Birmingham earns series win behind quality start from lefty
Tanner Banks earned his second straight win on Sunday afternoon. (Aaron Cheris)
By Aaron Cheris / Birmingham Barons | July 22, 2018 7:58 PM
With a superb pitching performance and a persistent effort at the plate, the Birmingham Barons (49-49) topped the Jackson Generals (53-46) 6-2 on Sunday afternoon at Regions Field to earn a crucial series victory over their North Division foes.
Turning Point: After the Generals scored two in the top of the first, the Barons wasted no time evening the score and setting the tone for the rest of the game. Joel Booker was hit by a pitch and Zack Collins doubled to put two runners in scoring position. Trey Michalczewski followed with a double of his own to center, the pair of runners to tie the game. From there, Birmingham would not trail again.
Moments That Mattered: The Barons added a single run in the third and fourth on RBI hits from Danny Mendick to take a 4-2 lead. First, his double to left scored Michalczewski in the third before a single to right scored Booker an inning later. In the sixth, Birmingham extended the lead as Luis Basabe came home on a wild pitch. The next inning, Basabe drove in Booker with a sacrifice fly to give the Barons a 6-2 lead, and that proved to be plenty of support for the starter.
By The Numbers: Following the first-inning runs, Tanner Banks (W, 2-1) was spectacular for the rest of his start. In his best outing as a Baron this season, he kept the potent Generals bats at bay by throwing 8.0 brilliant innings while giving up just two runs, one earned, on six hits with no walks and seven strikeouts to earn his second straight win. Ryan Burr finished the game with a quick ninth inning to finish the series victory for Birmingham.
He Said It: "I think I was trying to do too much early instead of trusting my stuff and throwing the ball where I wanted it to go," Banks said. "After the first inning I relaxed, stayed calm, executed my pitches, and the results followed."
Facts And Figures: At the plate, the Barons drew eight walks and were hit by a pitch four times in the win. Bryant Flete and Matt Rose each took three free passes in the win. Booker finished 2-for-3 with a triple and three runs scored while Mendick and Michalczewski each added two RBI. Basabe extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a single in the sixth inning.
Up Next: The Barons begin a five-game series with the Tennessee Smokies on Monday night at 7:05 p.m. Alec Hansen (0-4, 6.23) is set to start the opener for Birmingham against Tennessee's Michael Rucker (7-4, 3.50). Curt Bloom will have the call on 960 WERC News Radio and the iHeart Radio app.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.