Lien Homers Twice, But M-Braves Drop Series Finale
CHATTANOOGA, TN - Connor Lien smashed two home runs, but it wasn't enough on Friday to give the M-Braves their first five-game sweep away from Trustmark Park in team history. Friday's chilly series finale saw a combined 28 strikeouts and 18 walks.
The M-Braves had earned three five-game sweeps in club history, but none on the road. The task seemed very attainable in the second inning when Lien hit the first of his two home runs off the scoreboard in left field. Jonathan Morales doubled prior, upping his hitting streak to four games and scored on the long ball. The three-run home run put Mississippi on top 3-0. The M-Braves ended up hitting nine home runs over the five games, three coming from Lien.
Kyle Muller struggled to find the strike zone in this third start, alternating walk and strikeout through the first nine hitters. His three walks in the second produced three runs and the game was tied after two frames. Muller walked a career-most six batters and struck out four over 1.2 innings.
Mike Mader relieved Muller and held the Lookouts to just one hit over 3.1 innings, striking out five and walking just two. Chattanooga starter Scott Moss worked just 4.0 innings, striking out eight and walking five.
Lookouts' reliever Anthony Fossas (W, 2-1) put the clamps down on the Braves offense and did not give up a hit over 3.0 innings. Just activated to the roster today, 20-year-old Huascar Ynoa (L, 0-1), the No. 14 prospect for the Braves according to MLB Pipeline took over for Mader in the sixth inning. The first two batters reached against Ynoa and then three straight run-scoring plays, capped by an RBI single from Jose Siri gave Chattanooga a 6-3 lead. Ynoa pitched a scoreless seventh inning and finished his Double-A debut with two strikeouts and one walk, yielding three runs on three hits in the loss.
Chattanooga tacked on two more runs in the eighth inning for insurance, using three Phil Pfeifer walks and an error. The Lookouts' three-run inning in the second and two-run inning in the eighth required no hits.
Lien wouldn't let the M-Braves go down quietly in the ninth as the left-fielder crushed a line drive over the centerfield wall for a solo homer, his second of the night. Both of Lien's home runs were over 400 feet and registered at 110 mph off the bat. Joel Kuhnel (S, 1) surrendered just that run and picked up the save.
In total, M-Braves pitching walked a season-high 12 and struck out 11 in the series finale. Drew Waters and Cristian Pache failed to extend their streaks.
The M-Braves will head back to Central Mississippi and begin a five-game homestand on Saturday night against the Montgomery Biscuits. RHP Patrick Weigel will make the start for the M-Braves and be opposed by Montgomery RHP Ricardo Pinto. First pitch is set for 6:05 pm CT with coverage beginning at 5:50 pm on 103.9 FM and the TuneIn Radio app.
* Post-Game Fireworks Extravaganza - A Fireworks Extravaganza will light up the sky above Trustmark Park after each Saturday home game this season.
* Live Music - Mister Morphis, one-man blues band, entertains on plaza pre-game.
The homestand continues on Sunday with a pre-game Easter Egg Hunt prior to the 1:05 pm first pitch. There will be back-to-back 10:35 am games on Monday and Tuesday and the series will wrap up with a First Responders Wednesday on April 24 with first pitch at 6:35 pm. For tickets visit mississippibraves.com/tickets 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 mississippibraves.com or connect with @mbraves on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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Southern League Stories from April 19, 2019
- Blue Wahoos Split Doubleheader in Biloxi - Pensacola Blue Wahoos
- Generals, Tennessee Halt Play Due to Weather - Jackson Generals
- Lien Homers Twice, But M-Braves Drop Series Finale - Mississippi Braves
- Five-Run Barons Sixth Dooms Jacksonville - Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp
- Lookouts Prevent Sweep with 8-4 Win - Chattanooga Lookouts
- Barons Wins Fourth Straight Behind Big Sixth Inning - Birmingham Barons
- Smokies and Generals Suspended, 2-1 in the Third Inning - Tennessee Smokies
- Thomas Jankins Promoted, Justin Topa Joins Shuckers - Biloxi Shuckers
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- Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp: Game Notes, April 19 vs. Birmingham - Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp
- Chavez to Injured List, Lopez to Jacksonville - Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp
- Homestand Highlights: April 20-24 vs. Montgomery Biscuits - Mississippi Braves
- Three in a Row: Generals Shred Smokies Bullpen, Claim Series Victory - Jackson Generals
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