pair of RBIs. Liam Sabino (2 doubles), Chandler Redmond and Todd Lott (double) contributed two hits apiece, with Sabino and Redmond each knocking in two runs.
The third of four Johnson City pitchers, John Witkowski (1-0) relieved Will Guay with two outs in the bottom of the sixth and threw a scoreless inning for the decision. Walker Robbins blanked the Blue Jays over the final 2 1/3 innings to pocket his second save.
Jake Sommers limited Bluefield (8-8) to one run over the first four frames.
Spencer Horwitz (2 RBIs), Miguel Hiraldo (double), Leonardo Jimenez and Angel Camacho had two hits apiece for the Blue Jays.
Johnson City and Bluefield play Game 2 of their three-game series tonight, starting at 6:30 p.m.