With another quality home debut on the mound, spectacular defense, and just a little offense, the Birmingham Barons (38-39) earned a 1-0 win over the Jackson Generals (42-36) on Saturday night at Regions Field. The win gives the Barons a series lead at two games to one over their North
With another quality home debut on the mound, spectacular defense, and just a little offense, the Birmingham Barons (38-39) earned a 1-0 win over the Jackson Generals (42-36) on Saturday night at Regions Field. The win gives the Barons a series lead at two games to one over their North Division foes.
- Moments That Mattered: The top of the Birmingham lineup wasted no time taking the lead in the fourth inning against Jackson starter Ryan Atkinson (L, 3-8). Luis Basabe began the frame by cranking a triple, his second with the Barons, deep into the right-center field gap. Zack Collins followed with a double to a similar spot off the right field wall to give the Barons a 1-0 lead, which proved to be enough.
- Turning Point: Birmingham starter Bernardo Flores (W, 1-1) encountered his biggest jam in the top of the fifth as Rudy Flores singled and Josh Prince doubled to put runners on second and third with nobody out. The lefty rebounded to strike out Jose Vinicio and Tyler Ladendorf before inducing a ground out from Marcus Littelwood to end the inning, strand the runners, and protect the lead.
- Quotable: "I just wanted to start making quality pitches. I was just worrying about making one quality pitch at a time and hitting my spot with it," Flores said of the fifth inning. "I can't let the start affect how the rest of the inning plays out or how the rest of the hitters play out. I've just got to keep pitching my game."
- Facts And Figures: Making his first start at Regions Field, Flores was on top of his game for the Barons. He scattered four hits over 7.0 scoreless innings, walking three and striking out four to earn his first Double-A victory and lower his ERA to 1.29.
- By The Numbers: Looking to finish their first 1-0 win of the season, the Barons turned to Colton Turner (S, 3) late and the reliever was sharp until a single and a walk put runners on first and second with two outs in the ninth. Littlewood then hit a soft fly ball to shallow center that looked like a game-tying hit. But Birmingham center fielder Joel Booker hustled in to make a spectacular diving catch to end the game, preserving Turner's save as well as the win for Flores and the Barons.
- He Said It: "It's a thrill to watch him because he is so athletic out there. Day in and day out he works hard to make the plays," Flores said of Booker. "It's a little bit of surprise each time he makes plays like that."
- Up Next: The two sides continue the series on Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m. Right-hander Dylan Cease (0-0, 9.46) will make his home debut for the Barons against Jackson All-Star Taylor Widener (4-4, 2.91). Curt Bloom will have the call on 960 WERC News Radio and the iHeart Radio app.