Nolan Guides Barons Past Shrimp in Opener
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Nate Nolan delivered a pair of hits and two RBI as the Birmingham Barons (29-24, 56-66) topped the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp (32-23, 61-64) by a 6-2 final in Sunday night's series opener at Regions Field.
Nolan, whose two-run single in the fourth put the Barons ahead 4-0 at the time, also caught a strong collective pitching performance from right-handers Lincoln Henzman, Danny Dopico and Alec Hansen.
Henzman (W, 4-6) tossed 6.1 innings and allowed just two runs on five hits to earn his second straight victory. The 24-year-old right-hander struck out six, which tied his season-high mark. Henzman also struck out six against the Jumbo Shrimp on June 14.
Jacksonville managed just one hit against Henzman through the first six frames before consecutive extra-base hits from Joe Dunand and Brian Miller sparked a rally. The Jumbo Shrimp plated two in the inning, but Dopico entered from the bullpen and struck out a pair to limit the damage and preserve Birmingham's 4-2 advantage.
Nolan's two-RBI single down the right-field line, along with an RBI-triple off the bat of Gavin Sheets and a run-scoring single from Damek Tomscha, powered the early offense for the Barons.
Nolan, Sheets, Zach Remillard and Blake Rutherford all recorded multi-hit efforts in the win.
Luis Gonzalez later added a two-run blast to right field to extend the lead to 6-2 with his ninth home run of the campaign. The White Sox No. 12 prospect owns a standout .318/.400/.515 slash line across his past 18 games.
Right-hander Kolton Mahoney (L, 4-3) suffered the loss for the Jumbo Shrimp after he allowed four runs (all earned) on seven hits in six innings of work. Right-handed reliever Chad Smith surrendered the deep fly to Gonzalez.
Barons right-hander Alec Hansen struck out one as part of a shutdown ninth inning to close out the victory. The White Sox No. 27 prospect has logged four consecutive scoreless appearances and lowered his ERA from 6.37 to 5.56 in the process.
Birmingham and Jacksonville will continue their five-game series Monday night as the Barons send left-hander Bernardo Flores (3-6, 3.13) to the mound against Jumbo Shrimp right-hander Jorge Guzman (6-10, 3.62).
First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. CT at Regions Field and the game will be broadcast via WJQX-FM 100.5.
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