[Via email from the Montgomery Biscuits' broadcaster Jon Laaser.]
The Mississippi Braves took an early lead and held on late to defeat the Biscuits, 3-2, on Friday night at Riverwalk Stadium. The Braves won for a second straight night to take the upper-hand in the five-game series.
The Braves got off to a quick start as they plated two runs against Biscuits' starter Brian Baker in the first inning. Baker walked Matt Young leading off the ballgame, and Brandon Hicks laid down a bunt-single to put two aboard with nobody out. Baker got the first two outs of the inning, but while Willie Cabrera batted, the Braves orchestrated a successful double-steal of second and third. Cabrera then lifted a two-run double to the alley in left-center field for a 2-0 lead.
The Biscuits immediately got one of the runs back in the bottom of the inning against Braves' starter Kyle Cofield. Rashad Eldridge led off the inning and was hit by a pitch. He moved to third on single from Fernando Cortez and scored as Chris Nowak bounced into a double-play. Nowak didn't receive an RBI, but the Biscuits did slice the lead in half, trailing 2-1.
Both starters settled in, but Mississippi was able to tack the run back on in the fifth inning. Matt Young tripled to start the inning and after Baker intentionally walked Jason Heyward, the Braves staged a successfule double-steal, with Young swiping home for a 3-1 lead. It marked the second straight night that Mississippi had successfully stolen home, as Heyward had managed it in game two.
Baker (5-4) departed after working 5 2/3 innings, with Ryan Reid entering to record the final out of a scoreless sixth inning. Baker allowed three earned runs on six hits, walking two and striking out six.
Montgomery crept back into the ballgame as Jose Lobaton led off the sixth inning by hammering the first pitch from Cofield over the wall in left-center field, pulling the Biscuits back within a run, 3-2. The third home run of the season for Lobaton was the first given up to a left-handed batter on the season by Cofield.
Cofield (9-3) finished the inning without further damage and retired for the evening with the lead after six innings. He walked four and hit one more, but allowed just four hits and two earned runs.
Brett Butts worked two scoreless innings of relief and Craig Kimbrel struck out the side in the ninth for his second save in as many nights. Ryan Reid and Mike Wlodarczyk worked 3 2/3 innings of scoreless relief for the Biscuits.
Game four of the series is scheduled for 7:05 PM on Saturday night at Riverwalk Stadium. RHP Aneury Rodriguez (7-10, 4.55) will make the start for Montgomery against LHP Jose Ortegano (3-0, 0.90) for Mississippi.