JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp used clutch hitting, to go along with several big strikeouts to fight off the Birmingham Barons 7-2 in the opener of a five-game series on Friday night.
Birmingham jumped out in front early, scoring single runs in each off the first two innings off Jacksonville starter Matt Tomshaw . Hunter Jones capped off the first inning rally with an RBI single for a 1-0 lead and Keon Barnum smacked his 16th home run of the season off the foul pole in left field to extend the lead to 2-0 in the second.
Although the Barons collected six hits in the first three innings, Tomshaw settled down and kept Birmingham off the board, allowing the Jumbo Shrimp bats to take over.
Kyle Barrett led off the third inning with a double and that turned into an Austin Dean RBI groundout to cut the Barons' advantage to 2-1.
With Jordan Stephens battling to hold on to the lead in the fifth, Jacksonville jumped out in front 3-2 on the strength of Braxton Lee 's RBI double and Dean's fly ball off the glove of Mason Robbins in right field, allowing Barrett to score the go ahead run.
Stephens would depart after six, scattering seven hits and two earned runs, while walking two and striking out six.
Still down 3-2, the Barons would threaten with runners on in the seventh and eighth innings, but could not push any across. Jacksonville then gave themselves some separation with a four-run eighth, which included back-to-back home runs to lead off inning.
Stephens took the loss, dropping to 2-4, while Tomshaw picked up his 10th victory of the season, tossing six innings of two run ball. Severino Gonzalez pitched a clean ninth to lock down the 7-2 victory.
Birmingham and Jacksonville will be back at it tomorrow night at 5:05 p.m. CT in game two of a five-game series. Righty Michael Kopech will take the ball for the Barons, while fellow right-hander Trevor Richards will start for Jumbo Shrimp. Curt Bloom will bring you all the action, starting with the Coca-Cola pregame show at 4:55 p.m. CT. The game can be heard on the iHeart Radio app and 105.5 WERC-FM.
For ticket information, game schedule, promotions calendar or for additional information about Regions Field, call (205) 988-3200, or visit www.barons.com, www.facebook.com/birminghambarons or on Twitter: @bhambarons.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.