JOHNSON CITY – The Johnson City Cardinals got back on track with a 6-4 win vs. the Princeton Rays Tuesday night at TVA Credit Union Ballpark. Raffy Ozuna and Trejyn Fletcher each went deep as the Cards took the finale in the three-game set.
Heavy rain fell for much of the second half of the game. The contest was delayed for 12 minutes in the eighth. The Cardinals have now won two of their last three series finales. The team enjoys the final scheduled off day of the regular season on Wednesday before heading on a six-day, seven-game road trip to Burlington and Pulaski beginning Thursday.
Will Guay got the start for the Cardinals and posted three scoreless innings before turning the ball over the Alex Gallegos, who notched another zero in the fourth. John Witkowski (3-0) took over in the fifth and sixth. He earned the win despite allowing three runs in the fifth inning. Walker Robbins limited the Rays to just a single run in the seventh and eighth before Enrique Perez earned his first save with a 1-2-3 ninth.
The Cardinals got going early offensively. Mateo Gil and Malcom Nunez recorded back-to-back doubles to start the bottom of the first vs. Rays starter Aldor Rodriguez. Their extra-base hits made it 1-0. Raffy Ozuna built on the early lead with a solo homer in the second. The blast was his second of the season. The Cardinals lead 5-0 after four complete.
Fletcher finished with two RBIs. He blasted a solo homer in the fifth to stanch the Princeton momentum. His second homer of the year put Johnson City up 6-3.
Rodriguez (0-4) suffered the loss on the mound for the Rays (25-28) after allowing four runs (four earned). Johnson City (28-25) won despite being outhit 12-8.
The Cardinals once again own sole possession of first place in the Appalachian West. The Cards lead the Twins (27-26) by one game and the Bristol Pirates (26-27) by two games.
Johnson City begins the long road swing in Burlington Thursday. First pitch vs. the Royals is slated for 6:30 p.m. RHP Jose Moreno (3-3 8.12 ERA) is expected to start for the Cardinals vs. RHP Heribert Garcia (4-3, 3.28 ERA) for the Royals. Johnson City returns home August 21st to begin the final homestand of the season vs. Elizabethton and Bristol.