Jackson, Tenn. -The Jackson Generals, the Double-A affiliate of Major League Baseball's Arizona Diamondbacks, made the ninth inning interesting on Thursday before ultimately falling to Birmingham, 5-2.
The Barons (13-21) claimed their second victory in the series at The Ballpark at Jackson, forcing a rubber game on Friday night against the Generals (17-16).
Coming off his shortest start of the season last weekend, Jackson's Emilio Vargas (1-1, 5.50 ERA) still leaked oil in the early innings, giving up four runs across the second and third frames. Despite racking up nine strikeouts (all swinging) and issuing only two walks, Vargas allowed a total of five runs on six hits, including a two-run blast by Birmingham catcher Nate Nolan in the second inning.
Birmingham's last tally came on a lead-off walk to the dangerous Luis Robert in the fifth inning, who stole second base and third base on consecutive pitches and raced home when the throw to third base bounced through to left field. Relivers Tyler Mark and Damien Magnifico combined for three scoreless innings out of the bullpen, allowing only one hit.
Offensively, Jackson did not get a runner to second base against left-hander Bernardo Flores (2-4, 2.84 ERA) until there were two outs in the fourth inning. The Generals left the bases loaded in the fourth inning and stranded men in the fifth and sixth innings as well, going 3-for-11 with men in scoring position while leaving 11 men on base overall.
Entering the ninth inning on the wrong end of a 5-0 score, doubles by Drew Ellis and Jeffrey Baez kept the Generals from being shut out, and Pavin Smith broke a streak of 10 hitless plate appearances with a two-out RBI single. Daulton Varsho came to the plate as the potential game-tying run with two outs and two on, but Hunter Schryver (S, 2) entered in place of Connor Walsh and induced a groundout by Varsho for the final out. Ellis was the only General to pick up multiple hits, going 2-for-3 with a run scored.
NEXT GENERALS GAME:
6:05 pm CT Friday (5/10) vs. Birmingham Barons
The Ballpark at Jackson - Jackson, Tenn.
RHP Kevin McCanna (1-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. RHP Jimmy Lambert (3-1, 2.94 ERA)
UP AND COMING AT THE BALLPARK:
May 6-10 vs. Birmingham Barons (AA, Chicago White Sox)
…featuring "All We Do Is Win" Night (Friday, May 10)!
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.