Michalczewski's Walk-Off Homer Seals Barons Comeback Win
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Trey Michalczewski's walk-off three-run homer in the ninth capped off a Birmingham Barons (16-24) 6-4 victory over the Mississippi Braves (18-21) Thursday night at Regions Field.
Trailing 4-3 in the bottom of the ninth, Barons third baseman Ti'Quan Forbes led off with a walk. Shortstop Laz Rivera singled him over to second before Michalczewski pinch-hit for Barons catcher Nate Nolan. Michalczewski took the first pitch he saw from Braves reliever Jordan Harrison deep and out to left field and pandemonium ensued.
The homer was the Barons first walk-off of the season and just the third pinch-hit opportunity by a Baron this season.
Trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the third, Chicago White Sox No. 2 prospect Luis Robert barreled a 446-foot two-run homer to left for his second homer as a Baron. The crushed dinger put the Barons on top 3-2.
Robert was the other star of the show Thursday night. He finished with his third three-hit game as a Baron, going 3-for-4 and finished a triple shy of the cycle. Along with his homer, he doubled, singled, and finished with his fourth and fifth stolen bases as a Baron.
Right-handed starter Jimmy Lambert had one of the most dominant starts of his career thus far. In six innings, he gave up just one earned run and struck out a new career-high 11 Braves in his no decision.
Birmingham held the 3-2 lead for three innings until the seventh when mistakes crushed the decision for Lambert. With Hunter Schryver pitching in relief, Connor Lien singled to advance baserunner Cristian Pache to second. Rivera fielded the ball, tried to get Pache off the bag and his throw sailed to the right field foul line. Pache scored and Lien got to third in the throwing error and made it 3-3.
One inning later, Luis Valenzuela gave the Braves a 4-3 lead on a deep triple in the right-center gap to score Alejandro Salazar.
The Barons got on the board quickly in the first inning with an RBI single poked the other way to right field off the bat of Yermin Mercedes. The hit brought home Luis Basabe and made it 1-0.
The Barons lead didn't last long, as former Baron Andy Wilkins led off the second with a homer to right to tie the game at one.
Also earning a no decision in the matchup was Braves starter Jeremy Walker who was making his first start of the season. It was a solid one for the righty, going six innings and striking out a season-high eight Barons.
With the homer, Michalczewski has now hit in eight of his last 10 games. Robert is currently riding a five-game hitting streak and Mercedes has reached base safely in 20 of his 22 games.
The start of the game was delayed by rain for an hour and 17 minutes.
The Barons will continue their Braves series at 7:05 p.m. Friday. Left-hander Tanner Banks (2-4, 2.84) will make his eighth start of the season.
WJOX-AM 690 will be the home of the Barons on Friday. Fans can tune into the Coca-Cola Pregame Show starting at 5:45 p.m.
The Birmingham Barons are the proud Double-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox. The Barons will open the home portion of their 2019 season, which celebrates the 25th anniversary of Michael Jordan's lone year in baseball, against the Tennessee Smokies at 7:05 p.m. April 10 at Regions Field. For ticket information, game schedule, promotions calendar or additional information about Regions Field, please visit barons.com or call (205) 988-3200.
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