The Bristol Pirates were on the winning end of a pitching duel on Thursday.
They weren’t so lucky on Friday.
Johnson City hurlers Julio Puello and Will Guay combined on a four-hitter as the Cardinals collected a crucial 2-1 Appalachian League victory over the BriBucs at TVA Credit Union Ballpark.
Johnson City (33-30) extended its lead in the Appy League’s West Division, while Bristol (31-31) has a tenuous hold on second place with Kingsport (31-32) and Elizabethton (30-32) closing in with five games remaining.
Bristol prevailed 2-1 over the Pulaski Yankees on Thursday as Tahnaj Thomas and two relievers combined on a gem.
The Pirates were overpowered at the plate this time around.
Bristol’s Jake Snider led off the game with a home run, but the Pirates did not get on the scoreboard again.
Johnson City took the lead in the fourth inning as losing pitcher Jose Maldonado (4-6, 4.34 ERA) surrendered a home run to Liam Sabino. The Cardinals finished with just five hits against Maldonado and C.J. Dandeneau.
Along with Snider’s first professional homer, Josh Bissonette had two hits for Bristol in a game that was completed in just 1-hour, 58-minutes.
Bristol infielder Francisco Acuna went 0-for-3 on Friday, just hours after finding out he was his team’s lone representative on the All-Appy League team. Acuna’s 2019 stat line includes a .301 batting average, one home run, 19 doubles, nine stolen bases and 28 RBIs.
Bristol plays at Johnson City again today at 6:30 p.m.