PEARL, Miss. - John Parke fell just six outs short of Birmingham's first perfect game since 1906 as the Barons (27-23, 54-65) topped the Mississippi Braves (24-28, 57-64) by a 2-1 final Thursday night at Trustmark Park.
Parke, who retired the first 21 batters he faced, surrendered a leadoff double to Mississippi's Ryan Casteel in the eighth. The 24-year-old left-hander settled for a no-decision after Casteel came around to score via an RBI-single off the bat of Carlos Martinez and tied the game.
Parke struck out just two, but induced plenty of weak contact and controlled the tempo of the game. He used just 82 pitches in seven-plus innings before he gave way to Codi Heuer out of the bullpen. Parke allowed just one hit and was charged with one unearned run.
Heuer inherited runners on the corners with nobody out and the Barons clinging to a 1-0 lead in the eighth. The right-hander recorded a pair of outs before Martinez's single leveled the score, but managed to limit the damage and keep the game tied.
Heuer worked out of a similar jam in the ninth with the Barons ahead 2-1 after he stranded the potential tying run on third with strikeouts of Casteel and former big-leaguer Lane Adams.
Heuer (W, 2-1) collected his second win in relief and fanned four batters in his two innings of work.
Despite their struggles at the plate against Braves southpaw Phil Pfeifer, who struck out 10 across eight innings, the Barons received timely hits from Laz Rivera and Ti'Quan Forbes. Rivera's two-out single in the eighth to plate Luis Basabe represented the first run of the game, while Forbes' RBI-double down the left-field line put the Barons on top in the ninth.
Forbes, Rivera and Basabe each recorded two-hit games for Birmingham, while Gavin Sheets tallied three hits and the eventual game-winning run in the victory.
Jonathan Aro (L, 3-2) suffered the loss for Mississippi.
The Barons and Braves will continue their five-game series Friday night as Birmingham sends right-hander Blake Battenfield (5-4, 4.34) to the mound against Mississippi right-hander Nolan Kingham (0-1, 2.45).
First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m. CT at Trustmark Park and the game will be broadcast via WJQX-FM 100.5.
- BARONS -
The Birmingham Barons are the proud Double-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox. For ticket information, game schedule, promotions calendar or additional information about Regions Field, please visit barons.com or call (205) 988-3200.
Southern League Champions: 1906 • 1912 • 1914 • 1928 • 1929 • 1931 • 1958 • 1967 • 1983 • 1987 • 1989 • 1993 • 2002 • 2013
33-Year Double-A Affiliate of the Chicago White Sox
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