JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Mississippi Braves first baseman Carlos Franco hit a fifth-inning grand slam among three hits to lift the visitors to a 6-4 win over the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp in front of 6,071 at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville on Mavericks Live and Budweiser Thirsty Thursday night.
Opening a 10-game homestand, the Jumbo Shrimp (15-26) took the lead in the first inning. Shortstop Alex Yarbrough reached on an error by second baseman Travis Demeritte and later scored on third baseman Brian Anderson's RBI fielder's choice. Jacksonville loaded the bases against right-hander Mike Soroka (4-3) before first baseman Cal Towey lined out.
In the third inning, Anderson walked, right fielder John Norwood singled, and left fielder Alex Glenn drove a two-run triple into right-center field for a 3-0 Jumbo Shrimp lead. In the fourth inning, second baseman David Vidal hit his third home run of the season out of the Baseball Grounds to left field to make it 4-0.
Jacksonville right-hander Joe Gunkel kept the lead until the fifth inning. With one out, right fielder Connor Lien reached on Anderson's throwing error. After Soroka's sacrifice, third baseman Luis Valenzuela hit an RBI double to right field. After consecutive walks to load the bases, left-hander James Buckelew (0-3) entered, and Franco drove his Southern League-leading 11th home run to the right-field bleachers, giving Mississippi (22-19) a 5-4 lead.
Soroka pitched a scoreless fifth inning, before right-handers Jason Hursh and Bradley Roney each worked two scoreless innings out of the Braves bullpen. Mississippi got an insurance run from shortstop Dylan Moore's ninth-inning solo home run off Jumbo Shrimp right-hander Tyler Higgins.
UP NEXT: The Jumbo Shrimp continue their series with Mississippi at 7:05 p.m. Friday, when Marlins left-hander Jeff Locke makes a rehab start for Jacksonville, facing Braves left-hander Kolby Allard (4-1). Fans may visit any participating NAPA AutoCare Center to get a FREE general admission ticket for the game, which will be followed by NAPA AutoCare Family Fireworks. The Jumbo Shrimp will wear red "Bold City" jerseys on Red Shirt Friday, and fans who wear red can save $1 per ticket at the box office, or donate the $1 to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. Sgt. Scampi returns as the third-inning bat dog. Gates open at 6 p.m. for Miller Lite Happy Hour, presented in part by Wild Wing Café, with Miller Lite beer specials in the new Craft Cave inside the third-base gate until 7:30 p.m. The Wheelhouse Chef's Table will include a buffet in the suite-level lounge open to all fans for $15 per plate. The game is also presented by WEJZ Lite 96.1.
ABOUT THE JUMBO SHRIMP: The Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp are beginning a new era of affordable family fun with the 2017 season presented by Community First Credit Union at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville. With a new lineup of ticket and group options, there is a reason for everyone to get part of the action by calling the Jumbo Shrimp at (904) 358-2846 or visiting www.jaxshrimp.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.