[Via email from the Montgomery Biscuits' broadcaster Jon Laaser.]
The Mobile BayBears held off a late-charge from the Biscuits and earned a 5-4 win in game one of a five-game series at Hank Aaron Stadium on Thursday night.
After starters Cody Evans and Aneury Rodriguez traded two scoreless innings, the Biscuits jumped on top in the third. Pedro Powell drew a one-out walk and promptly stole second base. A batter later, Chris Nowak brought him in with an RBI single back up the middle, giving the Biscuits a 1-0 lead.
The lead was short-lived for Rodriguez and the Biscuits as the BayBears came back in the bottom of the inning. Matt Tupman and Chris Rahl supplied back-to-back singles to start the inning and were sacrificed to second and third by Evan Frey. Mark Hallberg then rolled a two-run single back over the mound to give the BayBears a 2-1 lead.
Frey, making his first start since August 15th, worked just three innings. He didn't factor in the decision, allowing the lone run on two hits, walking two and striking out two.
Roque Mercedes (1-0) entered in relief and worked two scoreless innings of relief. That service included escaping a jam in the fifth inning, with Biscuits at second and third and one down. That jam was created by two errors in the inning from the BayBears. He earned his first victory of the season.
Rodriguez kept it a one-run game until things unraveled in the sixth inning. Ricardo Sosa singled to start the inning and advanced to second base on an error on Matt Fields. Cyle Hankerd walked behind him to put two aboard. Orlando Mercado sent a ground ball to second base, which Cody Cipriano sent to Jason Bowers, attempting to start a double-play. Bowers got the first out, but lost the handle, attempting the relay. As the ball rolled away, Sosa came in to score. Mercado reached at first base, and was aboard when Tupman belted his first home run of the season to right field to extend the BayBears' advantage to 5-1.
The home run also chased Rodriguez (9-11), who lost in his final start of the season, allowing five earned runs over 5 2/3 innings. He did match a season-high with seven strikeouts, despite his 11th loss of the season.
The Biscuits attempted to rally in the eighth inning against reliever Daniel Stange. A walk to Jose Lobaton to open the inning, led to three runs for Montgomery, with JT Hall supplying a two-run single and Jason Bowers adding an RBI single.
However, Reid Mahon relieved Stange and pulled the win out of the fire for Mobile, by ending the Biscuits' threat in the eighth and working a perfect ninth to preserve the victory. Mahon earned his second save of the season.
Game two of the series is scheduled for 7:05 PM on Friday night at Hank Aaron Stadium. LHP Ryan Morse (4-6, 4.93) will make the start for the Biscuits against RHP Cody Evans (5-11, 5.45) for Mobile.