Much like Saturday’s game, all the offense for both teams came in the first four innings. Kingsport’s most effective frame was a four-run third.
Yadiel Forez picked up the win — his first of the season — in relief. Forez threw 1 1/3 innings while giving up just one run, which was unearned. Reyson Santos earned his sixth save after coming on in the ninth and allowing a run before shutting the door.
Cole Kleszcz had a solid night at the plate for the K-Mets, going 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs and a run scored. One of his hits was a triple, his first of the year.
THE BIG INNING
The K-Mets (15-17) had been lacking in offense over the past few games, but they turned the page Sunday in the third.
Kennie Taylor led off with a double on the first pitch he saw. Jaylen Palmer’s single scored Taylor and, two batters later, the K-Mets loaded the bases when Francisco Alvarez was hit by a pitch.
Kleszcz walked, bringing in a run and bringing up Gregory Guerrero — and then it got worse for Bristol.
The ball off Guerrero’s bat took a bad hop and shortstop Francisco Acuna had a tough transition from the glove to his throwing hand, saddling him with an error. Palmer scored on the play and the bases were loaded with still only one out.
L.A. Woodard walked in another run for the fourth Kingsport run in the frame, but the Pirates escaped further damage despite the K-Mets again having the bases full.
BRISTOL CHIPS AWAY
The Pirates (15-17) got two runs in the bottom of the fourth and one in the fifth to get within one run going into the final four innings.
Kingsport got a needed insurance run in the top of the ninth.
Brett Baty got on with a leadoff single, but the next two batters struck out swinging. Then back-to-back singles by Cristopher Pujols and Wilfred Astudillo gave the K-Mets some breathing room.
The K-Mets moved back into a tie with the Pirates for third in the Appalachian League West Division.
Jose Maldonado (2-4) was tagged with the loss, going just 2 1/3 innings while allowing four hits and six runs. He struck out three.
The teams meet in the rubber game of the series on Monday at 6:30 p.m.