Arroyo slam kills Twins


STAR STAFF


  It's unlikely the Elizabethton Twins will be singing the old song "There's no place like home," anytime soon, because the last three games against Kingsport have been nothing more than "a hard day's night."
  Blowing a 4-1 lead in the top of the eighth, the Twins fell victim to Kingsport 6-4 Saturday night at Joe O'Brien Field. Elizabethton is now three games back of Greeneville, which knocked off Johnson City by the same margin.
  "We had them where we wanted them," said Elizabethton manager Ray Smith. "We made an error, then everything seem to go down hill."
  Elizabethton drew first blood in the third after Matt Tolbert walked and later advanced to third on two wild pitches. Trevor Plouffe's sacrifice fly gave 'Betsy a 1-0 advantage.
  The Twins added a 2-0 advantage in the fifth when Landon Burt walked and moved up on Plouffe's single. David Winfree smacked a single up the middle to score Burt, who avoided the tag at the plate with a beautiful slide.
  Kingsport got on the board with a home run by Travis Garcia in the sixth, but the Twins wasted no time in answering when Tarrence Patterson doubled off the wall and scored on a single by Tolbert.
  Burt followed with another hit as Tolbert took third. A nice hustle play from Tolbert, beating the throw to home off a fielder's choice from Plouffe, gave Elizabethton a 4-1 advantage.
  The E-town express was riding smoothly until the eighth, when a train wreck got the Twins off track. An error, single, two walks and a wild pitch got the Mets within 4-2. Smith elected to bring on Jason Bowlin to try and get out of the jam, but the move backfired.
  A crucial walk set the stage for Rafael Arroyo, who sent a fastball over 400 feet for a grand slam to stun the home crowd of 765 fans.
  Elizabethton tried to rally in the eight after Tolbert doubled and Burt singled, but a 6-4-3 double play ended the threat and the rest was history.
  Burt and Tolbert were both 2 for 3 for Elizabethton while Jeremy Pickrel added a 2-for-5 performance.
  Chris Marini threw five strong innings for Elizabethton, allowing one run, nine hits and zero walks while getting six strikeouts.
  "We've been bringing Bowlin in to set up Mata (Frank) all year," added Smith. "He walked the guy he needed to get, and the little guy got a pitch high and made us pay."
  The Twins host Greeneville in a must-win three game series beginning tonight at Joe O'Brien Field. This will be the last home series for Elizabethton.