Although they totaled just five hits, the Rays crafted a 6-4 Appalachian League baseball victory.
In a game that produced no extra-base hits, five of Princeton’s runs were earned. Going up 2-0 in the bottom of the first inning, the Rays gradually built a 5-1 lead before the Mets pulled close with a three-run seventh.
Kingsport’s rally began with two outs as Kenny Hernandez singled, Ranfy Adon reached by error and Yoel Romero brought home Hernandez with a base hit. Following a wild pitch and base on balls, Luis Santana stroked a two-run single to close the gap to 5-4.
From there, Steffon Moore replaced Heath Renz on the mound and uncorked a wild pitch to station the remaining base runners on second and third. Moore, however, struck out Jarred Kelenic to prevent further damage.
Wander Franco, who had already lofted two sacrifice flies, singled home Princeton’s final run in the lower half of the inning.
Designated hitter Tony Pena batted 2-for-3 and scored twice from the bottom of Princeton’s lineup. Santana topped an eight-hit Kingsport output by going 3-for-4.
Giving up an unearned run in six innings of work, Cristopher Sanchez (2-2) tallied five strikeouts in pocketing the win. Renz, who was charged with three runs (all unearned), went two-thirds of an inning before Moore recorded the final seven outs for his second save.
Mets starter Dedniel Nunez (1-1) surrendered four runs — three earned — over 3 2/3 frames. Garrison Bryant allowed two runs in three innings, then Mitch Hickey finished up.
Nunez and Bryant combined to plunk three batters and issue two wild pitches. A walk, HBP and passed ball factored into Princeton’s two-run first.
The two teams finish their three-game series tonight. First pitch is scheduled for 7.