Johnson City hot pitching topples Twins

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, July 17, 2019



One night after putting up 13 runs and 14 hits the Elizabethton Twins bats were silenced by Johnson City Cardinals righthander Julio Puello. Puello retired the first 18 hitters he faced and had a perfect game through six innings as Johnson City ended a three-game losing streak and ended the Twins three-game win streak with a 9-5 victory.

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“What he did was dominate for six innings that’s exactly what he did,” said Cards manager Roberto Espinoza. “We let him come out for the seventh to see if he could continue. We would have let him go if he still had no hits.”

Puello struck out eight and walked one and the Twins broke through against him in the seventh when Ruben Santana served a 3-2 pitch into right-centerfield for the first Twins hit of the night.

Twins lefty Ryley Widell went 4.1 innings giving up six runs on five hits. He struck out six and walked two.

He surrendered solo home runs to Raffy Ozuna in the third frame and Jhon Torres in the fifth.

In the sixth the Cardinals opened with three singles from Carlos Soler, Ozuna and Mateo Gil before Todd Lott’s sacrifice fly to left for a 3-0 Johnson City lead.

After Widell walked Torres, Twins manager Ray Smith pulled Widell in favor of lefty Erik Cha who faced 18-year-old sensation Malcolm Nunez making his Appy League debut.

Nunez crushed the first pitch he saw over the high fence in left field for a grand slam, staking the Cards to a 7-0 advantage.

After Santana’s hit in the seventh, Puello hit Anthony Prato with a pitch and one out later Albee Weiss struck his ninth home run of the season and took over the Appalachian League lead in runs batted in with 24.

Dylan Pearce came on in relief and Matt Wallner greeted him with a single to right but he retired Charlie Mack and Jangison Villalobos on strikes to end the frame.

Osiris German came in to pitch for Elizabethton in the ninth and he was touched for a pair of runs with one run coming across on a bases-loaded wild pitch and the second on an RBI single from Liam Sabino.

Weiss struck an RBI triple in the ninth with Mack also driving in a run with a ground ball for the final score of the night.

“I would have liked it to come out the other way but,” Weiss said. “I just try to stay aggressive and looking for a big pitch to hit and not being too selective. I’m pretty confident right now.”

Weiss was promoted to Cedar Rapids a few minutes later.

Johnson City 9-5


City                 001 150 002 – 9 12 0

E-Twins           000  000 302 – 5 5 1

W – Puello (2-1) L – Widell (0-1)