Bats Go Quiet in Loss to M-Braves
PEARL, Miss. - Ti'Quan Forbes and Blake Rutherford mustered the lone hits of the game for the Birmingham Barons (26-23, 53-65) as they fell to the Mississippi Braves (24-27, 57-63) by a 4-0 final Wednesday afternoon at Trustmark Park.
Braves right-hander Jasseel De La Cruz (W, 4-7) held the Barons hitless through the first four frames before Forbes laced a two-out single to center in the fifth. De La Cruz worked five innings and struck out four in his first appearance against the Barons.
De La Cruz, along with right-handers Kurt Hoekstra and Bradley and southpaw Thomas Burrows, combined for the shutout. The Barons had not been shut out in the month of August prior to Wednesday.
Rutherford's one-out single in the ninth against Burrows represented Birmingham's second hit of the contest. The base knock extended the White Sox No. 10 prospect's season-high hit streak to seven games, but the Barons could not take advantage of the late scoring opportunity.
The limited offense failed to back a strong start from left-hander Bernardo Flores, who allowed two runs across five innings of work in his second start since the southpaw returned from a rehab stint Aug. 8. Flores struck out six, which marked a new season high.
Mississippi took the lead against Flores in the first after Ryan Casteel ripped an RBI-double down the left-field line. William Contreras homered in the fourth to double the Braves' lead.
Barons reliever Danny Dopico logged one scoreless inning out of the bullpen as the 25-year-old right-hander managed to escape a bases-loaded, nobody out jam in the sixth to keep the Barons within striking distance.
Right-hander Alec Hansen pitched 1.1 shutdown innings in relief, while right-hander Mauricio Cabrera surrendered two runs (both earned) in two-thirds of an inning. He walked three batters and allowed one hit.
The Barons and Braves will continue their five-game series Thursday night as Birmingham sends left-hander John Parke (3-3, 2.78) to the mound against Mississippi left-hander Phil Pfeifer (1-2, 4.00).
First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m. CT at Trustmark Park and the game will be broadcast via WJQX-FM 100.5.
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