Things didn’t get much better for Johnson City.
The Royals struck for four first-inning runs and cruised to a 10-1 win over the Cardinals in an Appalachian League game Tuesday night at TVA Credit Union Ballpark.
Johnson City slipped to 25-21, but remained in first place in the West Division. Burlington (27-20) remained in second place in the East Division.
Filia’s leadoff fly ball to right field appeared to be misjudged by Johnson City’s Carlos Soler, and Burlington took quick advantage of the break when Michael Massey singled home Filia.
With one out, Logan Porter doubled in a pair of runs to make it 3-0. William Hancock added another RBI hit to complete the quick onslaught.
Johnson City’s offensive attack ended almost immediately after it started. In the bottom of the third inning, Trejyn Fletcher hit a deep fly ball to dead center field. The ball hit the wall and William Jimenez scored.
When the ball eluded Filia in center field, Fletcher had his sights set on an inside-the-park homer. But he got the stop sign halfway home, and tried to get back to third base. The tag was applied by Jake Means just before Fletcher could reach the base with his outstretched fingers, and it was the final out of the inning.
Porter and Hancock were in the mix again in the fifth inning. Porter cracked an RBI triple and Hancock plated him with a double.
David Hollie followed with an RBI to push Burlington’s lead to 8-1.
In the sixth inning, Hollie had a two-run single to make it 10-1.
Porter, a first baseman from Phoenix, had a huge night. He finished 4 for 4 with three runs batted in. Hollie was 2 for 5 with three RBIs while Hancock had two hits and two RBIs.
Filia, Massey and Vinnie Pasquantino each added two hits.
For the Cardinals, Chandler Redmon had two of his team’s five hits.
Marlin Willis worked five strong innings in a starting role. The 6-foot-4, 190-pound lefty held the Cards to three hits and one run. He walked two and struck out six, earning his first win of the season.
Donavin Buck, Alex Smith and Patrick Smith combined for four innings of scoreless ball, allowing just two hits.
Johnson City starter Julio Puello (3-3) was shelled for 11 hits and a season-high eight runs in five innings of work. He walked two and struck out six.