Stellar Pitching Aids Barons Swift Comeback
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The Birmingham Barons (62-71) fired off six unanswered runs in Friday night's 6-5 victory over the Biloxi Shuckers (81-55) and tied up their series at one a piece from Regions Field.
Tied at five in the sixth, Barons leadoff hitter Luis Gonzalez led off with a double and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt from Luis Basabe. Two batters later, Barons cleanup hitter Gavin Sheets grounded out behind the mound but plated Gonzalez to take a 6-5 lead.
For Sheets, it was his Southern League-leading 82nd RBI of the season.
After a 50-minute first inning, both teams got some runs at the hands of the starting pitchers.
In the top half, Barons starter John Parke had one of his toughest games of the season. The Shuckers belted out five hits, including a two-RBI single from Cooper Hummel, and batted around to take an early 5-0 lead. Parke finished the inning but ended with just one inning pitched, one walk and one strikeout.
After the first inning, the Barons pitching staff hunkered down in one of their best performances of the season. Kodi Medeiros, Tyler Johnson and Danny Dopico combined for eight shutout, no-hit innings. In that span, they combined for six strikeouts, only one walk and let only one Shucker get into scoring position.
Johnson pitched two scoreless and earned his second win of the season, while Dopico picked up a two-inning save for his fifth closeout of the season.
Birmingham responded with three runs in the bottom half of the first, drawing four walks off Biloxi starter Bowden Francis with two of the free passes walking in runs. Including a Basabe RBI double, the Barons cut the score down to 5-3. Francis would only go two-thirds of an inning on the night.
The Barons chipped away further, with a Basabe RBI single in the fourth and an Alfredo Gonzalez sacrifice fly in the fifth to tie it at 5-5.
Basabe enjoyed a pleasant game and built off his recent success. He finished the night 3-for-4 with separate RBI on a double and single, respectively. Overall, Basabe has now hit in five of his last six games.
Alfredo Gonzalez, who came into the game with a .429 average against Biloxi this season, finished with two RBI.
Birmingham will resume their final regular season series Saturday, hosting Biloxi Shuckers starting at 6:30 p.m. CT. Heading to the hill for the Barons will be right-hander Blake Battenfield, who sports a 5-5 record and a 4.47 ERA in 18 games started.
WJOX-AM 690 will be the home of the Barons on Saturday. Fans can tune into the Coca-Cola Pregame Show starting at 6:15 p.m. CT.
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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