Pujols’ lone hit pushed Scott Ota across the plate and broke a 4-4 deadlock. The K-Mets (20-23) remained three games behind Elizabethton for the wild-card berth in the West Division.
Topping a 12-hit Kingsport output by going 3-for-3, Francisco Alvarez also drew a walk and scored twice. Ota, Andres Regnault and Sebastian Espino contributed two hits apiece, with Ota recording two RBIs.
Trailing 3-0, Kingsport ignited its offense when Tanner Murphy belted a solo home run in the bottom of the second. An inning later, Ota singled home Alvarez.
A two-run fifth put the K-Mets on top 4-3. Anthony Dirocie came home on a wild pitch before Ota again plated Alvarez, this time with a ground-rule double to right field.
Rafael Romero’s seventh-inning groundout scored Raymond Lopez, pulling Burlington even. That run came off Nate Peden (1-3), who wound up garnering the win behind two innings from the mound.
Josh Hejka pitched a perfect ninth for his third save. Kingsport starter Andres German allowed three runs, two of them earned, over four innings. Connor Wollersheim hurled a spotless fifth and sixth.
The Royals (24-20) totaled eight hits, getting a 2-for-2 effort from Raymond Lopez. Maikel Garcia went 2-for-4 with a double.
Daniel Lynch and Adrian Alcantara threw four innings apiece for Burlington. Yielding one run and notching seven strikeouts against one walk, Alcantara (2-3) was dealt the tough-luck loss.
Looking to complete a three-game sweep, Kingsport hosts Burlington again on Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.