BIRMINGHAM - The Jackson Generals, the Double-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks, jumped on top of the Birmingham Barons in the first inning on Saturday and didn't glance back, winning 7-3 at Regions Field.
The triumph for the West Tennessee team puts two games between the Generals (71-60) and Birmingham (62-68) in the Second Half standings, dropping the Alabama bunch six games out of first place with only eight games remaining.
The Generals bats set early alarms for Saturday, waking up to the crack of Ben DeLuzio's lumber on a lead-off triple to center field in the first inning. Kevin Medrano followed by reaching safely on a fielding error by Birmingham first baseman Matt Rose, allowing DeLuzio to score the game's first run after two hitters had come to the plate. Four batters later, a bases-loaded groundout by Jay Gonzalez plated Jackson's second run of the inning, and two-out RBI hits from Dominic Miroglio and Jason Morozowski brought home two more tallies for a 4-0 lead.
Birmingham right-hander Felix Paulino (0-1, 3.60 ERA) settled down and navigated the succeeding three innings without trouble, but Rudy Flores changed the tune in the fifth by powering a two-run homer out to right field to make the lead 6-2. A two-out rally in the seventh inning allowed Miroglio to drive in Gonzalez with run No. 7 for Jackson, as the Generals finished 4-for-10 with men in scoring position. DeLuzio stole his 30th base of the year against reliever Ian Clarkin, closing within three of Southern League leader Corey Ray.
From the mound, Bo Takahashi (3-3, 5.18 ERA) gave back half of his early advantage by allowing a couple of first-frame runs, but he finished strong, not allowing any smudges on his record after the opening inning. Takahashi turned to ball over to Tyler Mark for the final out of the sixth, and Mark completed the seventh without incident before Jared Miller allowed an earned run in the eighth. Bud Jeter shut the book for Shelley Duncan's club in the ninth, lowering the team's August ERA to 2.86, their lowest month-long average since April. Birmingham stole three bases against the Jackson bullpen, but the relief corps stranded all three on the basepaths. The earned run allowed by Miller snapped a streak of 12 2/3 consecutive frames tossed by Generals relievers, who had not surrendered an earned run since August 20.
NEXT GENERALS GAME:
3:00 pm CT Sunday (8/26) vs. Birmingham Barons
Regions Field - Birmingham, Ala.
RHP Taylor Widener (5-6, 2.66 ERA) vs. LHP Bernardo Flores (2-5, 2.98 ERA)
Broadcast Link: Birmingham Barons Radio
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.