Castano goes the distance on Thursday night, shutting down M-Braves offense

Connor Lien homered and Trey Harris finished a home run shy of the cycle in the loss

(Tate K. Nations)

By Chris Harris / Mississippi Braves | August 8, 2019 10:36 PM

PEARL, MS - Jacksonville left-hander Daniel Castano (W, 5-1) struck out 13 over a complete game in the Jumbo Shrimp's (26-20, 55-61) 5-1 win over the Mississippi Braves (23-23, 56-59) on Thursday night at The Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville. The loss evens the current series at 1-1 with Mississippi holding the 10-8 season advantage.

Trey Harris extended his current hitting streak to eight games and finished a home run shy of the cycle, going 3-for-4 at the plate.

The complete game by the 24-year-old Castano was the first dealt to the M-Braves this season and first since Biloxi's Zack Brown went the distance last year on June 15.

Jacksonville took a 1-0 lead against the M-Braves in the bottom of the first inning on a solo home run by Lewin Diaz. The former Blue Wahoo has four long balls since being traded by the Twins to the Marlins and ten for the season.

Connor Lien (6) didn't let the lead last long. The M-Braves centerfielder cracked his first home run since returning to Mississippi from Gwinnett on Monday and sixth on the season. The solo shot tied the game at 1-1 and was his 29th all-time for the M-Braves.

Jacksonville retook the lead in the fourth inning and began the rally against Mississippi starter Jasseel De La Cruz (L, 3-7). Joe Dunand started a string of four-straight Jumbo Shrimp hits that led to three runs scoring. Josh Graham took over for De La Cruz with two runners on base, and the right-hander gave up an RBI double to Brian Miller and a two-run single to Riley Mahan. Adrian Nieto capped the scoring with a sacrifice fly to push Jacksonville's advantage to 5-1.

De La Cruz, working on a limited pitch count on Thursday, allowed three runs on three hits over 2.1 innings, striking out three and walking two on 61 pitches. Graham struck out two and walked none, giving up two runs on four hits over a season-high 2.2 innings behind De La Cruz.

Thomas Burrows made his first appearance during this most recent stint for the M-Braves, hurling 2.0 scoreless innings and striking out five, walking one and yielding one hit. In nine games for Mississippi this season, the former Alabama left-hander has given up just two runs on seven hits over 13.1 innings with 18 strikeouts and one walk.

Ben Rowen pitched a perfect ninth inning to put up his second scoreless appearance since returning to Mississippi on Sunday.

Harris hit a one-out triple against Castano in the ninth inning, but the south paw notched his 12th and 13th strikeout to end his career performance on the mound.

The middle game of the five-game set is scheduled for Friday night at The Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville. LHP Phil Pfeifer (1-1, 4.15) makes his second M-Braves start on Friday and will face RHP Jorge Guzman (5-10, 3.89) for Jacksonville. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 pm CT with coverage beginning at 5:50 pm on 103.9 WYAB, TuneIn Radio, First Pitch App, and (subscription required). 

The M-Braves will return to Trustmark Park for an 11-game homestand in ten days against the Birmingham Barons and Pensacola Blue Wahoos. The homestand features Clunker Car Night and Thirsty Thursday on Aug.15, Austin Riley  Kids T-Shirt Giveaway, and Post-Game Fireworks on Friday, Aug. 16 and another Post-Game Fireworks Show and Princess Night on Saturday, Aug. 17.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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