The Jackson Generals lost to the Mississippi Braves in 12 innings by a score of 3-2 on Friday.
Brandon Maurer’s outing didn’t stay out the way he wanted it, as two weak hits got runners at 1st and 3rd to start the game. He then got a whiff on his changeup and a line drive right at the shortstop Gabriel Noriega. He then induced a ground-ball, something Maurer does reasonably well, and got a double play to end the inning. He hit 93 MPH on his fastball pretty consistently according to the radar gun. It had good moving and sinking action when he kept it low. Maurer’s curveball was staying up at times but had good break and was getting him whiffs. He was missing quite a bit of bats. He then proceeded to get a ton of weak contact over the next few innings. He started off the 4th with a full count and then a fastball right on the high outside corner to the right-handed batter for a looking strikeout. A hanging breaking ball turned into a single, but the runner tried to make it a double. Johermyn Chavez (who didn’t look as good at the plate as he did before his injury. His swing looked really long, wasn’t hitting the ball hard, and swinging and missing. He was pretty patient though) made a very strong throw from the outfield to nail him. Maurer had a short bout of control issues in the 5th, but it only lasted for 2 batters and he got one of them out. He ended up picking off the guy he walked. After an easy 6th, Maurer got 2 straight fly-ball outs in the 7th on balls the outfielders had to come in on. He then got a quick grounder to end the inning. In the 7th, he gave up his first run on a double that wasn’t hit particularly hard to left field.
In his first at-bat, Stefen Romero hit a homer. On his 2nd at-bat, he was fouled on a 1-1 breaking ball and swung and missed. He would end up hitting a weak ground-ball in the at-bat. Rich Poythress got under a ball and hit a fly-ball the other way. Despite getting behind 0-2 in his next at-bat, he hit a grounder down the line for a double. Defensively, a hard grounder got under his glove. He probably should have made the play. Kalian Sams had a big whiff for a strikeout. He also hit a ball hard to left field. Defensively in left field he showed some good routes and decent range. Jesus Sucre had an extremely good looking swing on a double to the wall that almost left the park for a homer.
If I haven’t mentioned it before, I love Noriega at shortstop. He is one of the better defenders I have seen in the minors all year. One ball did get under his glove, but it was crushed and ruled a base hit. He made up for it later in the inning by gunning down a runner at the plate. With the bat, he hasn’t been very impressive at all and Friday was no different. He did have a long at-bat where he worked a full count and then hit a ball to the warning track. Chris Petit was swinging under the ball, and he also chased some breaking balls, something he usually doesn’t do. Nate Tenbrink got ahead 2-0 in his 2nd at-bat, got the fastball and fouled it off. He then checked his swing on an outside fastball and hit a good pitch on 3-1. Leury Bonilla had some contact problems and didn’t have a good looking swing. He is a pretty aggressive hitter, and he ended up chasing a 2-2 change in the dirt to strikeout. His next at-bat ended after one pitch when he hit a weak grounder.
Mauricio Robles had some control problems but got a double play and a strikeout. Yeorvis Medina looked good again, with good breaking stuff and getting whiffs on his fastball. Jonathan Arias was hitting 92 MPH, but the right-hander walked the lead-off hitter. He got around it by getting two weak ground-outs and a fly-out.
Carter Capps came in to pitch the 12th with a 1 run lead and as usual, was hitting 100 MPH. He hadn’t given up an earned run since April 29th. He blew away the first hitter he faced, and got ahead of the next hitter 2-2 but had problems putting him away. After a foul, a fastball in the dirt made the count full, followed by another foul. This is where Capps needs a breaking ball. He ended up walking the hitter on an inside fastball. A ground-ball then got through the infield to put runners on 1st and 3rd. Another ground-ball tied the game, and he jammed the next hitter, but yet another ground-ball left the infield, ending the game.
On Saturday, Forrest Snow started for Jackson against the Montgomery Biscuits. Jackson lost 7-2 behind a Snow effort that looked like Tacoma’s Forrest Snow. He walked 5 batters and struck out 3 over 4.2 innings with 2 wild pitches. Moises Hernandez pitched a decent 2.1 innings and Taylor Stanton got a strikeout but gave up a run in an inning of work. Noriega had 2 hits, while Bonilla went 0-4 with 2 strikeouts. Denny Almonte, Petit, and Joe Dunigan also had 2 strikeouts, while Poythress and Ralph Henriquez had the only 2 walks for the team.