Starter Jacob Turner got off to a rough start and the Knights could not recover as they dropped the Sunday finale to the Gwinnett Braves. Turner gave up four runs in first two innings, but to his credit composed himself to throw a scoreless 3rd, 4th, and 5th inning. Michael Ynoa came on in relief and was fantastic, tossing two scoreless inning and only allowing one hit while striking out two. Lefty Matt Purke finished the game off with a scoreless inning of his own, lowering his season ERA to 1.80.
The Knights will give Chris Volstad the ball Monday on the road against Norfolk.
Catcher Chris O’Dowd was the hero for the Barons on Sunday as he drove in the decisive runs in the top of the 10th to win the game against Montgomery. O’Dowd was signed as a minor league free agent in the off-season and was only playing in his fourth game as a Baron as being promoted from the Dash and is hitting a cool .455. To add the improbability, O’Dowd did not start the game and only entered it for Jeremy Dowdy as a pinch runner in the 9th. Starting catcher Jeremy Dowdy went 1-3 and is now hitting .304/.360/.478 on the season. While the Birmingham catchers are on fire, you can’t say the same for Arizona Fall League MVP Adam Engel. Engel had a productive game on Sunday, going 1-4 with a walk, but is in a deep slump so far this season, batting .170/.314/.310.
Barons starter Blair Walters matched a career high by striking out ten batters over 5.1 innings and surrendered three runs. Nolan Sanburn was the first man out of the pen and threw 1.2 innings and gave up one run. Brian Clark pitched a scoreless inning and lowered his season ERA to 0.52. Clark has given one run and one walk over 17.1 innings this season and is showing no signs of slowing down as he has thrown eight consecutive shutout innings. It was Matt Lollis who earned the win however, as he threw two perfect innings to close the game out.
The Barons will send Tyler Danish to the mound against Jackson on Monday.
Spencer Adams was roughed up by a stacked Salem Red Sox lineup that features three hitters that are ranked in the top 25 in baseball according to MLB.com. Adams gave up six runs on ten hits over six innings raising his ERA to 4.38. Andre Wheeler could not do much better, allowing two runs during his two innings of work thanks to three walks. First baseman Keon Barnum was activated off the DL and made his first appearance of the season by going 2-5. The former 2012 compensation 1st round pick is in a make or break year as he has yet to advance past A+ ball since first arriving in Winston-Salem in 2014.
Winston-Salem has Monday off before heading to Myrtle Beach where Brandon Brennan hopes to get the Dash off a slide that includes seven losses in their past eight contests.
Johnathan Frebis turned in an excellent start where he allowed one unearned run on just three hits, no walks, and struck out four over six innings. Frebis has been dominant over his past three starts, only allowing two earned runs on six hits and two walks spanning 14.1 innings. Frebis was a 33rd round draft pick last year and was used exclusively out of the bullpen in 2015. Reliever Jack Charleston tossed two scoreless innings and closer Taylore Cherry earned his third save of the season.
Third baseman Cody Daily led the offense by going 3-4 with a double and Antonio Rodriguez and Dante Flores both chipped in two hits. Rodriguez also gunned down a runner at home in the 7th to cap off a solid overall day.
The Intimidators and Lakewood face off again on Monday with Luis Martinez getting the start.
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