Birmingham, AL - In his first start since coming over from the Mets by trade, John Gant dominated the Birmingham Barons for a 4-3 Mississippi Braves win Friday night at Regions Field.
Gant (1-0) allowed just a run on two hits over 5 2/3 innings, striking out seven Barons (23-10, 56-46) and walking two. He picked up the win in his first start with the Braves organization.
Mississippi (19-15, 52-50) held off a late Barons charge to preserve the win. Leading 4-2 entering the ninth, reliever Kyle Kinman (S, 1) allowed back-to-back leadoff singles to Danny Hayes and Rob Brantly. Joey DeMichele sacrificed the two men to scoring position, and Marcus Lemon grounded out to first for an RBI, cutting the lead to 4-3.
With men at the corners and the tying run at third, Kinman struck out Tim Anderson swinging to close out the Braves win. It was Kinman's first double-A save and his 13th overall in 2015.
Mississippi built up a 2-0 lead in the fourth off starter Frankie Montas (3-2). KD Kang led off the frame with a double and Kevin Ahrens drove him home with another. Rio Ruiz singled Ahrens home against Montas to grow the lead.
In the fourth, Mississippi tacked on two more for a 4-0 lead. Emerson Landoni singled and moved to second on a throwing error by first baseman Christian Marrero. Ahrens singled for an RBI and David Rohm plated another with a double.
Montas allowed four runs, two earned, on eight hits over 5 2/3 innings of work. He struck out seven and walked one.
Birmingham started to chip away in the sixth. Gant allowed a leadoff single to Jacob May, who moved to second on a wild pitch. Former Brave Christian Marrero hit an RBI single off reliever Jorge Reyes to pull the deficit to 4-1.
In the seventh, Brantly singled and DeMichele doubled for two men in scoring position when another former M-Brave Marcus Lemon hit a sacrifice fly for a 4-2 score.
The win makes Saturday's 6:30 PM CT series finale a rubber match, with right-hander Lucas Sims (0-1, 3.72) set to take the mound against Barons right-hander Myles Jaye (10-4, 2.67).
Mississippi Braves (19-15, 52-50) 4 R 9 H 0 E
Birmingham Barons (23-10, 56-46) 3 R 7 H 1 E
W - Gant (1-0)
L - Montas (3-2)
S - Kinman (1)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.