The Kingsport Mets pulled away late for a 8-4 victory over the Bristol Pirates on Sunday night at Boyce Cox Field, scoring six runs in the final two innings.
The Mets took advantage of five Bristol errors to take the back-and-forth game a night after the two teams played well past midnight in a 12-inning marathon, won 6-5 by the Pirates.
Gavin Garay’s infield single in the top of the eighth inning broke a 2-2 tie and Ranfy Adon added a three-run home run in the ninth as Kingsport won going away. The result left the Mets 2 1/2 games out of first place, behind the Elizabethton Twins, whose game against Princeton was rained out Sunday night.
With the teams tied 2-2 in the eighth inning, Kingsport’s Guillermo Granadillo reached on a one-out single and moved to second on a bad pickoff attempt. After Luis Santana walked, both runners advanced on a wild pitch and Shervyen Newton was intentionally walked to load the bases.
Garay came up with two outs and drove in the go-ahead run with an infield single to the third baseman. An insurance run scored on a bad throw.
Both starting pitchers were effective. Kingsport starter Matt Cleveland held the Pirates to two runs on two hits over five innings. He left with the score tied 2-2. Bristol starter Steven Jennings, a second-round pick last year, went six innings and allowed three hits and two runs.
Jose Moreno (2-0) was the winning pitcher after tossing two scoreless innings of relief.
Bristol scored twice in the bottom of the ninth inning on a walk and a sacrifice fly and had the tying run at the plate with the bases loaded and two outs when Mets reliever Eric Villanueva got Chase Lambert on a groundout to end the game.
After Bristol’s Francisco Mepris put his team ahead with an RBI single in the first inning, the Mets’ Mark Vientos evened things back up with a solo home run in the top of the second.
The Pirates pulled ahead again in the second when Jonah Davis’ groundout scored Lambert for a 2-1 advantage.
The Mets tied it back up in the fourth when Garay’s run-scoring single made it 2-2.
In the top of the seventh, the Mets were in business when Garay and Vientos singled with nobody out, but after a strikeout, Kenny Hernandez grounded into a double play to end the threat.
Gary finished with three hits, while Grandadillo, Santana and Vientos each had two.
The teams will finish the series Monday at 7 p.m.