Jackson, Tenn. - The Jackson Generals, the Double-A affiliate of Major League Baseball's Arizona Diamondbacks, lost their fourth and fifth consecutive games on Monday, dropping a double-header to the Mississippi Braves at The Ballpark at Jackson.
The Generals (34-29) now face long odds to win the First Half title in the North Division after Mississippi (29-32) took the series victory with their second and third straight wins over Jackson.
GAME 1: M-Braves 6, Generals 1 (Final/9 - continuation of suspended game from 6/8)
In a game that began on Saturday and ended on Monday due to a pair of rain-related suspensions, Mississippi prevailed thanks to early runs and a stellar relief effort from Claudio Custodio. The contest started on Saturday in the middle of a sudden downpour that began during the singing of the Star Spangled Banner and continued through the top of the first inning. Six of the first ten pitches thrown by Bo Takahashi (4-3, 3.60 ERA) amid the wet conditions were balls, and two of the four strikes he threw resulted in a Drew Waters triple and a three-run homer by Ryan Casteel that put Mississippi up 3-0. Takahashi recovered to retire the next five men he faced, but a trio of singles from the top of the order in the third inning extended the Mississippi lead, as Casteel drove in Cristian Pache for a 4-0 lead.
Rain suspended the game in the bottom of the third, but the Generals managed to score a run on a Daulton Varsho sacrifice fly when play resumed on Sunday. The resumption didn't last long, as the two sides progressed only seven outs further into the game, with play suspended again after two outs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Under clear skies on Monday, Jackson and Mississippi picked up where they left off, but the Generals were foiled on offense and defense by Claudio Custodio (2-1, 3.16 ERA). The former infielder threw four and one-third innings of scoreless, hitless baseball and made an impact at the plate with a single, a stolen base and a run scored in an eventual 6-1 Mississippi win. Jackson managed a season-low two hits in the contest, and none came after the second inning.
GAME 2: M-Braves 2, Generals 1 (Final/7)
Pitting All-Star selections Ian Anderson (4-4, 3.02 ERA) and Riley Smith (4-4, 1.64 ERA) against each other in the second game of the twin-bill made for a tense, low-scoring showdown. Jackson struck first with a familiar formula, as three first-inning singles, the third by Pavin Smith, scored Ryan Grotjohn with what would be Jackson's only run of the game. Mississippi couldn't do much against Riley Smith until the third, when Cristian Pache lofted a solo homer just beyond the left field fence to tie the game at 1-1. Riley Smith struck out at least one man in each of the six innings he worked, but his dominance in a career-best 10-strikeout effort was undermined by an unearned run in the fifth inning. Ray-Patrick Didder led off with a single, and he reached second by stealing the base while Anderson was busy striking out on an attempted bunt. A passed ball by catcher Dominic Miroglio allowed Didder to third base, and he scored the go-ahead run on a Pache groundout moments later.
The Generals put men on base in the fifth and seventh frames, but they fell short despite out-hitting Mississippi in the game, six to five. Riley Smith's outstanding effort also included his first professional hit, a frozen-rope double to left-center in the fourth. He finished with one walk alongside ten punchouts, four hits allowed and 95 pitches thrown. Grotjohn and Andy Young recorded multi-hit games in the loss. The Generals are now 7-13 in one-run contests this year, having lost a season-worst five consecutive games. They face an uphill climb to win the North Division title in the First Half, standing five games behind first-place Montgomery (39-24) with only seven games left before the All-Star Break.
NEXT GENERALS GAME:
12:05 pm CT Tuesday (6/11) vs. Mississippi Braves (double-header)
The Ballpark at Jackson - Jackson, Tenn.
Game 1: RHP Joel Payamps (0-1, 9.00 ERA) vs. LHP Kyle Muller (4-2, 2.54 ERA)
Game 2: RHP Kevin McCanna (2-3, 2.80 ERA) vs. RHP Andres Santiago (0-0, 2.25 ERA)
BROADCAST: Jackson Generals Broadcast Network
UP AND COMING AT THE BALLPARK:
June 7-16 vs. Mississippi Braves (AA, Atlanta Braves) and Biloxi Shuckers (AA, Milwaukee Brewers)
…featuring Space Jam Night (June 15)!
The Jackson Generals, a West Tennessee franchise since 1998, are the Double-A minor league affiliate of Major League Baseball's Arizona Diamondbacks. The Generals play at The Ballpark at Jackson, Tennessee's 2017 & 2018 Pro Sports Field of the Year. Purchase your tickets to see the defending Southern League champions today by calling 731.988.5299 or visiting JacksonGeneralsBaseball.com!
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.