JACKSONVILLE, FL -- Trailing 4-0 entering the fifth inning, M-Braves infielder Carlos Franco blasted a grand slam to cap off a five-run fifth to ultimately lift the Braves to a 6-4 victory over the Jacksonville Shrimp Thursday night at The Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville. The series continues Friday at 6:05 PM CST.
Mississippi (22-19) scored six runs on eight hits, two of which were long balls. Jacksonville (15-26) scored four runs on seven hits. Franco put up a 3-for-4 night at the plate, including the grand slam for four RBI. Luis Valenzuela added a 2-for-5 night.
The Jumbo Shrimp took an early 1-0 lead, plating a run in the first inning. Alex Yarbrough reached on an error and David Vidal singled to put runners at the corners. Brian Anderson then grounded into a force out at second, allowing Yarbrough to score from third.
Anderson walked and John Norwood singled with one out to start the bottom of the third. Alex Glenn then delivered a two-run triple to center field, extending Jacksonville's lead to 3-0.
Vidal's solo homer in the fourth made it a 4-0 game for the Shrimp.
The M-Braves responded with a five-run fifth to take a 5-4 lead. Connor Lien reached on an error and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. Valenzuela followed with a RBI-double to right, plating the Braves first run of the game. After walks to Ronald Acuna and Travis Demeritte to load the bases, Franco blasted a grand slam to right field.
Dylan Moore ripped a solo homer in the ninth to tack on an insurance run for the Braves, making it 6-4.
Mike Soroka (4-3) tossed five innings for the Braves and picked up the win. He surrendered four runs, three earned, on six hits, four walks and five strikeouts. Jason Hursh worked two scoreless innings in relief before giving way to Bradley Roney (S, 2) who tossed two frames to pick up the save.
Joe Gunkel started and went 4.2 innings for Jacksonville. He gave up four unearned runs on four hits and two walks but did not factor in the decision. James Buckelew (0-3) worked 1.1 innings and took the loss.
In game two of this five-game series, the M-Braves send lefty Kolby Allard (4-1, 1.23) to the hill against Jacksonville southpaw Jeff Locke, who's on ML Rehab for the Marlins. First pitch is slated for 6:05 PM CST Friday at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville.
Jacksonville (15-26): 6 R 8 H 1 E
Mississippi (22-19): 4 R 7 H 1 E
W: Mike Soroka (4-3)
L: James Buckelew (0-3)
S: Bradley Roney (2)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.