Johnson City Cardinals Notebook: 2013 Week 6

Dailyn Martinez logged the lone win as the Appalachian League Cardinals went 1-6 on the week.

Against the Elizabethton Twins on Friday at East Tennessee State University, the Johnson City Cardinals snapped their seven-game losing streak to highlight their week in Appalachian League action. Johnson City (15-19) went 0-5 against the Greeneville Astros in some close ball games before starting the Twins series at 1-1 to wrap up the week.

Sunday, July 21, at Howard Johnson Field - Greeneville 7, Johnson City 4

The Cardinals started out hot with a 3-0 lead through the first inning then fizzled out late with Greeneville scoring seven unanswered en route to the victory.

First baseman Justin Ringo and right fielder Lance Jeffries drew RBI walks in the first. J.J. Altobelli showed his legs, scoring on a fielding error by Greeneville during Steve Bean's at-bat.

The offense went in a slump until the eighth inning when center fielder Yoenny Gonzalez drove in a run but it proved to be a little too late.

Altobelli, who played at third base, and Jeffries led the Cards with two hits each. Ringo also showed his wheels by legging out his first triple of the year.

Hansel De Los Santos received the start but had a no-decision following his five innings of work. He allowed two runs off six hits, including two home runs, while tossing six strikeouts and walking three.

A flock of Cardinals came in from the bullpen after Santos. Brandon Lee, Steve Sabatino, Tyler Mills, Nick Lomascolo and Fernando Baez combined for the final four innings of work. Sabatino absorbed the loss, giving up three runs in the seventh.

Monday, July 22, at Howard Johnson Field - Greeneville 5, Astros 3 - suspended

Justin Ringo had a solo home run to help cut the Greeneville lead to two, but the game was halted due to rain in the fifth inning.

The contest will be completed on Monday, August 12, in a doubleheader against Greeneville. The completion of the game will be played at 6 p.m. The regularly scheduled game will commence at 7 p.m.

Tuesday, July 23, at Pioneer Park - Greeneville 5, Johnson City 4

A late inning rally by the Cardinals had them riding momentum going into the ninth but the Astros opened up their homestand against Johnson City on the right note.

After falling behind 4-0 through four innings, the Cardinals came alive via the bats of third baseman J.J. Altobelli, left fielder Devante Lacy and a key at-bat by shortstop Kenny Peoples-Walls. Alotbelli went 1-for-4 with two RBI while Lacy went 2-for-3 with an RBI. Walls drove in a run with a walk.

Alex Reyes (2-3) took the loss, giving up four runs in four innings. Anderson Gerdel and Zach Loraine combined to pitch the remainder of the contest. Loraine, who pitched two innings in relief, allowed no hits and no runs.

Wednesday, July 24, at Pioneer Park - Greeneville 9, Johnson City 7 – 13 innings

A three-run rally in the top of the eighth by the Cardinals breathed life in an upset but the Astros would not fade away in extra innings. At the 13-inning mark, Greeneville got a two-run walkoff home run from Jack Mayfield to seal the win.

Left fielder Yoenny Gonzalez and designated hitter Rowan Wick were the lone Cardinals to drive in runs with two each. The other three Cardinals runs were unearned.

The Cardinals used eight pitchers in the lengthy affair. Luis Perdomo recorded a no-decision in the start, pitching five innings and allowing five runs.

Norge Paredes (1-2) received the short end of the stick, giving up the walkoff home run and taking the loss.

Thursday, July 25, at Pioneer Park - Greeneville 3, Johnson City 2

Johnson City came close but it was no cigar in their Thursday attempt to knock off the Appalachian League-leading Astros in Greeneville.

The Cardinals knotted up the affair, 2-2, in the sixth inning and kept the game within reach until a late run in the bottom of the eighth by Greeneville proved to be the nail in the coffin.

Second baseman Richy Pedroza went hitless but tacked on the first Cardinal run of the game after scoring on a wild pitch in the top of the first frame.

Shortstop Kenny Peoples-Walls went the same avenue as Pedroza, scoring an unearned tally in the sixth on a fielder's choice by Ronnierd Garcia, who started at third base.

The Cardinals kept it close throughout despite trailing in the hitting column, 8-4, to Greeneville. Left fielder Kyle Grieshaber led the Cards with two hits. Brett Wiley, from his designated hitter spot, and Garcia wrapped up the production with lone base hits each.

Both teams used just two pitchers. Will Anderson received the starting nod for the Cardinals and lasted six innings. Anderson was rocked with all of the Astros eight hits and allowed two runs while tossing four strikeouts.

Nick Lomascolo (1-2) recorded the loss out of the bullpen. He pitched two innings and gave up the final Astros run, unearned, while allowing no hits.

Friday, July 26, at Thomas Stadium (ETSU) - Johnson City 3, Elizabethton 1

Dailyn Martinez (2-1) continued to show flashes as a starter for Johnson City, spearheading a win at East Tennessee State University against league rival Elizabethton, 3-1.

The win did not come easy, as the club experienced two rain delays in Washington County, but the Cards did a good job of keeping the Twins away with solid pitching performances.

Martinez went six innings in his start. He allowed one hit while tossing two strikeouts with two walks. Zach Loraine earned a solid hold out of the bullpen, pitching two innings, allowing just one hit and tossing four strikeouts.

Michael Holback recorded his first save of his career. He pitched the remaining of the contest, allowing one unearned run and on three hits with three strikeouts.

Offense did not come at a premium, with center fielder Vaughn Bryan and Ronnierd Garcia each going yard during the game.

Bryan, who opened the game with a solo shot, finished 1-for-3 while Garcia went 1-for-4 with two RBI. In the battle of the batter's box, Johnson City outhit the Twins, 9-5.

Saturday, July 27, at Howard Johnson Field - Elizabethton 8, Johnson City 0

Being back in the confines of Howard Johnson Field did not pay immediate dividends for the Cardinals as they were shut out by the Elizabethton Twins in a 8-0 defeat.

Johnson City had a couple of bright spots in shortstop J.J. Altobelli and first baseman Justin Ringo. Both hitters had 2-for-4 performances at the plate for the Cards. That was about all she wrote for offense, with the two batters having half of the Cardinals hit total.

Hansel De Los Santos (1-3) was shelled during his four innings on the mound. Santos allowed four runs on eight hits with a walk and three strikeouts. Anderson Gerdel entered the game from the bullpen and tacked on three innings of work, giving up four hits and one run.

Stalyn Lopez and Brandon Lee combined for two innings of relief to wrap up the loss. The four hurlers allowed a total of 16 Twins hits on the night.

Roster Moves

Outfielder Luis Perez was called up from the Cardinals to the State College Spikes on Monday, July 22.

The lineup has seen some changes throughout this past week. Brian Vigo has seen more time in the outfield, notably at right and left field. He has been sharing time along with Devante Lacy, Kyle Grieshaber, Yoenny Gonzalez and Lance Jeffries. Vaughn Bryan has been the mainstay in center field.

Steven Bean has been a recurring member of the Cardinals infield at catcher. He has been sharing time with Rowan Wick. J.J. Altobelli has also been rotating across the infield, going from shortstop to second and third bases.

Who's Hot

J.J. Altobelli - Altobelli had multiple hits in all but two games last week to spearhead the Cardinals offense. The infielder had two RBI to go along with eight hits during the week. He has a .270 batting average with seven RBI on the year.

Dailyn Martinez - The team's leader in innings pitched continues to shine in his starts. In his most recent appearance, he pitched the Cardinals' lone victory last week. Martinez has looked good with a 2.64 ERA, a 2-1 record and 18 strikeouts in 30 2/3 innings.

Justin Ringo - Ringo rung in a good week for the Cards offense. He had a home run in the rain delay against Greeneville on July 22 and two hits against Elizabethton on Saturday.

Who's Cold

Hansel De Los Santos - De Los Santos sits with a 5.93 ERA after his two recent starts. He pitched the no decision on Sunday against Greeneville, allowing two runs on six hits. His second start in the week went a little downward as he yielded four runs on eight hits in four innings on Saturday against Elizabethton.

Steve Bean - It has been good to see Bean back in the lineup but the rust is showing at the plate. In his last four appearances, the catcher had just two hits in 17 plate appearances. Look for this to change as the weeks press on.

Devante Lacy - While making some key plays in the outfield, Lacy has been in a little slump after his two-hit game July 23 against Greeneville. He went hitless in last three appearances.

Stat Leaders

Shortstop Kenny Peoples-Walls leads the team with a .326 batting average, 40 hits and four home runs on the season. Brett Wiley, who is hitting .310, is first on the team with 24 RBI. Vaughn Bryan's 12 stolen bases is tops among the Cardinals.

Appalachian League East

1) Bluefield Blue Jays 22-12
2) Pulaski Mariners 21-13
3) Danville Braves 17-16
4) Burlington Royals 17-18
5) Princeton Rays 7-27

Appalachian League West

1) Greeneville Astros 23-12
2) Kingsport Mets 21-14
3) Elizabethton Twins 18-16
4) Johnson City Cardinals 15-19
5) Bristol White Sox 10-24

The Week Ahead

Johnson City will be staying busy this week, wrapping up their homestand against Elizabethton on Sunday. The Cardinals will continue at Howard Johnson Field Monday-Wednesday squaring off against the Pulaski Mariners. The week ends with a road series Thursday-Saturday against the second-place Kingsport Mets.

Follow Curtis Carden on Twitter: @ERecordSports

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