Redmond pounded a solo home run in the eighth inning as the Cardinals rallied to defeat the Bluefield Blue Jays 5-4 Saturday night at TVA Credit Union Ballpark.
It was Redmond’s team-best ninth home run of the season and he watched as an interested spectator as the ball cleared the left-field fence.
“He went change-up on the first pitch and then beat me on a fastball I fouled back,” Redmond said. “I figured he was going to come back with it and he did. I just put a good swing on it and got it up in the air.”
The 32nd-round draft pick out of Gardner-Webb University ended 2-for-3 with two runs scored. He has hit three home runs and scored 10 runs over the last 10 games.
“I’m just trying to do whatever I can to get on (base) because my teammates are doing a good job of getting me in,” Redmond said. “For me to get on, it is huge to give them the opportunities. Everything is clicking right now. We’re playing better on defense, getting some timely hits and putting it all together.”
The Cardinals (25-18) won a third straight game and clinched their fourth straight series. With seven wins over their last eight games, they continue to pace the Appalachian League West Division standings.
Bluefield (21-22) trails Pulaski by six games in the East Division.
Johnson City raced out to a 3-0 lead in the second inning. Carlos Soler ripped an RBI single to center field. Diomedes Del Rio followed with a two-run double to score Chandler Redmond and Soler.
The Blue Jays responded with two runs in the top of the third with a two-run double by Spencer Horowitz, who now has 36 RBIs on the season. Eric Rivera provided an RBI single for the tying run in the sixth inning. In the seventh, Joseph Reyes had the go-ahead run on a solo home run over center field.
Soler led off the bottom of the seventh with a pop-up, ruled an infield double instead of an error when three Blue Jays infielders failed to get a glove on the ball. It led to Johnson City scoring the tying run. A passed ball followed and Soler lined an RBI single to right field for a 4-4 tie.
It held up until Redmond’s game-winning shot.
Justin Ammons, Bluefield’s lead-off batter in the ninth, threatened when he drove a ball to the warning track in left field. A pop-up to shallow left field and a strike out ended the game.
Soler also finished 2-for-3 with two runs, while Del Rio was 2-for-3 with three RBIs. Horowitz ended 3-for-5 and D.J. Daniels had a double and triple for the Blue Jays.
BULLPENS FOR THE BIRDS
Johnson City starter Jose Moreno gave up two runs and seven hits over 4 2/3 innings before giving way to John Witkowski, who picked up the win. Witkoswski (2-0) allowed up two runs, three hits and no walks over the next 3 1/3 innings.
Will Guay got three straight outs in the ninth inning to pick up his third save of the season.
Sam Ryan allowed three runs and seven hits over five innings in his start for the Blue Jays. Adams Cuevas (1-2) suffered the loss with four runs on just two hits over three innings.
The Cardinals, who rallied with three runs in the ninth inning to win 7-6 on Friday, will try for the series sweep Sunday. First pitch is set for 5 p.m.