Jackson, Tenn. - The Jackson Generals dropped a 9-2 decision to Birmingham on Thursday night, done in by a six-run fourth inning from the Birmingham Barons. The loss came on the heels of a one-hour, 22-minute rain delay, and it also included a 15-minute weather delay midway through the seventh inning.
Starter Joel Payamps (3-3, 6.02 ERA) took the loss for Jackson, unable to complete the fourth frame. The defeat saw Birmingham rack up 16 hits, a season-high for a Generals opponent. The defeat puts one game between the Generals (42-42, 5-9) and the Barons (32-51, 6-8) in the North Division's Second Half standings.
The Barons' outburst in the fourth inning arrived with volume. Mason Robbins led off with a triple, and Courtney Hawkins followed quickly with an RBI single, improving Birmingham's lead from 2-0 to 3-0. Hawkins' hit was followed by a single from Jeff Gelalich and a two-run double by Keon Barnum for a 5-0 lead. Brett Austin grounded out to first base to record the inning's first out, but thereafter, the Barons broke the bank. Singles from Eddy Alvarez and Nick Basto sandwiched a triple from Jake Peter, with all three base hits scoring runs to make the lead 8-0.
Basto's single chased Payamps from the game, and reliever Joey Krehbiel entered in his place. Krehbiel managed to get a flyout from Cameron Seitzer, but he also allowed two singles to follow from Robbins and Hawkins, each batting for the second time in the inning. A bases-loaded flyout by Gelalich finally ended the frame, with the nine-hit total setting the season-high mark for an opponent's hits in one inning. Krehbiel would go on to pitch the fifth inning as well, holding the Barons scoreless in that span.
The Generals avoided a shutout with a pair of minor gusts in the sixth and seventh innings. Michael Perez and Dawel Lugo hit back-to-back two-out doubles in the sixth inning to break up the Birmingham shutout. Jamie Westbrook would homer in the seventh inning to give the Generals' their second and final run, marking Westbrook's second dinger in four games. The Barons' final tally came on a Seitzer RBI single in the eighth inning.
Birmingham started the game with three straight singles off of Payamps in the first inning, which they followed with run-scoring groundouts from Seitzer and Robbins. In 16 previous starts across three levels of the minor leagues in 2017, Payamps had never completed fewer than five innings.
Miller Diaz allowed one unearned run in a three-inning appearance following Krehbiel, tying his longest outing of the year. Yuhei Nakaushiro threw a scoreless ninth inning with three strikeouts for Jackson. Lugo walked and doubled twice in the game, the only General with more than one hit. Jackson went 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position, totaling 3-for-24 in their last two games.
The series continues Friday, as Generals right-hander Ivan Pineyro (6-0, 2.41 ERA) gets the start against the Barons' Tanner Banks (0-1, 1.50 ERA). First pitch from The Ballpark at Jackson is at 6:05 pm CT, and fans can listen to all the action starting with the Pregame Show at 5:50 pm CT on Willie 94 FM & 1390 AM. Friday is a Leaders Credit Union Food Truck Friday with local food trucks at The Ballpark! The Generals will also wear special uniforms and play as the Hub City Hippos, with jerseys that will be auctioned off at the end of the season benefitting the Boys & Girls Club of Jackson thanks to Tennessee 811!
Friday is also the day of the first Baseball Camp this summer! Registration is open now! Contact Kate Lentz at email@example.com for more information!
The series wraps up Saturday, July 8 with our Championship Celebration and more Postgame Fireworks! We'll look back at last year's Southern League Championship, and the first 1,000 fans will take home a replica championship ring! The night and Fireworks are sponsored by Chicken Salad Chick!
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.