Chris Flexen muscled his way through the Princeton Rays lineup during Sunday’s matinee performance at Hunnicutt Field.
The Kingsport starting pitcher struck out 11 Rays and allowed three singles and one base on balls over seven innings in the Mets’ 8-1 victory, handing Princeton its fifth loss in a row.
The 19-year-old Flexen (3-1), in his second Appy League season, has an ERA of 1.93 and has allowed opponents a cumulative batting average of .208 in five starts this year.
The Mets’ Victor Cruzado, the owner of the fourth-highest batting average in the league (.338), was 2 for 4 and drove in runs in the third and fifth innings as Kingsport took a 4-0 lead. Champ Stuart was 3 for 4 and also collected two RBIs. Jeff McNeil batted 3 for 5.
The Rays avoided the shutout with a run in the eighth — after 13 scoreless innings — off Kingsport reliever Tyler Bashlor. Johnny Eierman led off with a walk and reached the plate thanks to singles into the outfield by Leo Correa and Wilmer Dominguez.
Princeton starter Jorge Rodriguez (0-4) gave up four earned runs and struck out four batters in 4 2/3 innings and absorbed the loss.
Kingsport had 13 hits and benefitted from two Princeton errors.
The only morning start for the 2013 Rays takes place today at 11:05 a.m., wrapping up Kingsport’s only visit to Princeton this season. The first 350 children, ages 14 and under, will receive a free children’s book, courtesy of the Bill Cole Auto Mall.
At Hunnicutt Field
Kingsport..............................003 010 031 — 8 13 0
Princeton..............................000 000 010 — 1 5 2
Chris Flexen, Tyler Bashlor (8) and Adrian Abreu. Jorge Rodriguez, Oscar Armenta (5), Stepan Havlicek (9) and Wilmer Dominguez. WP - Flexen (3-1). LP - Rodriguez (0-4). HR - none. Att - 382.