Richmond snapped a three-game losing streak with an extra-inning victory in Durham scoring a cheap run in the eleventh inning.
Jamal Strong had led off the top of the 11th inning with a single for the Braves. He was then moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Cesar Crespo. Scott Thorman then grounded a ball to shortstop where B.J. Upton flipped to second to force Kelly Johnson, but then second baseman Luis Rivas threw the ball past first base. The first baseman then got the ball and threw it to second, where he got Thorman, but after Strong had scored the go-ahead run from second base.
Durham had grabbed the early lead roughing up Richmond starter Anthony Lerew for five runs in the first two innings. The Braves then tied the game with one in the third inning off a solo home run by Bill McCarthy and four in the fourth, three coming on McCarthy's second homer of the game.
The Bulls then chased Lerew from the game with two in the bottom of the fourth on a single by Shawn Riggans. Lerew was charged with seven runs (six earned) on eleven hits in three plus innings. His ERA is now at 9.26.
Richmond scored solo runs in the sixth and ninth inning. Kelly Johnson tied the game in the ninth with a RBI double. The Braves then broke the tie in the eleventh frame to win 8-7. Manny Acosta pitched three scoreless innings to pick up the win, his first in Triple-A. Wayne Franklin picked up his second save of the season. Peter Moylan pitched three scoreless innings and Tyler Yates pitched one scoreless frame as the Richmond bullpen pitched a total of eight scoreless innings.
The Braves are now 20-27 on the season. Richmond closes out its series in Durham Friday night with lefty Brian O'Connor on the mound.
Mississippi's struggles continued Thursday night as they were shutout by the Birmingham Barons 8-0 at Trustmark Park in Pearl.
Tyler Lumsden pitched six scoreless innings and out pitched Braves' lefty Chris Waters, who allowed four runs on seven hits in six innings of work. Waters walked two and struck out only one. He took the loss (2-3) and saw his ERA rise to 3.86.
The Braves managed only five hits on the night, with Josh Arteaga getting the only extra base hit. Mississippi has now lost four games in a row and is 17-30 on the season.
Will Startup with the one bright spot for the Braves. He pitched a scoreless inning in the ninth and srtuck out two. Startup's ERA is now 0.72.
Game four of the series against the Barons is Friday night.
The Myrtle Beach Pelicans were off Thursday. They start a three-game weekend series hosting Wilmington Friday night starting at 7:02. James Parr is scheduled to start for the Pelicans, who are 20-25 on the season.
A typical Rome victory on Thursday night: the Braves grabbed an early lead, showed a little power, and had another solid performance from a starter as they beat the Sand Gnats from Savannah 8-3 at State Mutual Stadium.
Rome scored one in the second and three in the third inning to jump out to a 4-0 lead. The early leads have been a staple for the Rome team all season. Jamie Romak then made the score 7-2 with a two-run home run in the fifth inning; it was his fourth of the season. Romak continues to improve his average. He's now at .185 on the season after a horrid start.
Chris Vines had another solid start for the Braves, giving the team six solid innings. Vines allowed just two runs on six hits, two walks, and three strikeouts. He's now 5-1 on the season with an ERA of 3.81.
Devin Anderson continued his solid season. He pitched three innings to pick up his first save of the season. The lefty allowed just one run and struck out five. Anderson now has an ERA of 1.16 on the season.
Elvis Andrus had a big night offensively, going 3-for-5 with a run scored. Elvis's average is now up to .266 on the season. Isaiah Ka'aihue was 2-for-4 with a RBI (36).
The Braves are now 33-13 on the season. They close out the series with the Sand Gnats Friday night at 7:00 with Beau Jones on the hill.
Bill Shanks is the author of Scout's Honor: The Bravest Way To Build A Winning Team, a look inside the Braves‘ traditional scouting and player development philosophies. Email Bill at email@example.com.