Bluefield, WV – The Pulaski Yankees suffered their worst loss of the year on Tuesday night as they lost to the Bluefield Blue Jays 10-1. The Yankees dropped the opening game of the three game series on the road.
Bluefield got off to a quick start as they led off the bottom of the first inning with a double from Leonardo Jimenez. Yankees starter Randy Vasquez was able to get two ground outs and looked like he might make it out of the inning unscathed with the runner on third. Unfortunately things didn’t end up that way as Vasquez hit a batter and then threw a wild pitch that allowed Jimenez to score from third and the other runner to advance to second. A single scored the runner from second base and Bluefield had a quick 2-0 lead and as it would turn out, all the runs they would need.
The Yankees were held hitless through the first three innings and finally got their first base runner in the top of the fourth inning when Antonio Cabello hit a single into center field. A line drive resulted in the first out and was followed by Roberto Chirinos who into a double play to end the inning. Momentum really started to creep towards the Blue Jays in the bottom of the fourth inning as they once again got their lead off batter on base and then scored him just a couple batters later on a ground ball to the right side of the infield and they took a 3-0 lead.
The Yankees were retired in order, all on strikes, in the top of the fifth and then Bluefield added to their lead in the bottom half of the inning. With one out, they hit a single and then the very next batter sent the first pitch he saw over the wall as the Blue Jays took a 5-0 lead.
Down five, the Yankees had their first real chance to cut into the lead in the top of the sixth inning. Nelson B. Alvarez drew a one out walk before he was eventually thrown out at second as Bluefield got the lead out on a ground ball from Cabello. Anthony Volpe added to his current hitting streak, which now sits at five games, with a single to give the Yankees runners at first and second with two outs. Chirinos struck out but was able to reach first on the dropped third strike as Bluefield could not complete the putout. The Yankees had their first runners in scoring position but could not capitalize as Ryder Green hit a fly ball to left field to end the threat. To make matters worse, Bluefield once again added to their lead with another two runs in the bottom of the sixth, including a lead off home run.
The Blue Jays added three more runs in the bottom of the seventh in part to four walks and one single to take a 10-0 lead. All together, the three Yankees pitchers gave up a season-high 11 walks as they just could not find the strike zone tonight. The Yankees got their only run of the game in the top of the ninth inning as Green hit his team-leading seventh home run to left field to lead off the inning.
The Yankees will return to Bluefield tomorrow and Thursday for games two and three of this series as tonight marked the first of six straight road games for Pulaski.