Montgomery, Ala. - The Jackson Generals, the Double-A affiliate of Major League Baseball's Arizona Diamondbacks, continued their charge up the North Division standings on Sunday, beating the Montgomery Biscuits 8-1 at Riverwalk Stadium.
The Generals (28-20) won their fourth straight game, closing within half a game of first-place Montgomery (29-20) with 21 games remaining in the First Half race.
Against left-hander Josh Fleming (4-3, 3.35 ERA), the Generals drew first blood with a first-inning run. Ben DeLuzio led off with an infield single to shortstop, and Daulton Varsho earned a base by being hit by the pitch. Fleming induced a groundout and a strikeout, but Andy Young came through with the first of his pair of run-scoring hits on the afternoon. Young drove in DeLuzio with a single deep in the hole to shortstop Lucius Fox that Young beat out to first base, putting Jackson on the board first for the third time in this series.
After Montgomery's Josh Lowe evened the score with a solo homer in the third inning, the Generals put the pedal down on Fleming, batting all nine in the fifth inning. Singles by Dominic Miroglio and Galli Cribbs were followed by a walk to DeLuzio, loading the bases with nobody out. A grounder to first by Varsho allowed him to reach, but Montgomery went for the out at the plate, retiring Miroglio for the inning's first out while keeping the sacks full.
Against an infield shifted to the left side, Jamie Westbrook zeroed in for a beautifully placed opposite field single through the right side, scoring Cribbs and DeLuzio to break ahead, 3-1. Pavin Smith lined out to second base for the inning's second out, but Young again put on the cape to give Jackson some assurance. The third baseman roped a double just inside the third base bag down into the left field corner, bringing in Westbrook and Varsho for a 5-1 advantage. Jazz Chisholm followed by poking a ball to the left side that scooted under the glove of Montgomery third baseman Kevin Padlo, creating another run as Young scored from second on the play.
Jackson's last surge came in the ninth, when a pair of one-out walks and a single by Young loaded the bases, and Drew Ellis delivered a two-out single to put the Generals up by seven. Ellis, Miroglio, Cribbs, and Young all finished with multiple hits, while Ellis, Young and Westbrook drove in multiple runs, and DeLuzio and Westbrook each scored twice. After starting the series 1-for-18 with men in scoring position over their first three meetings with Montgomery, the Generals went 5-for-18 on Sunday alone, handing Montgomery their worst margin of defeat of 2019, an improvement upon Friday's 5-0 shutout.
Having taken a hard-luck no-decision in his previous start, Bo Takahashi (4-2, 3.20 ERA) continued to find ways to work through trouble. Other than the third-inning homer by Lowe - the first dinger Takahashi had allowed since April 14 - the 22-year-old was able to keep Montgomery corralled. He stranded a one-out double and a walk in the first inning and negated a lead-off single in the second inning before the cavalry came to his aid in the third. After the homer by Lowe, Montgomery put three men on base with singles, two of which didn't leave the infield. Battling Montgomery's Lucius Fox, Takahashi induced a pop-up to shallow center field that Jackson shortstop Jazz Chisholm tracked down, his momentum taking him away from the plate. Dalton Kelly broke from third base on the catch, and Chisholm fired a one-hopper to the plate to cut down Kelly and wipe the slate clean.
Takahashi allowed the lead-off man in the fourth inning to double, but again, the Biscuits didn't score. This time, Montgomery's Kevin Padlo rapped a 107-mph short-hop right at Young at third base, and the Jackson infielder body-blocked it, gathering and throwing to first base for the out before dropping briefly to his knees in discomfort. Young and Takahashi both soldiered on, with Takahashi allowing a one-out single in the fifth that was erased on a Galli Cribbs tag-and-throw double play to end the inning. In all, Takahashi scattered eight hits in five innings, striking out three men with one walk on 86 pitches.
For the second night in a row, the Jackson bullpen delivered four scoreless innings, thrown on Sunday by Sam Lewis, Tyler Mark, Lucas Luetge, and Damien Magnifico. The foursome helped Takahashi hold Montgomery to a 1-for-14 mark with men in scoring position overall on Sunday, leaving 13 Biscuits marooned on base.
NEXT GENERALS GAME:
6:05 pm CT Tuesday (5/28) vs. Chattanooga Lookouts
The Ballpark at Jackson - Jackson, Tenn.
Pitching matchups TBA
BROADCAST: Jackson Generals Baseball Network
UP AND COMING AT THE BALLPARK:
May 28-June 1 vs. Chattanooga Lookouts (AA, Cincinnati Reds)
…featuring Star Wars Night (Saturday, June 1)!
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.