A Week In Review (May 18-24): Birmingham Barons

The Barons had a solid week, going 3-3 with one game not fully reported. Royce Ring compiled several saves and lowered his already miniscule ERA.

On Sunday, the Barons faced off against the Carolina Mudcats, and unfortunately no box score has been archived for this game. I am unsure out of the outcome, and I have exhausted all my resources for checking the score. I apologize for this inconvenience.

Luckily on Monday, the Barons box score was reported, and the Barons held on to beat Tennessee 8-7. Lefty Neal Cotts (6-1) pitched five strong innings, yielding three hits while striking out nine batters; Cotts walked none. Relievers Jim Bullard and Matt Smith came in and gave up six runs, all earned, before Royce Ring came in and slammed the door for his 10th save of the season. Offensively, Guillermo Reyes launched his first home run of the season, and first baseman Gabe Alvarez launched his third of the year. Alvarez had three runs driven in, while Chris Saunders had two of his own.

The Barons did not let up on Tuesday, as their bats pummeled Tennessee to a 10-4 win. Enemencio Pacheco (4-0) picked up the win for the Barons going six strong innings, giving up only one earned run. Clay Eason picked up his first save of the year pitching the three remaining innings. Pacheco got all the run support he needed from the Barons offense, as every member in the Barons lineup had at least one hit. Darron Ingram led the way with three hits, while Guillermo Reyes, Gabe Alvarez, Jon Acevas, Carlos Maldonado, Ryan Hankins, and Juan Piniella all had two hits. Hankins drove in the most runs with three, while Piniella had two of his own.

The Barons finally faltered on Wednesday, falling to Tennessee 7-4. Starter Dennis Ulacia was rocked yet again, giving up five hits, four walks, and two earned runs in only four innings of work. Jake Meyer (1-1) gave up three earned runs in the 8th to pick up the loss. The Barons offense was on fire yet again, hammering out 12 hits, but leaving 12 men on base. Once again, Gabe Alvarez led the way with three hits, and Danny Sandoval had two of his own, as well as two RBIs.

The Barons-Tennessee game was one of two games not postponed by weather in the Southern League, and this was a very good thing, as the Barons rallied for three runs in the top of the 9th to win 5-4. Tetsu Yofu had a shaky outing, giving up four earned runs over 6 1/3 innings. Yofu walked four, gave up a home run, and struck out two. Matt Smith (1-0) came in in the 8th, and pitched a scoreless frame for the win. The Barons O was dormant for the first eight innings of the game, but came to life in the 9th. A Ryan Hankins homerun was the exclamation point in the 9th, giving the Barons the lead they would not relinquish. Royce Ring came in for the 9th, and picked up his 11th save of the year.

A solid outing by Brian West (2-4) was spoiled on Friday, as Mobile defeated the Barons 2-0. West gave up only two earned runs in his six innings of work, but it was not enough. The offense for the Barons managed only five hits, four of them were singles. Scott Bikowski led the Barons with two hits, while Juan Piniella, Gabe Alvarez, and Ryan Hankins all had one each.

The Barons ended the week on a sour note, losing to Mobile 5-2. Neal Cotts (6-2) has his second shaky outing of the year, going 5 2/3 innings and giving up five earned runs. Cotts gave up seven hits, walked three, and only struck out two Mobile batters. Relievers Jeff Bajenaru and Jim Bullard pitched the remaining 2 1/3 innings, giving up nothing. The top of the order drove in the only two runs for the Barons, as 10 men were left on base. Carlos Maldonado had three hits for the Barons, none drew in any runs.

The Barons will try to improve upon their record this week against the following opponents:

5/25 @Mobile
5/26 @Mobile
5/27 – 5/31 vs. Huntsville

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