The Pulaski Yankees completed their four-game sweep of the Bristol Pirates on Tuesday night as they won the game 3-2. The win also pushed the Yankees winning streak to six games in a row and closed their seven-game home stand at Calfee Park.
For the first time all series the Yankees found themselves trailing as Bristol got off to a hot start and scored two runs in the top of the first inning off Nelvin Correa.
Correa had been used out of the bullpen in long relief situations primarily to begin the year. He had done such a good job that the higher ups in the Yankees organization wanted to see how he could do in a starting role and the first five minutes were a bit rocky to say the least. After getting the lead off batter to fly out to shallow left field, a double gave the Pirates a runner in scoring position. After another fly out to the shortstop, the Bristol cleanup batter hit a single to score the first run of the game. The very next batter hit a double to dead center field to score one more and Bristol took the early 2-0 lead. Despite the two runs, Correa settled into a groove and retired 11 of the next 12 batters he faced.
The Yankees cut the Pirate lead in half in the bottom of the second inning as Nelson B. Alvarez hit his third home run of the season to right-center field. Down one in the bottom of the third inning, Pulaski picked up two quick outs. Chad Bell was able to reach first on an error by the Bristol second baseman as he just booted a routine ground ball. With the tying run aboard, Saul Torres came up big for the Yankees as he sent a 2-2 pitch flying over the scoreboard in left-center field. The go ahead home run was the fourth home run of the year for Torres and the longest home run by a Yankee this year after it went 442 feet.
The Yankees were held to only one hit for the rest of the game following the home run from Torres and it came in the bottom of the fifth inning when Green roped a double into the left field corner with one out. Pulaski was unable to capitalize and push the run across as the next two batters struck out. The Yankees pitching staff also did a tremendous job as Ryan Anderson, who was expected to make the start tonight, came in to relieve Correa in the top of the seventh and pitched two hitless innings for the Yankees and added three strikeouts.
With the Yankees hanging on to a one run lead headed to the ninth inning, Pulaski turned to Derek Craft to close out the ballgame. Craft came into the game having only allowed two hits in his first seven appearances. Ernny Ordonez doubled to right-center field to lead off the ninth inning and the Pirates appeared to be in a prime opportunity to at least tie the game. Craft rebounded by doing what he does best, which is pounding the strike zone. He earned a strikeout and got a ground ball that allowed the runner to advance to third on the throw to first to earn the second out. With two outs and the tying runner on third, Craft got the third and final out of the night on a high fastball that the batter had no chance catching up with. Of the 19 pitches on the night for Craft he got 14 of them for strikes and has now pitched 11 scoreless innings on the season and has only allowed three hits and struck out 16 batters.
The Yankees will head on the road today as they begin a three-game road trip to face the Danville Braves before returning to Calfee Park on Saturday, July 20 for a three-game home series against the Burlington Royals.