BIRMINGHAM - The Jackson Generals, the Double-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks, failed to hold a ninth inning lead for just the third time in 2018, dropping a 5-4 decision to the Birmingham Barons at Regions Field on Tuesday.
The loss caps a 36-33 road record during the regular season for Jackson (72-62), while Birmingham (63-69) ends up 33-36 at home.
Jackson could hardly have requested a better start from right-hander Justin Donatella. Though he walked a batter in the opening stanza and hit another with a pitch in the third, Donatella did not allow any hits to Birmingham through the first 5 2/3 innings. He finished 6 2/3 innings in total without allowing a run, striking out seven men with two free passes and two hits on 100 pitches even. Bud Jeter got the final out of the seventh, and Yoan Lopez worked a scoreless eighth before things went awry.
In the ninth inning, Birmingham rallied to tie the game on a three-run homer by Alex Call off of Jackson's Michael Blazek. The poorly-timed allowance came at a moment when Blazek had not given up an earned run in August; to his credit, he buckled down to get the next three batters out, making sure the game did not end on his watch. Tyler Mark (2-1, 4.35 ERA) took the loss when he allowed as a two-out double by Luis Alexander Basabe that scored Joel Booker from first base. The final play was shaded in minor controversy, as the relay from the outfield to home plate beat Booker, but the umpiring crew ruled that shortstop Domingo Leyba had interfered with Booker on his trip around the bases. The Birmingham victory dropped Jackson to 36-33 on the road this season and 7-7 in extra innings.
Offensively, Marty Herum made productive groundball outs in the fourth and sixth innings to help Jackson gain a 2-0 advantage, and Rudy Flores followed with a run-scoring single in the sixth. The visitors were pinned down in the seventh, eighth, and ninth, but Jay Gonzalez came through in the tenth with an RBI groundout to give the Generals a 4-3 lead. The advantage turned out to be short-lived, as the Generals fell despite outpacing Birmingham 9-5 in hits.
NEXT GENERALS GAME:
6:05 pm CT Thursday (8/29) vs. Chattanooga Lookouts
The Ballpark at Jackson - Jackson, Tenn.
RHP Emilio Vargas (1-3, 4.55 ERA) vs. RHP Jorge Alcala (0-3, 6.46 ERA)
Broadcast Link: Jackson Generals Baseball Network
UP AND COMING AT THE BALLPARK:
August 30-September 3 vs. Chattanooga Lookouts (AA, Minnesota Twins)
…featuring SEC Night (September 1)!
Games 1 and 2 of the North Division Series will be held at The Ballpark at Jackson on September 5 and 6.
For tickets and more information about the Generals, dial 731.988.5299
or log on to our ticket page at JacksonGeneralsBaseball.com!
The Jackson Generals, a West Tennessee franchise since 1998, are the Double-A minor league affiliate of
Major League Baseball's Arizona Diamondbacks. In 2017, The Ballpark at Jackson was named
the Professional Sports Field of the Year by the Tennessee Turfgrass Association.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.