The Johnson City Cardinals baseball team lost to Danville 7-5 on Friday night at TVA Credit Union Ballpark after the Braves scored all of their runs in the top of the fifth.
The Braves (19-17) got four hits and three walks in the inning to secure the lead for good.
On “Margaritaville Night at the Park,” the Cardinals (16-19) definitely needed a stiff drink after the game.
The offense for the Cards out-hit the Braves (11-9), but two costly errors doomed Johnson City.
The Cardinals had the game-winning run at the plate twice in the bottom of the ninth, but two fly outs ended any hopes of a comeback.
CARDINALS DRAW FIRST BLOOD
The Cardinals got the first run of the ball game in the bottom of the second.
Leandro Cedeno led off the inning with a single that got past the first baseman and Brandon Riley followed up with a walk.
Two batters later, Donivan Williams drove in Cedeno from third with a single to shallow center field. That’s all the Cards would get at that point, though, as Zach Jackson came up and hit into a double play to end the inning.
Still, Johnson City led 1-0.
ADD ONE MORE
The bottom of the fourth was another good inning for Johnson City as Carlos Soto Jr. hit a line-drive single that got by the left fielder and Williams came up again with a chance to do some damage.
Williams hit a double off the wall in left field and drove in Soto from first for a 2-0 Redbirds edge. However, Williams was thrown out at third trying to stretch the play — and the inning was over.
In the fifth, after a relatively easy pair of outs, the Cardinals’ defense started to fail them. It had been backing up pitcher Cole Aker quite well at the start of the game, giving up just two hits.
Change, however, came with one dropped ball.
Nicholas Shumpert hit a soft grounder to Cardinals third baseman Nolan Gorman and he made the toss to second base, but second baseman Williams dropped the ball and both runners were safe on the blunder.
Danville got both runs in on an Andrew Moritz triple to deep left field, but the Braves still weren’t done.
Danville ended up scoring seven runs in the inning to take a commanding 7-2 lead.
BIG FLY FOR MACHADO
Cards center fielder Jonathan Machado — one of the smallest guys on the team — hit his second home run of the season to right field in the home half of the fifth to cut into Danville’s lead.
His big fly was a two-run shot that scored Michael Perri, making it a 7-4 game.
FROM THE BOX SCORE
Henry Quintero was 3 for 4 with two RBIs for the Braves, who got a 2-for-5 effort from Moritz. Quintero, Moritz and Zack Soria each accounted for two RBIs.
An 11-hit JC output was paced by Williams batting 2 for 3 with a double and Machado going 2 for 5. Both players drove in a pair of runs.
The Cardinals will host the Braves once again on Saturday, with first pitch slated for 7 p.m. Saturday is also Daniel Norris bobble-head night at TVA Credit Union Ballpark.