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Santiago leads JC Cards’ rout

Joe Avento • Updated Aug 14, 2018 at 8:01 PM

A day after winning a game with three hits, the Johnson City Cardinals left nothing to chance. Benito Santiago made sure of that.

Santiago hit a pair of home runs, including a grand slam, as the Cardinals rolled past the Bristol Pirates 15-5 in a Tuesday matinee game at TVA Credit Union Ballpark.

With several busloads of kids in the stands, Santiago led the way. The former Tennessee catcher came into the game hitting .174 with four RBIs all season and surpassed that run-production total with two swings of his bat. He drove in five runs.

Santiago’s solo home run in the third inning was his second of the season. His grand slam came in the fifth and it gave Johnson City a comfortable 13-3 advantage.

Dariel Gomez also did some damage for Johnson City, going 2 for 5 with four RBIs. He had a two-run home run in the decisive five-run third inning.

The Cardinals finished with 16 hits off of five Bristol pitchers. Every Johnson City starter had at least one hit. Seven — Santiago, Gomez, Leandro Cedeno, Sanel Rosendo, Michael Perri, Moises Castillo and Luis Flores — each had two.

Even scoring 15 runs, Johnson City managed to leave 20 runners on base.

After Bristol took an early lead on Johnah Davis’ first-inning solo home run, Cedeno got things going for the Cards with a two-run triple in the bottom of the first.

Cards starter Tommy Parsons (4-1) was the winning pitcher after holding Bristol to one earned run in six innings. He gave up six hits, walked nobody and struck out six batters.

After having Wednesday off, up next for the Cards is a road trip for a three-game series at Princeton, beginning Thursday night.

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