DANVILLE, Va. - The Danville Braves snapped a home losing streak of three games and split a two-game series with the Burlington Royals with a 6-4 victory on Bryce Ball's 21st birthday. Ball retook the Appalachian League lead in home runs with two big swings to help the D-Braves return to .500.
The teams got through an inning and a half before having to suspend action due to weather. The lengthy rain delay took one hour and 48 minutes before the game was able to start back up. After just one hit by both teams prior to the delay, Ball came to the plate first and blasted a 1-1 pitch over the right field fence for the first scoring action of the day and a 1-0 lead.
Burlington didn't take long to answer, with an RBI groundout in the top of the third evening up the score. Danville threatened in the third, with a passed ball advancing baserunners Cody Milligan and Charles Reyes to second and third. Burlington got Beau Philip to strike out on a foul tip to end the scoring threat and maintain the tie.
The very next inning, Ball led off the frame with a walk. Willie Carter struck out but was followed by Connor Blair, who drew another walk to put two on with one out. Cody Birdsong struck out and Mitch Calandra lofted a fly ball to left center that appeared to be out number three, but Burlington's left fielder David Hollie crashed into center fielder Kevon Jackson and the ball dropped, scoring Ball and Blair. Reyes singled on the next at bat to score Calandra and make it 4-1 D-Braves.
Burlington chipped away at the Danville lead with an RBI single in the sixth and an RBI double in the eighth to narrow the deficit to just a single run. Brandon Parker led off the bottom of the eighth with a walk for Danville, and two batters later Ball connected on his second home run of the day, a no-doubter that cleared the right field fence and extended the lead back out to three at 6-3.
The Royals tacked on another run in the final frame and brought the tying run to the batter's box with one out but were unable to complete a rally, with D-Brave Kenny Wells earning his first save with a strikeout and groundout to end the inning.
The D-Braves escaped with a win despite matching a season-high in errors with four and Burlington turning three double plays.
The team is off on Tuesday before welcoming Greeneville to town for a three-game series starting Wednesday.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.