JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. -- CF Wadye Ynfante cracked a three-run home run and drove in a game-high four, but it was not enough, as the Johnson City Cardinals fell to the Danville Braves, 9-8, on Friday night in front of 2,377 fans at TVA Credit Union Ballpark.With the loss, Johnson City drops to
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. -- CF Wadye Ynfante cracked a three-run home run and drove in a game-high four, but it was not enough, as the Johnson City Cardinals fell to the Danville Braves, 9-8, on Friday night in front of 2,377 fans at TVA Credit Union Ballpark.
With the loss, Johnson City drops to 12-17 on the campaign. Danville shoots above .500 with the victory, as they improve their mark to 15-14 on the season.
Both teams traded early runs, as it was a tie game going into the sixth. The D-Braves jumped out to an early 1-0 lead, scoring in the first on a wild pitch. The Redbirds evened it up in the third thanks to a sacrifice fly to left by DH Irving Lopez (0-3, R, RBI, BB, SO).
In the sixth inning, Danville exploded for six runs. Four walks - including one with the bases loaded to CF Drew Waters (0-4, R, RBI, BB, 3 SO) - permitted the Braves to regain the advantage, 2-1. With the sacks still full, 2B Derian Cruz (1-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB, 2 SO) roped a two-run single to right-center, stretching the lead to 4-1. The next batter - DH William Contreras (1-3, R, HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB, SO) - cracked a deep shot to center. The ball bounced off the fence and rolled away, the 19-year-old raced all the way around the bases for a three-run, inside-the-park home run to put the Braves up 7-1.
Johnson City stormed back with four runs in the bottom of the inning. Lopez walked and LF Chase Pinder (3-4, R, 2B, BB, SO) singled to set the stage for Ynfante (2-5, R, HR, 4 RBI, SO). The Dominican native launched a deep fly ball over the left-center field fence for a three-run shot. The homer - Ynfante's fourth of the season - pulled the Cardinals within 7-4.
With two outs, the rally restarted as 2B J.D. Murders (0-4, R) ripped a line drive off the pitcher. The throw to first skipped up the first-base line, as the 19-year-old moved to second on the miscue. A wild pitch would move Murders to third before SS Imeldo Diaz (0-1, R, 3 BB) drew a free pass. On a pickoff throw to first, a balk was called, allowing the runner from third to cross the plate, making it a 7-5 affair.
Danville would add two more runs in the seventh. After back-to-back singles to start the frame by SS Kevin Maitan (1-4, 2 R, BB, 3 SO) and C Hagen Owenby (1-5, R), 1B Griffin Benson (1-3, R, 2B, RBI, BB) uncorked a run-scoring double to left, giving the D-Braves a 8-5 edge. 3B Nick Shumpert (0-2, RBI, BB) increase the lead to 9-5 on a sacrifice fly to right.
The Redbirds added a run in the seventh and two more in the eighth, but that's as close as they would get. Ynfante brought in his fourth RBI of the evening on a fielder's choice in the seventh, while RF Carlos Talavera (0-2, R, RBI) did the same in the eighth. With runners at the corners in that same frame, a pickoff throw to first allowed Johnson City to successfully execute a double steal, as Diaz swiped home to trim the deficit to 9-8.
In the ninth, RHP Walter Borkovich (1.2 IP, BB, 2 SO) retired the Cardinals in order to close out the win for the Braves and his first professional save.
RHP Jacob Belinda (2.0 IP, BB) earned his second victory of the season after tossing two spotless innings of relief for Danville. Cardinals' RHP Juan Alvarez (1.2 IP, 4 R, 4 ER, 5 BB, SO) did not issue a hit, but walked five, suffering his second defeat of the campaign.
Neither starter received a decision on Friday. LHP Jacob Schlesener (4.0 IP, H, R, 4 BB, 4 SO) gave up just one unearned run in four innings for Johnson City. His counterpart - LHP Bruce Zimmerman (3.0 IP, 3 H, R, ER, BB, SO) surrendered only one tally in a season-high three frames for Danville.
Ynfante (2-5, R, HR, 4 RBI, SO) sparked the Redbirds' offense again, earning four RBI in another multi-hit performance. Pinder (3-4, R, 2B, BB, SO) extended his hitting streak to six games with a career-high-tying three-knock game.
The Cardinals are expected to send RHP Edwar Ramirez (1-4, 6.84 ERA) to the hill, as they try to force a rubber match on Saturday. Danville is projected to counter with LHP Jaret Hellinger (1-0, 0.89) in game two of the series.
The Cardinals Pre-Game Show will kick off the broadcast at 6:45 p.m. ET, leading up to the 7:00 p.m. ET start at TVA Credit Union Ballpark. Saturday evening's contest can be heard on NBCSportsTriCities.com, JCCardinals.com or via the TuneIn Radio and MiLB First Pitch apps.
It will be We Back Pat Night at the ballpark, as Johnson City players and coaches will don special Tennesee Volunteer orange uniforms that will be auctioned off during the game. 100% of the proceeds will go straight to the Pat Summit Foundation. In addition, fans are encouraged to arrive early as the first 1,000 fans will receive a Pat Summit Bobblehead courtesy of Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union.
Single-game tickets are still available and can be purchased online at JCCardinals.com or by calling the Cardinals' Ticket Office at (423) 461-4866.
ABOUT THE JOHNSON CITY CARDINALS
The Johnson City Cardinals are the Rookie affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. Members of the ten-team Appalachian League, Cardinals baseball has been entertaining families and fans of America's national pastime in the East Tennessee region for 80 years. To learn more about the Johnson City Cardinals, visit www.jccardinals.com.