Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Montgomery Biscuits Split Pair With Mississippi Braves

Montgomery Biscuits[Via email from the Montgomery Biscuits' broadcaster Jon Laaser.]

The Biscuits rallied to split a doubleheader with the Mississippi Braves on Monday night Trustmark Park, falling 3-0 in game one, but coming back from an early deficit to take game two, 3-2.

An infield-single put the Braves on top early in game one, as Mississippi got to Biscuits' starter Heath Rollins in the first inning. The rally started with a Jason Heyward single through the left-side of the infield with one out. Heyward stole second and Freddie Freeman walked behind him. Concepcion Rodriguez then sent a swinging-bunt toward Chris Nowak at third base. He attempted to bare hand the baseball, but it got underneath him and as it rolled a few feet past, Heyward alertly raced around third and scored to put the Braves in front, 1-0.

Following a different recipe, the Braves extended their lead in the third inning. Rodriguez instigated the two-out uprising with a single flared to right field. Eric Campbell followed and belted a 2-0 pitch from Rollins over the wall in left field to give Mississippi a 3-0 advantage.

Rollins (9-10) departed early after tossing just three innings. He took the loss, while allowing three earned runs on five hits, walking one and striking out one.

Meanwhile, Braves' starter Jose Ortegano (2-0) was cruising. He earned his second win in just his second Double-A start, working six scoreless innings. The Biscuits managed just four singles off him, while he walked one and struck out seven.

Craig Kimbrel earned his first save with a perfect seventh inning, including two strikeouts. Ryan Reid worked two scoreless innings of relief in a losing effort for the Biscuits. Neal Frontz also recorded a scoreless inning out of the Montgomery bullpen.

As the Biscuits offensive struggles continued at the outset of game two, the Braves took the first lead due to some defensive troubles for Montgomery in the second inning. Rodriguez reached on an error on Brandon Chaves to start the inning and when Willie Cabrera's single was misplayed in right field by J.T. Hall, he moved to third base. Biscuits' starter Mike Wlodarczyk bore down to strike out Greg Creek and Travis Jones. However, on the swinging strike three to Jones, Cabrera started towards second base. As Jose Lobaton threw to second base, Rodriguez broke to the plate to score the first run for Mississippi. Cabrera was eventually out in the run-down, but the Biscuits trailed, 1-0.

Game two Braves' starter Tim Gustafson tossed four scoreless innings, before the Biscuits finally broke through in the fifth inning. Gustafson walked Fields to start the inning and Jose Lobaton singled behind him to put runners at the corners. Hall struck out, but Pedro Powell connected on a two-run triple to dead-center field that tied the game, 2-2.

Neither starter factored in the game two decision, and the Biscuits grabbed their first lead of the night in the sixth inning. Chris Nowak was the catalyst, singling off reliever Jeff Lyman to lead off the inning. After Fields was hit by a pitch, the two runners moved up to second and third on a wild pitch from Lyman. The Braves elected to walk Lobaton and Hall singled to score Nowak with the game-winning run.

Lyman (5-7) was tagged with the loss, while Eddie Morlan (7-5) earned the win while working two scoreless innings of relief over the fifth and sixth innings.

Matt Gorgen closed out the win to earn his first save at the Double-A level. The Biscuits are now 5-1 in doubleheader games against Mississippi thus far this season.

Game four of the series is scheduled for 7:05 PM on Tuesday night at Trustmark Park. RHP Aneury Rodriguez (6-10, 4.89) will make the start for Montgomery against LHP Edgar Osuna (3-2, 4.08) for Mississippi.

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