BIRMINGHAM, ALA. (JUNE 6, 2014) - The Generals (27-34) game Friday against the Birmingham Barons (26-36) looked much like the game on Thursday, a long pitcher's duel followed by a late offensive outburst. The only difference was the offense came alive an inning earlier this time as Jackson plated four in the eighth to win their fifth game in their last six 5-1 at Regions Field in Birmingham. Jackson took a 2-0 series lead for only the second time this season on Friday.
After the start of the game was delayed 53 minutes by rain, it took even longer for the offenses to get going. The Generals were the first to dent the scoreboard in the fourth inning. Jack Marder (1x3, 2 R) led the inning off with a single, was sacrificed to second, and advanced to third on Ketel Marte's (1x3, R 2 RBI, BB) ground out. Then Dan Paolini (2x4, RBI) doubled for the 17th time this season and Marder scored to make it 1-0.
Birmingham evened the score an inning later when Rangel Ravelo singled to score Chris Curley from second base. The score remained tied 1-1 until the eighth inning.
Jackson's bats exploded in the top of the eighth. Leon Landry (1x4, R) doubled to lead things off and Marder reached when he was hit by a pitch. Jamal Austin (2x3, R) executed a bunt single and the bases were loaded with no outs. Marte then came up still needing a hit to extend his hitting streak. He doubled down the right field line to score Landry and Marder as Jackson retook the lead 3-1. After Paolini struck out, Patrick Kivlehan (2x4, 2 RBI) singled to score Austin and Marte and the lead grew to 5-1 Generals.
Stephen Shackleford (5-1, 3.62) earned the win to become the first General hurler to reach the five win mark as he threw 2.0 shutout innings in relief of starter Matt Anderson (1-2, 5.83). Anderson was strong in 5.0 innings of work allowing only one run and scattering eight hits. He picked up a no-decision coming out with the game tied. Richard Vargas (0-1, 5.64) finished the game off with a scoreless eighth and ninth.
Kevin Vance (4-2, 5.14) lost for the second time this season as he gave up the four Jackson runs in the eighth inning.
Austin, Paolini and Kivlehan led the General attack each earning two-hit nights while Marte extended his hitting streak to 12 games, matching Mickey Wiswall's team-high for the season.
The Generals and Barons will play the middle game of this five game set Saturday in Birmingham. Forrest Snow (0-0, 5.79) will make his second start this season for Jackson as Birmingham will send Brian Blough (1-2, 1.93) to the mound. The game will be at 6:30 pm and can be heard on 96.5 ESPN, TuneIn Radio and jacksongeneralsbaseball.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.