Montgomery, Ala. - Starved for offense and arms, the Jackson Generals feasted on the Montgomery Biscuits on Thursday night, using the grease of a six-run sixth inning to cook up an 11-6 victory. The Generals (23-17) move one game ahead of Montgomery (22-18) in the Southern League's North Division with the win.
After a meager 15 runs across five games with Pensacola, the Generals offense leavened with a 14-hit effort, rallying from an early 4-1 deficit after three innings. It marked the first time the Generals had scored more than four runs since a 10-6 win at Mobile on May 6. Right-hander Trevor Simms (1-0, 4.50 ERA) got a taste of victory in his Double-A debut, throwing four innings of relief to give a tired Jackson bullpen some much-needed rest.
With the score tied 4-4, the Generals turned up the burners on Montgomery reliever Edwin Fierro (3-1, 4.32 ERA) in the sixth. Kelly Dugan opened with a single, followed by the same from Jamie Westbrook. In a tight game, Dugan hustled from first to third on the hit, making sure he was 90 feet away from home with nobody out. It paid off with the next batter: Michael Perez continued the parade of singles, bringing home Dugan to break the tie. Travis Denker poured in another single to score Westbrook, and Colin Walsh sprinkled in a walk to re-load the bases and chase Fierro, who did not record an out. The six-batter appearance doubled Fierro's ERA.
Left-hander Jordan Harrison entered in Fierro's place, and Victor Reyes added another single to the recipe, scoring Perez to make it a 7-4 lead. Dawel Lugo, batting after Reyes, stirred things up further with a chopper to Montgomery third baseman Grant Kay. Kay tried to get a force out at home, but his throw veered wide of the plate, with the error bringing home Denker and Walsh.
Rudy Flores wore a pitch from Harrison to load the bases for a third time in the inning, and Kevin Cron finished the buffet with a productive out, plating Reyes with a sacrifice fly to right field. Dugan and Westbrook, each batting for the second time in the inning, were retired in order to finish the frame. The rally was the Generals' first time batting around since an 8-run inning against Chattanooga on April 28. A solo jack from Dugan in the ninth, his eighth of the season, gave Jackson their final serving.
Simms, who joined the team on Wednesday, struck out four and walked four through four innings of work out of the bullpen, entering in the fifth. The 2016 draftee out of Tulane conceded a two-run home run to Montgomery's Justin O'Conner in the seventh inning, but the mash made no significant change in the outcome. Joey Krehbiel pitched a scoreless ninth with two strikeouts. Brad Keller sweated through a four-inning start, but the offense came to his aid to ensure he wouldn't take the loss.
Trailing by two in the fifth inning, Perez led off with a walk, and singles from Denker and Walsh loaded the bases. Reyes then dumped a single into left field that scored Perez, and Lugo beat out an infield ground ball on a fielder's choice, allowing Denker to score for the tie. Flores then lined out to third base, and Cron flew out to deep left field, completing the half-inning.
Reyes and Cron each drove in a pair of runs, while Westbrook and Perez got three hits apiece. Every General who appeared at the plate reached base at least once. Counting Dugan's smash and a pair of early solo dingers by Cron and Westbrook, the Generals' home run total now stands at 50 on the year (34 solo). Only three of Jackson's 11 runs came on home runs Thursday.
The Generals continue their six-game series with Montgomery on Friday, as Alex Young (2-2 3.38 ERA) gets set to duel for Jackson against Montgomery's Greg Harris (1-2, 3.26 ERA). First pitch from Riverwalk Stadium is scheduled for 7:05 pm CT, and you can catch all the action with the team on the road starting with the pregame show at 6:50 pm CT on Willie 94 FM and 1390 AM in Jackson.
Jackson hits the road for eleven games in Montgomery and Jacksonville before returning home May 30 for five versus the Mississippi Braves. The series kicks off with a Thrifty Thursday, and includes both the Hub City Hippos and a Leaders Credit Union Food Truck Friday the next night! Saturday is Star Wars Night with Postgame Fireworks presented by Hardeman County Correctional Facility! In addition to Fireworks, a lucky fan will win a trip to Disney's Hollywood Studios to experience Star Wars in Florida! And the first 1,000 through the gate will take home a jersey T-shirt!
Make sure to get your tickets now to see the 20th season of professional baseball in Jackson, and the first for the team as an affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks! Call the team at (731) 988.5299, stop by The Ballpark or go online to jacksongeneralsbaseball.com to secure your seats now!
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.