Persistence pays off, and it did so again on Monday evening, as the Jackson Generals eked out a 5-4 victory over the Birmingham Barons at The Ballpark at Jackson.
Rudy Flores' eighth inning RBI triple proved the pivotal moment for a three-run Generals rally, as Jackson (8-2) downed Birmingham (6-5) by a final score of 5-4 despite being shutout through the first five innings.
Flores, who entered the night with a Southern League-leading 1.334 OPS, shook off three hitless at-bats to drive in a timely run, and he wound up scoring the equalizing run moments later on a wild pitch. Following the misfire from Birmingham right-hander Jorge Rondon (0-1, 4.76 ERA) that evened the game, the Generals would get consecutive two-out singles from Jason Morozowski, Jose Vinicio, and Alberto Rosario to plate the go-ahead run. Jamie Westbrook finished the night with an impressive 4-for-4 effort, including a two-run homer-his first of the year-that broke up the shutout for Birmingham lefty Matt Tomshaw.
The Generals bullpen continues to do outstanding work. Gabe Speier, Michael Dimock (2-0, 0.00 ERA), and Colin Poche (S, 1) combined for a quartet of scoreless innings in relief, striking out more Barons (four) than they allowed to reach base (three). All three maintained a spotless ERA, helping Shelley Duncan's club win their first 2018 game when trailing after seven frames.
TOP PERFORMERS - Generals
*LHP Gabe Speier - 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K
*1B Rudy Flores - 1-4, R, RBI, 3B
*LF Jamie Westbrook - 4-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, HR, 2B
TOP PERFORMERS - Birmingham
*LHP Matt Tomshaw - 6.0 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 5 K
*RHP Ryan Burr - 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 K
*LF Ryan Brett - 2-5, 2 R, 2B
MORE MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
TOP 5: Young allows a leadoff single to Ryan Brett, and Matt Rose doubles him in, stretching Birmingham's lead to 4-0. Young throws 12 of his next 14 pitches for strikes, setting down the 4-5-6 section of the Barons' lineup with a groundout to third and a pair of strikeouts to limit any further damage.
SCORE: BIR 4, JXN 0
BOTTOM 6: Westbrook launches a two-strike Tomshaw offering 355 feet over the 16-foot fence in right field, going the opposite way for his first home run of the season. The two-run bomb (which followed a leadoff double by Kevin Medrano) snapped a pattern of runners stranded at second base that had impacted the Generals in both the fourth and fifth innings.
SCORE: BIR 4, JXN 2
TOP 9: Colin Poche enters in relief of Michael Dimock, and the 24-year-old left-hander shakes off a two-out walk-bringing the go-ahead run to the plate-to punch out Ryan Brett for the final out. Poche has now struck out 16 batters in 7.0 innings with one hit and a walk allowed, dropping his opponents' batting average to .045 on the season.
SCORE: JXN 5, BIR 4
6:05 pm CT Tuesday (4/17) at The Ballpark at Jackson (Jackson, TN)
RHP Taylor Widener (Generals) vs. RHP Spencer Adams (Birmingham Barons)
THIS GENERALS HOMESTAND:
April 16-25 (vs. Birmingham Barons & Chattanooga Lookouts)
Dial 731-988-5299 for tickets to see Jackson Generals Baseball!
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.