Chattanooga, TN (MississippiBraves.com) – 24-hours removed from signing a contract with the Braves out of independent baseball, Andrew Barbosa struck out a dozen Chattanooga Lookouts to lead the Mississippi Braves to a 9-0 win Friday night at AT&T Field.
Barbosa’s 12 strikeouts came two shy of the M-Braves (8-7, 41-42) team record of 14, set by Tommy Hanson in his 2008 no-hitter against Birmingham.
Barbosa finished seven shutout frames, allowing just three hits and walking one in his return to the Southern League. He started the season with the Arizona Diamondbacks’ system in Mobile before signing with the independent Long Island Ducks of the Atlantic League.
Mississippi provided plenty of run support. In the first, KD Kang hit his first of two sacrifice flies on the night to take a 1-0 lead over Lookouts (3-11, 46-36) starter Brett Lee (0-3).
In the fourth, Levi Hyams knocked his first double-A home run, a solo shot to make it 2-0.
Lee allowed two runs, limiting the damage on nine hits, but the Lookouts’ bullpen faltered, walking 10 Braves combined for seven more runs.
Barbosa was perfect through 14 batters and 4 2/3 innings, but with two outs in the fifth Marcus Knecht doubled off the wall in left for the first of Barbosa’s three hits allowed.
The M-Braves stretched the lead to 4-0 with two more in the seventh. Emerson Landoni walked against Jake Reed and Kang singled to move him to second. Kevin Ahrens grounded out to the pitcher for men at second and third.
Rio Ruiz plated his 20th RBI of the year with an RBI single, stretching the lead to 3-0. A batter later, Matt Kennelly reached on a force attempt at second, an errant throw by Steve Wickens to plate another.
Five more came across in the eighth to grow the lead to 9-0, including a Kevin Ahrens home run and six Lookouts walks in the frame. Kang hit his second sac fly of the night to start the scoring, and Ahrens blasted his fourth home run of the year, a two-run shot, to tear the game open. The pen also walked in a run and plated another on a wild pitch.
Jason Hursh and Andrew Robinson each pitched a scoreless inning in relief to close the Braves’ seventh shutout of the season.
The M-Braves go for the series win in the third of five games Saturday night, with first pitch slated for 6:15 PM CT between right-hander Greg Ross (2-8, 5.45) and Lookouts right-hander DJ Baxendale (3-1, 3.64).
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