Alexander homer seals M-Braves win
PEARL, Miss. - C.J. Alexander hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth inning on Saturday night, which was enough to give the Mississippi Braves a 2-1 victory over the Chatanooga Lookouts at Trustmark Park. The 4,027 fans were treated with great pitching, defense, and the M-Braves’ (7-10) third win of the homestand.
In a game that was billed to be a pitcher’s duel between Odalvi Javier and Hunter Greene, neither disappointed. Greene, Cincinnati’s second-overall selection in 2017, dazzled a fastball that touched 102 on the gun. Greene settled for a no-decision after throwing a season-high 99 pitches, walking five, striking out eight, and giving up one run on four hits over 5.1 innings.
Javier threw a season-high 70 pitches and gave up just one run on six hits over 4.0 innings, walking two, striking out three, and lowering his ERA to 1.74.
Again, the Braves bullpen stole the show with 5.0 shutout innings on two hits with five strikeouts. Sean McLaughlin (W, 2-0) tossed 2.0 scoreless in the fifth and sixth with one walk and one strikeout behind Javier to keep the game at 1-0.
Alexander was the first to face reliever Wes Robertson (L, 0-1) in the sixth inning, and greeted him with a 401-foot, two-run blast to the left-field berm, giving the M-Braves a 2-1 lead. Shea Langeliers singled against Greene to reach base and score on the home run. Langeliers reached base twice on Saturday and boasts a .375 on-base percentage.
That was enough for relievers Will Latchum (H, 1) and Brandon White (S, 2) to close out the win. White pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth, giving up just one walk and striking out two, to secure his third save, which is good for a second-place tie in the Double-A South.
The game also featured quite possibly the best catch of the year in minor league baseball. Chattanooga left-fielder T.J. Hopkins robbed the M-Braves’ Trey Harris of at least extra bases by crashing through the Braves bullpen door to make a grab in the seventh inning. Hopkins held onto the ball while disappearing into the bullpen and keeping the game at 2-1. Harris finished the night 1-for-4 with a third-inning double.
The Mississippi Braves and Chattanooga Lookouts wrap up the six-game series on Sunday afternoon at 2:05 pm. The M-Braves will send out RHP A.J. Puckett to make his Double-A debut against Chattanooga RHP Randy Wynne (0-0, 11.57). Gates will open at 1:00 pm.
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