KINGSPORT, Tenn. – Mateo Gil and Kevin Vargas each recorded three hits in the Cardinals series opener at Hunter Wright Stadium Monday. Gil also notched two runs and an RBI. The Cards fell to the Mets 15-6.
Johnson City leapt out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first on a two-RBI single by Jhon Torres. The Mets responded with eight runs over the first four innings vs. starter Jose Moreno (3-5) and reliever Wilberto Rivera. The Mets broke the game open with a six-run sixth vs. reliever Blake Drake.
Alex Gallegos posted a scoreless eighth on the mound for Cardinal arms. The loss was the third straight for the Cards, who still control their own destiny in the Appalachian West playoff picture. Wins in each of the final two games of the series in Kingsport will guarantee the Cards a playoff spot.
Like Gil, Vargas finished with three hits. He scored one run. Aaron Antonini boarded with a pair of walks and scored twice. Chandler Redmond recorded an RBI single. Relief man Benito Garcia (2-4) earned the win with 3.2 innings of scoreless relief. Seven Mets enjoyed multi-hit evenings.
Johnson City will continue the pivotal final series of the regular season in Kingsport Tuesday. RHP Hector Soto (0-1, 3.04 ERA) is expected to start for the Cards. Johnson City will need a win to keep their hopes of capturing the division title alive. LHP Cesar Loaiza (1-3, 5.03 ERA) will get the start for the Mets. First pitch is slated for 6:30 p.m. ET. The Cards are now 5-2 vs. the Mets this year.