After rallying for a comeback win over Elizabethton on Saturday evening, the Kingsport Mets (3-8) took a step backward Sunday, falling 5-1 to the Twins at Hunter Wright Stadium.
Elizabethton (9-2) used the long ball early in taking the lead. Mets starter Chris Flexen gave up three solo home runs in the first two innings.
Bryan Haar hit his Appalachian League-leading third home run in the first. The Twins followed up in the second with back-to-back homers by Mitchell Carver and Romy Jimenez for a 3-0 lead.
Through Sunday’s games, Haar and Bluefield’s Eric Arce shared the league lead with three home runs each.
“Chris didn’t have his stuff tonight,” said K-Mets manager Jose Leger. “They got to him early and our offense just wasn’t there.”
The Mets managed just five hits on the evening, with a total of 12 strikeouts. Jeff Diehl and Zach Mathieu struck out three times each.
Flexen (0-1) gave up five runs, all earned, on seven hits in four innings. He struck out three and walked two.
The Twins tacked on two more runs in the fourth inning. Dereck Rodriguez scored on an RBI single by Logan Wade, and Javier Pimentel added the final tally on a wild pitch.
One night after an 0-for-3 performance, Rodriguez finished 3-for-4 — two doubles and a single.
Kingsport’s lone run came in the fourth inning. Richie Rodriguez led off with a double and later scored on an RBI sacrifice by designated hitter Jon Leroux.
The RBI was Leroux’s fourth in the series.
The Twins continued to get strong pitching performances from their rotation. Randy Rosario (2-0) threw five innings and allowed only three hits.
His relief, Austin Malinowski and Brandon Peterson, pitched two innings each, giving up one hit apiece.
“We’ve had some strong games with our pitching but then like last night we ended up losing late,” said Twins manager Ray Smith. “We’ve already played most of the teams in the league and overall four or five are close to even. It comes down to getting the breaks, like last night for Kingsport.”
The K-Mets edged the Twins 5-4 in the first game of the series when a wild pitch by Twins reliever Luis Nunez allowed Jeff Diehl to race home for the winning run.
The series wraps up tonight with first pitch set for 7 o’clock.
The K-Mets have a rare off day Tuesday before hosting the Greeneville Astros in a one-game series on Wednesday. The off day is one of only four scheduled during the 68-game rookie league season.