MONTGOMERY, AL - The Mississippi Braves (18-20) ended their four-game losing streak on Wednesday night in Montgomery with a 4-3 victory, in 10 innings, over the Montgomery Biscuits (25-14). The Braves received another stellar pitching performance from Kyle Muller , who lowered his ERA to 0.89 so far in May.
Muller picked up where he left off at home on Wednesday night in Montgomery. The 21-year-old from Dallas gave up just one run on five hits over 6.2 innings, striking out six and walking just two over a season-high 106 pitches. The key to Muller's success was his command, throwing 71 of his 106 pitches for strikes.
The M-Braves jumped ahead 1-0 in the top of the third inning with some help from the Biscuits. Cristian Pache reached on a two-out walk and moved to third base on the first of two hits from Tyler Neslony . An errant pickoff attempt by Montgomery catcher David Rodriguez hit Pache and rolled into left field allowing the Braves top prospect to score.
Montgomery tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the third inning. With two outs, reigning Southern League Hitter of the Week Dalton Kelly singled and then came into score on a double and 26th RBI by Jesus Sanchez.
Muller and Biscuits starter Kenny Rosenberg traded zeros throughout the first seven innings on Wednesday night. Muller gave up a two-out single to Jermaine Palacios on his 106th pitch of the game to end his outing. Connor Johnstone (W, 2-0) took over and stranded two inherited runners on base by inducing a groundout from Miles Mastrobuoni.
Muller has allowed just two runs over 20.2 innings with seven walks and 15 strikeouts in May and lowered his season-ERA to 2.27. Johnstone went on to work 3.0 innings of relief and eventually end up with the win, finishing the night with a 0.96 ERA.
In the top of the 10th inning, Ray-Patrick Didder was Mississippi's bonus runner at second base. Drew Waters led off with an infield single and Didder went to third. Pache bounced a grounder to third and Didder was caught in a rundown and eventually tagged for the first out. Neslony then hit a grounder to third and an errant throw to second by Montgomery third baseman Tristan Gray let the bases load up for Ryan Casteel . The 27-year-old veteran drew a bases-loaded walk from Pheonix Sanders (L, 2-1) and the Braves led 2-1. Sanders struck out Alejandro Salzar for the second out of the inning but walked Connor Lien to force in another run. Jonathan Morales bounced a comebacker to Sanders and he misplayed the ball resulting in a third run scoring to make it 4-1. Montgomery finished the night with four errors.
Johnstone went back out for the bottom of the 10th and walked the first hitter. He induced a fly out for the first out, but both runners advanced 90 feet. Johnstone threw a wild pitch which let Rodriguez score and it was 4-2. Johnstone eventually struck out Mastrobuoni for the first out, but let Brett Sullivan single home another run to trim the lead to one.
Manager Chris Maloney called on closer Josh Graham (S, 5). Kelly hit a 108 mph screamer that bounced off Graham's leg and rolled to Casteel the first baseman who stepped on the bag for the final out.
At the end of the night, Mississippi finished 1-for-14 with runners in scoring position but found a way to get the win. Waters was 2-for-5, notching his 16th multi-hit game of the season and Neslony was 2-for-5, his third multi-hit game out of the last four. The Braves went 1-4 on the first leg of the road trip and finished the season series 3-7 against the Tampa Bay Rays affiliate.
The M-Braves head north to Birmingham and begin a five-game set against the Barons on Thursday night. RHP Jeremy Walker (1-4, 2.86) starts for the M-Braves against RHP Jimmy Lambert (3-2, 3.49) for Birmingham. First pitch is set for 7:05 pm with coverage beginning at 6:50 pm on 103.9 WYAB, TuneIn Radio, MiLB First Pitch app. and MiLB.TV (subscription required).
The Mississippi Braves will return to Trustmark Park for a Memorial Day Weekend Celebration, May 22-26, at Trustmark Park. Saturday, May 25 the first 1,000 fans will receive an M-Braves Patriotic Cap, in partnership with Mississippi Veterans Affairs. Post-Game Fireworks will follow the game on Saturday, May 25 and Sunday, May 26. Each game will begin at 6:05 pm. For tickets or more information, visit mississippibraves.com or call 888-BRAVES4.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.