Yankees strike first, but drop series opener to Cardinals

JOHNSON CITYTn – The Pulaski Yankees started the scoring in the first inning, but the Johnson City Cardinals rattled off six unanswered runs en route to a 7-3 win over the Yankees on Saturday night. Pulaski starting pitcher and New York fifth best ranked prospect, Luis Medina was pulled in his second inning of work.

Similar to last night’s game in Bluefield, the Yankees grabbed an early lead within minutes of first pitch. Evan Alexander tripled to lead off the game, becoming the third separate Yankee in as many nights to notch a three bagger. Ezequiel Duran, who tripled last night, drove in Alexander on an infield single. Later in the inning, Nelson Gomez extended Pulaski’s lead to 2-0 on a 1-1 liner to left field to score Oswald Peraza. The Yankees loaded the bases with one out in the opening frame for a chance to grab a commanding lead, but Max Burt grounded into an inning ending double play

In the bottom of the second inning, Luis Medina struggled mightily with his command and location. After walking Nolan Gorman on an eight pitch at bat to lead off the inning, Medina walked the next two batters to load the bases with no outs. Carlos Soto Jr. singled in two runs on a liner to right field to draw the game even for Johnson City.

Donivan Williams singled on a seeing-eye grounder through the right side of the infield to give the Cardinals a 3-2 lead. Despite Medina retiring the next two batters, he was replaced after 1.2 innings by Austin Gardner. After loading the bases on an infield single, Gardner walked in a run with Leandro Cedeno at the plate, opening the deficit to 4-2. The run was charged to Medina, closing his stat line at 1.2 innings pitched, two hits, four runs, all earned, four walks and one strikeout.

Gardner pitched 2.1 total innings and was tagged with two runs in the third inning. With runners on second and third, Jonatan Machado singled to left field scoring Kevin Woodall Jr. and Soto. 

Pulaski cut the deficit to 6-3 in the fifth inning on a RBI single by Everson Pereira to score Peraza. But in the bottom half, Machado drove home his second RBI of the night, scoring Zach Jackson to finalize a 7-3 final. 

Both teams return to the field Sunday at 5 p.m. for the second game of the modest three-game set at TVA Credit Union Ballpark.