Greeneville completes four-game sweep of Pirates
GREENEVILLE — It was a stormy night at Pioneer Park on Sunday, but the rain did not stop the Greeneville Astros from rolling to a 7-3 win and a four-game series sweep of the Bristol Pirates. The Astros, currently second in the Appalachian League West standings, are now 5-1 against the Pirates on the season.
All nine Astros’ hitters picked up at least one hit on the night, but Cesar Carrasco led the way. The third baseman finished the night three-for-four with two runs, a double, a home run, and three RBI.
The Astros (19-18) also got a lot of production from their pitching staff. Austin Nicely, Aaron Greenwood, and Angel Heredia combined to tie a team season-high 16 strikeouts while allowing just one walk and one earned run.
Both of the runs the Pirates (10-25) scored in the top of the second inning to give them the initial lead in the game were unearned. The first run came on a passed ball with the bases loaded and two outs. Then, another run scored on an Astros’ fielding error at shortstop.
Despite the early self-inflicted deficit, the Astros recovered to get one of those runs back in the bottom of the inning on Carrasco’s first hit of the night, a RBI single to score Jacob Nottingham. Then, in the third, Jeffry Santos scored on a Yonathan Mejia ground out to tie the game at 2.
In the fourth, just as the rain was arriving, the Astros had their biggest inning of the game. It all started with a leadoff single from Hector Roa, who went 3-for-4 in his home debut since joining Greeneville from the Gulf Coast League. Two batters later, Carrasco came back to deliver a RBI double to put the Astros in the lead.
Two more scores were added in the fourth when Santos drew a walk with the bases loaded and Luis Reynoso connected on a RBI single. With that, the Astros completed a three-run inning and built a 5-2 lead.
The Pirates came back with a score in the fifth inning when Enyel Vallejo, after getting a one-out triple, scored on a Nick Buckner ground out. However, that would be their final run of the night.
On the other hand, the Astros were still swinging and added some insurance runs with two solo homers. In the sixth inning, it was 22nd round draft selection Bryan Muniz that hit his first professional home run on a fly ball to left field. Then, in the eighth, Carrasco concluded the scoring with his first Astros’ home run since being acquired through a trade with the Diamondbacks organization nearly three weeks ago.
Astros’ starting left-handed pitcher Austin Nicely, who struck out a career-best eight batters, did not get a decision after allowing two unearned runs on six hits over four innings. Winning pitcher Aaron Greenwood (3-0), who followed Nicely, allowed one run on three hits over three innings while picking up a season-high five strikeouts. Angel Heredia closed the game to pick up the save, allowing just one hit over the final two innings and striking out three.
The Astros will head to Elizabethton Monday night to begin a three-game series against the division-leading Twins (22-14). Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m.
-From Contributed Reports