PULASKI, Va. – (Per Pulaski Yankees press release)
The Pulaski Yankees dropped the opening game of a three game series against the visiting Bluefield Blue Jays on Wednesday night 13-9 at Calfee Park. The Blue Jays ran away with the game after scoring five runs in the top of the ninth and made it too difficult for the Yankees to come back.
Bluefield got their first two runs of the game early on thanks to a pair of two out singles in the top of the first inning. After going down in order in the bottom of the first inning, the Yankees took their first and only lead of the game in the bottom of the second inning when Chad Bell hit a three-run homerun to left field.
Yankees starting pitcher Ryan Anderson has been on somewhat of a tight pitch count to start the season and hadn't gone more than three innings or 50 pitches in either of his first two starts of the season. Pitch number 51 tonight proved to be one too many as the Blue Jays regained their two run lead in the top of the third inning when they also hit a three-run homerun.
Bluefield extended their lead to 7-3 in the top of the fifth inning as they scored two more runs including a solo homer. The Blue Jays wouldn't last long though as the Yankees came storming back in their half of the fifth inning to tie the game up.
Chad Bell led off the inning with a single to right field and it appeared as if the Yankees would squander the opportunity as they racked up two fairly quick outs right after. Blue Jays pitcher Lazaro Estrada then plunked Anthony Volpe and Antonio Cabello back-to-back to load the bases for Pulaski and Roberto Chirinos. On the first pitch that he saw in the at-bat, Chirinos sent the ball over the left field wall for the first Yankees grand slam of the season and tied the game at 7-7.
The game remained tied until the top of the eighth inning when Bluefield took an 8-7 lead after a wild play at the plate. Sean Boyle replaced Nelvin Correa on the mound for the Yankees and proceeded to hit the leadoff batter Angel Camacho. After Boyle hit a second batter in the inning, Bluefield had runners on first and second with two outs. A shallow hit single to right field gave Jake Pries a chance to throw Camacho out at home. The throw was a little off line and as the catcher spun around to put the tag on Camacho, he hurdled over the outstretched arm of Saul Torres and got his foot down on home plate to give the Blue Jays the lead.
The wheels fell off for the Yankees in the top of the ninth as Bluefield batted through their lineup and racked up five runs on six hits to pull away for good at 13-7. The Yankees added two late runs on a two-run home run by Pries to left field but that was all the Yankees could get and they lost 13-9.