By MATTHEW WURZBURGER, PulaskiMariners.net
Pitching leads the Mariners to 24th win
The Pulaski Mariners (24-19) claimed the first game of their series against the Kingsport Mets (20-23) 4-0. Pulaski’s pitching staff worked around seven hits to keep the Mets off the scoreboard.
Taylor Byrd (0-1, 3.75 ERA) made his sixth start of the season. The lefty threw three innings, allowed three hits, walked two batters, and struck out three.
Pulaski took an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Rafael Fernandez slapped a single down the third base line for a one-out single. The scorching-hot Estarlyn Morales delivered Gaby Almonte’s (0-5, 4.81 ERA) first offer way over the left field wall for a two-run home run.
Three of Morale’s team-leading five homeruns have come in the prior ten games. He went three-for-three with two runs, two runs batted in, and a stolen base on Sunday.
“For Morales, it is all about strike zone discipline” said manager Rob Mummau. “He’s seeing the ball a little longer and isn’t chasing breaking balls in the dirt anymore.”
Ricardo Pereira (3-2, 1.73 ERA) entered in the fourth inning and kept the Kingsport batters off balance. Pereira yielded only four runs in five innings of work and fanned six Mets for his third win of the season.
“We had always planned to piggyback Byrd and Pereira” Mummau said. “Once again, Pereira did a great job on the mound.”
The Mariners extended their lead in the fourth inning. Estarlyn Morales led off the inning with a single into center and promptly stole second base. A walk to Wayne Taylor and a Jay Baum single loaded the bases. Daniel Torres drove in two runs with a bouncer past third for the final runs of the game.
Jarrett Brown (1-1, 5.40 ERA) closed out the Mariners’ win with a clean ninth inning.
The two teams do battle once again on Monday night. First pitch at Historic Calfee Park is scheduled for 7 p.