Sheets, Madrigal Send Barons Past Smokies
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Gavin Sheets reached base four times and Nick Madrigal collected his first Double-A home run as the Birmingham Barons (16-10, 43-52) topped the Tennessee Smokies (10-19, 43-55) by a 3-1 final Saturday night at Regions Field.
Sheets, who extended his on-base streak to 33 games, doubled home a run in the first, singled in the fourth, drew a walk in the sixth and reached via an error in the eighth.
The White Sox No. 17 prospect owns Birmingham's longest single-season on-base streak since Jerry Owens reached base in 36 consecutive games between June 27 - Aug. 14, 2005. He also paces the Southern League with 64 RBI on the campaign.
Madrigal, meanwhile, belted his first Double-A home run with a leadoff solo shot to left in the eighth, which extended Birmingham's lead to 3-1. It marked the third home run of his professional career and his first since May 29 as a member of Hi-A Winston-Salem.
Sheets and Madrigal's offensive efforts backed a strong start from right-hander Blake Battenfield (W, 3-2), who logged five scoreless frames and struck out six to earn his third win of the season.
Relievers Mauricio Cabrera, Kodi Medeiros and Codi Heuer combined to allow just one run on one hit across four innings of work out of the bullpen.
Medeiros lowered his ERA as a reliever to 1.40 since the left-hander made the transition out of the rotation June 2. The southpaw worked around a leadoff walk thanks to a successful pickoff play at second and a strikeout.
Heuer pulled into a tie for the team lead with his third save of the season after the right-hander tossed a shutdown ninth inning with a pair of strikeouts.
The Barons and Smokies will conclude their four-game set Sunday as Birmingham sends left-hander Tanner Banks (1-5, 3.76) to the mound against Tennessee right-hander Cory Abbott (3.87).
First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m. CT at Regions Field and the game will be broadcast via WJQX-FM 100.5.
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