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Rough start dooms K-Mets on opening night

Dave Ongie • Jun 19, 2014 at 11:22 PM

KINGSPORT — The Kingsport Mets got a sterling effort on the mound from Martires Arias on opening night at Hunter Wright Stadium on Thursday.

Unfortunately for the K-Mets, they were already down 7-0 to the Danville Braves before Arias toed the rubber.

Arias allowed just one run on two hits in 5 2-3 innings of work after coming to relieve starter Christian Montgomery and Ramon Estevez also came through with two scoreless innings of work, but the early deficit doomed Kingsport to an 8-4 loss to start the 2014 Appalachian League season.

Montgomery (0-1) was roughed up from the get-go, allowing six earned runs on five hits while issuing five walks in 1 1-3 innings.

"Montgomery, first time out there, he was just trying to do too much," said Kingsport manager Jose Leger. "I think he was a little anxious and not under control, concentration probably wasn't there.

"But the good thing is we finished off strong. Arias came in and was a big lift for us. He gave us 5 2-3. Nothing more that we can ask of the bullpen."

To Montgomery's credit, he did catch a tough break in the top of the second after inducing what appeared to be a double-play ball, but catcher's interference instead loaded the bases with nobody out. A three-run double by Danville's Tanner Murphy capped the five-run frame and sealed Kingsport's fate.

"If it didn't happen, there could have been a double play, and it might have been a different ballgame," Leger said.

Danville manager Randy Ingle was pleased with the way his players pounced on the K-Mets early and how his pitching staff never let Kingsport back into the game.

"I'm proud of the way they came out swinging," Ingle said. "I thought (Alec) Grosser, our starting pitcher, set the tone for us. Our pitchers did a great job. (Matt) Kimbrel came in and gave us some much-needed work."

Matt Kimbrel (1-0), younger brother of Atlanta Braves closer Craig Kimbrel came on in the fourth inning and earned the win, giving up just one hit in 2 1-3 scoreless innings.

After Kingsport finally got its first hit in the bottom of the third, Ivan Wilson's RBI double put the K-Mets on the board in the fourth. Wilson also launched a solo homer in the bottom of the ninth.

Zach Mathieu came through with an RBI single in the eighth after scoring on a wild pitch in the fourth.For the Braves, an early lead provided Ingle with the luxury to get some players in the game, and it certainly didn't hurt Danville's cause.

"We got to get some guys in the ballgame and get their feet wet and we played errorless ball," Ingle said. "You can't ask for anything more than that."

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