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Barons Take Second Straight from M-Braves

May 17, 2019 - Southern League (SL) - Mississippi Braves News Release

BIRMINGHAM, AL - The Birmingham Barons (17-24) scored four unanswered runs late on Friday night to beat the Mississippi Braves (18-22) 4-2 in front of 7,392 fans at Regions Field. The loss dropped the M-Braves to 1-6 on the road trip and 0-2 against the Barons.

21-year-old left-hander Joey Wentz (L, 1-3) was looking to bounce back from a rough outing last Sunday in Montgomery and the Atlanta Braves No. 11 overall prospect didn't disappoint. He held the White Sox affiliate out of the hit column until the fourth inning and ended the night with a quality start.

The M-Braves didn't have a hit against Birmingham lefty Tanner Banks until a Cristian Pache double in the fourth inning. The visiting team cracked the scoreboard first and jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the fifth inning with two outs. Ray-Patrick Didder lined a double to the gap in right-center bringing home Luis Valenzuela and it was 1-0. Drew Waters collected his first hit of the series in the next at-bat, singling home Didder to make it 2-0.

Didder took over in centerfield for Connor Lien in the bottom of the first inning after a collision between Lien and right-fielder Cristian Pache. Luis Robert hit a liner between the two outfielders and while Pache caught the ball, Lien took the worst end of the collision. Lien was able to walk off the field under his own power and suffered a laceration on his right calf.

The Barons sent seven batters to the plate against Wentz in the fifth and scored one unearned run. Trey Michalczewski was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, allowing Yermin Mercedes to score. The bases were loaded after a single, walking and error by Valenzuela. Wentz was able to retire the next three batters.

Birmingham took a 3-2 lead in the sixth inning on a one-out, two-run home run from Mercedes.

Wentz left after 6.0 innings on Friday night, allowing two earned runs on four hits with two walks and five strikeouts. The Barons tacked on an insurance run against M-Braves reliever Jonathan Aro in the eighth inning to lead 4-2. Danny Dopico (S, 1) pitched a scoreless ninth inning for the save.

The game featured some stellar defensive plays that included an outfield assist to cut down a runner at the plate in the eighth inning by Waters and a diving catch later in the inning in right field by Pache. Didder played centerfield for the first time since 2017, taking over after the Lien injury, and made a diving catch in the fifth inning.

Ryan Casteel was 1-for-4, extending his hitting streak to seven games. The crowd of 7,392 at Regions Field was the largest the M-Braves had played in front of in 2019.

The M-Braves and Barons play game three of the five-game set on Saturday night at Regions Field. LHP Tucker Davidson (0-2, 2.02) starts for the M-Braves against Birmingham LHP Kyle Kubat (2-0, 2.43). First pitch is set for 6:30 pm with coverage beginning at 6:15 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 or call 888-BRAVES4.

The Mississippi Braves are the Double-A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves. Since the inaugural 2005 season, 139 M-Braves have gone on to Major League Baseball. The M-Braves have made postseason play four times and went on to win the Southern League Championship in 2008. Stop by Trustmark Park or call 888-BRAVES4 Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. For the latest news and updates, visit or connect with @mbraves on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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