Series Preview: Generals’ May slate begins in Mobile

 

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Jamie Westbrook had a great week against Biloxi and Chattanooga, winning Southern League Player of the Week honors with 13 hits in 7 games.

 

May began on a Monday for the Generals, and it felt like one, too. Following a 56-degree first-pitch temperature under a cloudy Jackson sky, Double-A’s Diamondbacks dropped a 5-2 decision against the Chattanooga Lookouts, losing the series 3-2. The chilly finale marked only the second time in 24 games that the Generals had been defeated on back-to-back days, and they can still count the Southern League’s best winning percentage among their first-month accomplishments. However, the balancing act continues for first-year-at-Double-A manager J.R. House, whose roster has been hamstrung lately by injuries and, consequently, the continuing quest for consistency.

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Homestand primer: One-run-ready Generals host Chattanooga

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Gabriel Moya leads the Generals with 3 saves in 2017, playing a critical role in half of Jackson’s six one-run victories so far. (Photo credit: Cody Cunningham)

Show me a sports fan who doesn’t like a close game, and I’ll show you somebody who’s not being honest. (Spoiler alert: they’re the same person!)

Through 19 games so far in 2017, a single run has decided ten of the Jackson Generals’ contests, most of any team in the Southern League. Manager J.R. House squeezed four wins out of the team’s most recent series with Biloxi, with two of those wins coming 1-0 and 6-5 on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Generals won their second road series despite having two players, starting pitcher Brad Keller and catcher Michael Perez, sent to the seven-day disabled list.

On offense, the Generals’ run production continues to swing back and forth between a dripping faucet and a gushing fire-hose. Jason Camilli’s hitters mixed their three one-run games against the Shuckers with a pair of victories by six or more runs. Even the pitchers got in on the action at the plate, with a multi-hit game from Josh Taylor and a home run from Gabe Speier in the Generals’ first series batting their arms since 2006. The Generals (13-6) remain atop the Southern League in batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage, though the team has hit just .279 over their last ten games.

From the hill, Doug Drabek’s young charges largely dominated the Southern League’s weakest hitting team, shutting out Biloxi 11-0 and 1-0 on consecutive days. Gabriel Moya’s consecutive saves have paced the Generals’ bullpen this week, which has stranded more than half of their inherited runners this season. With Keller on the DL, Ivan Pineyro stepped in to throw 6.2 innings with only one run allowed on Wednesday, posting his best Double-A outing since he pitched for the Tennessee Smokies in 2015.

Chattanooga (9-11), with whom Jackson split 25 games last year 14-11, is in a bit stronger position than Biloxi. According to MLB.com, the Lookouts feature six of the Minnesota Twins’ top-10 prospects, led by top overall Minnesota prospect Nick Gordon. The shortstop is tied for the Southern League batting average lead (.338) with Generals infielder Colin Walsh, and the Chattanooga pitching staff boasts two prospects, left-hander Tyler Jay and right-hander Kohl Stewart, who were first-round draft picks. The Lookouts are on a three-game slide, having dropped four of five against Tennessee after rainouts forced them to play a pair of double-headers on Monday and Tuesday.

Here’s a look at the pitching battles:

Thu., 4/27 6:05 pm CT vs. Chattanooga LHP Alex Young

(1-0, 1.84 ERA)

vs. RHP Paul Clemens

(1-0, 2.35 ERA)

Fri., 4/28 6:05 pm CT vs. Chattanooga RHP Taylor Clarke

(1-1, 3.38 ERA)

vs. TBA (Chattanooga Lookouts)
Sat., 4/29 6:05 pm CT vs. Chattanooga LHP Josh Taylor

(2-1, 2.25 ERA)

vs. RHP Kohl Stewart

(0-4, 6.46 ERA)

Sun., 4/30 2:05 pm CT vs. Chattanooga RHP Brooks Hall

(1-0, 5.06 ERA )

vs. LHP Matt Tracy

(1-1, 1.53 ERA)

Mon., 5/1 11:05 am CT vs. Chattanooga TBA vs. RHP Fernando Romero

(1-3, 3.44 ERA)

Thursday’s 6:05 pm CT opener is a Thrifty Thursday, with $2 deals on general admission tickets, hot dogs, popcorn, 24-oz. soda, 16-oz. beer, ice cream and Fun Zone access! Fans can get reserved seats for only $6! Friday is another Leaders Credit Union Food Truck Friday, and the Generals will once again play as the Hub City Hippos.

Saturday, April 29 is the second Fireworks Show of 2017! It’s MuscFest night, and lucky fans will have the opportunity to win tickets to various concerts! In addition, the first 500 families through the gate will take home a 2016 Southern League Championship blanket! The series wraps up with an Education Day, May 1! That Monday, students get in free with their class and lunch packs will be available for just $6!

Make sure to get your tickets now to see the 20th season of professional baseball in Jackson, and the first for the team as an affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks! Call the team at (731) 988.5299, stop by The Ballpark or go online to jacksongeneralsbaseball.com to secure your seats now!