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Royals hammer error-prone Cards

Jeff Birchfield • Aug 22, 2018 at 10:28 PM

With the old baseball adage that pitching and defense wins games, the Johnson City Cardinals didn't stand a chance Wednesday night.

The Cardinals gave up 22 hits and committed five errors in an 18-8 loss to Burlington at TVA Credit Union Ball Park. The Royals capped off the hit parade with a four-run top of the ninth, which included a three-run home run by Juan Carlos Negret.

The loss dropped Johnson City to 26-35, now five games behind Kingsport in the race for the Appalachian League West Division wild-card race. Johnson City is now 8 1/2 games behind West Division leader Elizabethton.

Burlington, which has been eliminated from playoff contention for a week, improved to 21-40, still 18 games behind East Division leader Princeton.

After falling behind early, Johnson City took a 6-4 lead in the third inning. The Cardinals gave up three runs in the top of the fourth, but scored another run to tie in the bottom of the inning. But, it all fell apart in the top of the fifth when Burlington scored six runs to take control of the game.

Johnson City starter Kyle Leahy (3-3) gave up 13 runs (seven earned) on 13 hits in 4 1/3 innings. Enrique Perez gave up one run over the next 2 2/3 innings before Jacob Sylvester gave up seven hits and four runs over the final two innings.

ROSTER CHANGES

The Cardinals' starting lineup has undergone major changes with players called up in recent weeks. It started with Carlos Soto on Aug. 7 and first-round draft pick Nolan Gorman on Aug. 8. Outfielder Brandon Riley was promoted Aug. 14 and lead-off batter Jonatan Machado was assigned to State College earlier Wednesday.

Still, there was plenty of success at the plate with Missouri native Andrew Warner going 3-for-4 with a RBI and two runs scored as the Cardinals had 12 hits overall.

Leandro Cedeno hit a solo home run, his 12th home run of the season, in left center field in the first inning. He is now tied with Bristol’s Jonah Davis for second in the Appy League in that department.

Sanel Rosendo, batting in the nine-hole, went 3-for-4 with a pair of RBIs, while Liam Sabino, a recent addition to the team from New York, was 2-for-4 with two runs scored.

A ROYAL FLUSH

Negret went 2-for-5 with six RBIs to lead the Royals. Lead-off batter Jose Marquez was 4-for-5 with five runs scored., while Matt Morales was 3-for-6 with three RBIs. Chris Hudgins and Eric Cole both had three hits, while they and Colby Schultz drove in two runs each.

Malcolm Van Buren threw the first four innings for Burlington, giving up seven runs on six hits and four walks. Ismael Maldonado (2-1) gave up just one run over the next three innings and earned the win.

The teams are scheduled to meet again Thursday night at 7 p.m.

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