K-Mets batter Oswald Caraballo (47) rounds the bases after homering against Pulaski during Tuesday night's game in Kingsport. (Ned Jilton II photo)
KINGSPORT — The Kingsport Mets were lucky to beat Pulaski on Monday night, but on Tuesday, the K-Mets closed out a series win over the Mariners with an impressive display of skill.
Kingsport used timely hitting, solid fielding and a tenacious effort by the bullpen to nail down a solid 6-4 victory in Tuesday's Appalachian League tilt at Hunter Wright Stadium.
"They're coming along," said Kingsport manager Jose Leger. "It seemed like playing under the lights and in front of fans kind of scared them a little bit at first, but they got their feet wet and now they're starting to put it together.
"Defensively, we've been up and down, a little bit inconsistent. Today was a good day for me defensively."
A night after somehow overcoming eight errors to win, the K-Mets managed to play a much cleaner game in the field on Tuesday.
Kingsport did commit a pair of errors — both during the eighth inning — but Leger chalked them up to wet field conditions and a fog that settled in over the grounds during the late innings of a game that was delayed just over an hour by rain.
All in all, Leger was happy with the way his team was able to recover from a three-run deficit in the first inning and ultimately slam the door late. Matt Blackham (1-0) was able to record a strikeout to escape a bases-loaded jam in the seventh and Ramon Estevez did the same in the eighth before Ismael Tijerina came on in the ninth to record his third save of the season.
The Mariners (10-9) stranded 11 runners on the night and went 0-for-9 with men in scoring position while Kingsport (9-10) pounded out 10 hits and kept finding ways to push runs across the plate.
"We've gotten in the groove now," Leger said of his team's approach at the plate. "A lot of guys are going to the plate looking for their pitch, and they sure aren't missing it."
Kingsport starter Christian Montgomery got off to a rough start, but he did manage to make the most of a tough outing and survive until the fifth. He allowed four earned runs on five hits, but four walks proved to be especially costly.
"Montgomery was a little erratic with his command and two of those runs were walks that ended up scoring," Leger said. "Somehow he was able to almost finish five innings. His pitch count was really high."
With the score tied at 4 in the bottom of the sixth, Kingsport got back-to-back solo homers from Pedro Perez and Luis Ortega — the first home run of the season for each player — to take control for good.
Ortega and Oswald Caraballo each had three hits for the K-Mets and Caraballo added his third homer of the year. Leon Canelon drove in two runs for Kingsport.comments powered by Disqus