KINGSPORT — The first win of the Appalachian League season once more eluded the Kingsport Mets.
Unlike Thursday's season opener, Friday's 7-2 loss to the Danville Braves at Hunter Wright Stadium was realistically, if only momentarily, within reach.
An eighth-inning rally ignited by Vincente Lupo's solo home run to left ended with three baserunners stranded. The Mets trailed 5-2.
K-Mets manager Jose Leger was not surprised by Lupo's bomb.
"He's really strong. That guy can rip a pineapple with his bare hands. This is a fact," said Leger. "Any time he gets ahold of one, it travels."
Luis Guillorme followed Lupo's shot with a single. Branden Kaupe flied out to right, then Pedro Perez reached on a throwing error. Massive first baseman Zach Mathieu was hit by a pitch to load the bags.
"We put the tying run at the plate. That's all you can ask these guys. If we're trailing and get the tying run to the plate, we've done our job," Leger said.
The opportunity ended when Jean Carlos Rodriguez, who replaced Eudor Garcia at third base, struck out.
"J.C. Rodriguez, that being his first AB in this league, he was probably a little bit anxious with the bases loaded. But that's the way the game is," Leger said.
Four no-hit innings pitched by Danville starter Andrew Waszak were extended to five by reliever Carlos Salazar (1-0). An RBI double in the sixth by Kaupe against Matt Weaver broke the spell.comments powered by Disqus