PEARL, MS -- The Mississippi Braves claimed its seventh consecutive victory, defeating the Birmingham Barons 8-3 at Trustmark Park Monday night. With the win, the M-Braves maintained a one-game lead in the Southern League South Division race.
Mississippi (40-24, 79-54) scored eight runs on 14 hits while Birmingham (29-35, 58-76) plated three runs on six hits. Offensively for the Braves, Seth Loman led the way with a 3-for-5 night at the plate. Joe Gardner (3-2) limited the Barons to just one earned run on just three hits and a homer. He struck out four batters in seven innings pitched. J.R. Graham and Brandon Cunniff worked the final two frames to finish the game.
Barrett Kleinknecht doubled to start the bottom of the second. Mycal Jones then reached on a perfect bunt single which allowed Kleinknecht to score from second base. Daniel Castro then doubled down the third base line to put runners at second and third. Kyle Wren followed with a base hit to drive home Jones, extending the M-Braves lead to 2-0. Cedric Hunter walked to load the bases before Rich Poythress delivered a two-run single, making it 4-0.
In the fourth, Wren walked and Gustavo Nunez reached on an error by the shortstop to start the inning. Hunter reached on a fielder's choice, driving home Wren. Poythress and Loman followed with base hits to load the bases before Kleinknecht's sacrifice fly made it a 6-0 game.
Castro and Braeden Schlehuber singled to start the fifth. Nunez then drove home Castro with a base hit to right field, extending the M-Braves lead to 7-0. Hunter's sacrifice fly brought home Schlehuber to make it an 8-0 contest.
Grant Buckner blasted a solo homer in the top of the sixth to cut the Braves lead to 8-1.
Birmingham added a run in the ninth to make it 8-3. Trayce Thompson singled and took second on defensive indifference. Tim Anderson then delivered a double to right field, plating Thompson from first. Rangel Ravelo then doubled to drive home Anderson.
Chris Bassitt (3-1) gave up six runs, five earned, on 10 hits and three walks. He struck out one in 3.2 innings of work.
In Tuesday's series finale at Trustmark Park, M-Braves right-hander Mitch Atkins (5-1, 3.73) counters Barons righty Myles Jaye (4-11, 5.45). First pitch is slated for 7:00 PM. Gates open at 6:00 PM.
Birmingham Barons (29-35, 58-76): 3 R 6 H 2 E
Mississippi Braves (40-24, 79-54): 8 R 14 H 1 E
W: Joe Gardner (3-2)
L: Chris Bassitt (3-1)