Birmingham (28-20, 61-56) vs. Montgomery (29-19, 63-53) – Game #5 Preview

Game #4 Recap

Birmingham’s recent struggles continued on Sunday afternoon, as the Barons dropped their fifth game in a row, and fourth to Montgomery, 10-6, at Regions Field.

The Barons now trail the Biscuits by one game in the North Division standings. After beginning the second half 16-3, the Barons have gone 12-17 since, including 5-10 in the month of August.

Sloppy defense – including two errors, two passed balls, and several mental mistakes – was a large culprit in the Barons loss. Frankie Montas (4-4) struck out nine batters over five innings, but allowed four runs (two earned) and made a throwing error. Birmingham’s bullpen didn’t do much to keep the team in the game either, as Raul Fernandez allowed three runs in two-thirds of an inning, and Kyle Hansen allowed three more over 2 1/3 innings.

The Barons actually tallied more hits (11) than the Biscuits (9), including home runs from Joey DeMichele and Danny Hayes, but left nine runners on base.

Hayes, Christian Marrero, and Jacob May all recorded multi-hit games for Birmingham.

Read the full game recap here.

Game #4 Highlights

Game #5 Probable Pitchers

  • BIRMINGHAM: Myles Jaye (11-5, 2.93 ERA) – Although Jaye has been outstanding over the second half of the season, he struggled badly his last time out, allowing nine runs (four earned) on 10 hits in just three innings against Pensacola. In 10 home starts, Jaye has gone 5-3 with a 2.76 ERA. In his only start against Montgomery this season, he received a no decision while allowing four earned runs over 6 2/3 innings.
  • MONTGOMERY: Jacob Faria (3-3, 3.28 ERA) – Faria will be making his tenth start with the Biscuits this season, and has allowed an opponents average of just .212 while striking out 59 over 49 1/3 innings. He began the season with High-A Charlotte and dominated the competition over 12 appearances, going 10-1 with a 1.33 ERA.

Game #5 Promotions

  • YP Monday: Presented by YP.

Roster Update: Matt Heidenreich Returns to Birmingham

Right-handed pitcher Matt Heidenreich has joined the Birmingham Barons for the team’s stretch run, it was announced today.

Originally selected by the White Sox in the 4th round of the 2009 draft, Heidenreich appeared in three games (all starts) for the Barons in 2012, going 1-2 while allowing 12 earned runs over 18 1/3 innings for a 5.89 ERA. On July 22 of that same year, he was shipped to Houston as part of the deal that brought Brett Myers to Chicago.

After over two seasons with Houston, the Astros elected to release Heidenreich, and he rejoined the White Sox on a minor league contract in December 2014.

This season, with High-A Winston-Salem, Heidenreich started 21 games, going 12-3 with a 2.76 ERA over 130 2/3 innings. He struck out 103 batters while walking just 23.

To make room for him on the Barons roster, LHP Devon Davis was reassigned to Low-A Kannapolis. In 16 games with the Barons this season, Davis struggled to a 4.71 ERA (11 earned runs in 21 innings) while walking 25 batters and allowing an opponents average of .337.


Birmingham (28-19, 61-55) vs. Montgomery (28-19, 62-53) – Game #4 Preview

Game #3 Recap

Two home runs from Danny Hayes and the largest crowd in Regions Field history wasn’t enough to propel the Barons to victory on Saturday night, as they saw a three-run, ninth inning lead collapse before falling to Montgomery, 7-6, in 12 innings.

It was a brutal loss for the Barons, who now find themselves in a first-place tie with the Biscuits after dropping the first three games of the series.

Hayes got the Barons on the board first in the fourth inning with a solo home run, before Montgomery answered back with runs in the sixth and seventh to take a 2-1 lead.

But Hayes quickly gave the sellout crowd more to cheer about, as he ripped a grand slam over the right field wall in the bottom of the seventh to put Birmingham up 5-2.

Unfortunately for the Barons, the bullpen couldn’t hang on to the lead, as Peter Tago gave up three runs in the ninth and Tim Crabbe (2-2) allowed two in the 12th. The Barons got one back in the bottom half of the inning, and were threatening to tie and extend the game, but Tony Thomas was picked off at first base to end the game.

Read the full game recap here.

Game #3 Highlights

Game #4 Probable Pitchers

  • BIRMINGHAM: Frankie Montas (4-3, 2.59 ERA) – After a rough outing against Tennessee, Montas rebounded in his most recent appearance against Pensacola, allowing just one unearned run over five innings while striking out five and earning the win. In his only appearance against the Biscuits this season, Montas received a no decision after allowing three runs (two earned) over 4.1 innings. Montas has a 2.28 ERA over 11 starts at Regions Field this season.
  • MONTGOMERY: Chris Kirsch (1-2, 4.97 ERA) – Kirsch is another recent addition to the Biscuits, having begun the season with High-A Charlotte, where he posted a 2.98 ERA over 81.2 innings. He hasn’t yet found the same success in Montgomery, having allowed two or more runs in all five of his starts thus far, and making it through six innings just twice. Kirsch has been much better in his three road starts, recording a 3.71 ERA.

Game #4 Promotions

  • Salute to Armed Forces Sunday: Show your military ID to receive $2 off regular-priced tickets, presented by The Home Depot and NAPA.

Birmingham (28-18, 61-54) vs. Montgomery (27-19, 61-53) – Game #3 Preview

Game #2 Recap

Austin Pruitt turned in a dominant outing against Birmingham on Friday night, as the Biscuits pulled to within one game of the Barons in the North Division standings with a 6-1 win at Regions Field.

Pruitt (8-5) allowed just one run on seven hits over eight innings, before Ryan Garton threw a scoreless ninth.

Robinson Leyer (1-1) made it just three innings for the Barons, allowing five runs, all of which came in the third inning.

Tony Bucciferro had another strong relief outing, allowing just one run in five innings.

Tim Anderson finished 3-for-4 on a night where Birmingham’s lone run came on an RBI groundout from Adrian Nieto.

Read the full game recap here.

Game #3 Probable Pitchers

  • BIRMINGHAM: Mark Blackmar (5-5, 3.51 ERA) – After a stellar month of June (1.09 ERA) and a strong July (3.10 ERA), Blackmar has struggled through two starts in August, allowing eight runs in 16 hits in just 10 innings. He received a no decision in his lone start against Montgomery back on May 7, allowing six runs (three earned) over five innings.
  • MONTGOMERY: Taylor Guerrieri (1-1, 2.77 ERA) – Guerrieri is making just his fourth Double-A start, and has allowed just a .196 opponent’s batting average. The former first-round pick began the season with High-A Charlotte, where he went 2-2 with a 2.14 ERA over 42 innings. In 2013, with Bowling Green, he was a mid-season All-Star in the Midwest League, and was also selected for the Futures Game.

Game #3 Promotions

  • Star Wars Night: Pose for pictures with your favorite characters from the Star Wars movies on the concourse throughout the game, presented by Kulture City.
  • Pyro-Palooza VIII: The biggest fireworks show of the season synced to music from the Star Wars movies, presented by Tom Williams BMW.
  • Faith Night: Church groups of 10 or more receive $2 off of regular-priced tickets.
  • Grill Giveaway: One lucky fan will have the chance to take home a brand-new grill, presented by All-South Appliance.

Birmingham (28-17, 61-53) vs. Montgomery (26-19, 60-53) – Game #2 Preview

Game #1 Recap

The Barons started off a crucial series on the wrong foot on Thursday night, falling to Montgomery, 4-1, at Regions Field.

The Biscuits now trail the Barons by just two games in the North Division, with nine head-to-head match-ups remaining.

Tyler Danish (7-9) lost for the fourth times in five games, allowing four runs on eight hits over six innings.

Of course, it didn’t help that he didn’t get any help from his offense, as the Barons recorded just seven hits – five singles and two doubles.

Birmingham’s only run of the game came when Adrian Nieto scrambled home on a passed ball in the the seventh inning.

Biscuits starter Jaime Schultz (7-5) was excellent all evening, allowing just the one unearned run over seven innings, while striking out seven.

Read the full game recap here.

Game #2 Probable Pitchers

  • BIRMINGHAM: Robinson Leyer (1-0, 5.01 ERA) – Leyer will be making his sixth start with the Barons tonight, and has posted mixed results thus far. Although he started his Birmingham tenure with strong results, he was rocked for six earned runs over just four innings in his most recent start against Pensacola. He’s been very strong in his two starts at Regions Field, allowing just two runs over ten innings.
  • MONTGOMERY: Austin Pruitt (7-5, 3.02 ERA) – Pruitt has been very consistent for the Biscuits this season, constantly giving his team a chance to win the game. He’s been excellent over his past two starts, allowing only two runs over 12 innings, and has a 2.70 ERA over his past ten starts. One of his worst starts of the season happened to come against the Barons on May 9, where he allowed four runs on ten hits over five innings and took the loss.

Game #2 Promotions

  • Kevan Smith Barons Adult Football Jersey Giveaway: Given to the first 1,000 fans 13 and older, presented by Sheraton.
  • Football Kick-Off Night: Meet all of your favorite college mascots on the concourse throughout the game.

Birmingham (28-16, 61-52) vs. Montgomery (25-19, 59-53) – Series Preview

Montgomery visits Regions Field to face Birmingham in what is far and away the biggest series of the season so far for either team. The Barons have led the North Division from day one of the second half, but the Biscuits have continued to hang around in the rear-view mirror, and enter this series with just a three-game deficit.

The Biscuits enter on a four-game winning streak, having taken four out of five against Jacksonville. The Barons, meanwhile, lost their second consecutive series, as the Blue Wahoos took three out of five, including a 13-10 victory in the rubber game on Tuesday.

The two teams have faced off in just one series so far this year, way back in May, with the Barons dropping the first two before winning three straight. The two teams will end the season with another five-game series in Montgomery, which will almost certainly decide which team wins the second-half North Division title.

Southern League Second-Half Standings

Southern League North
Club W L PCT GB ELIM # Home Away L 10 Streak
Birmingham Barons (CWS) 28 16 .636 13-7 15-9 4-6 L1
Montgomery Biscuits (TB) 25 19 .568 3.0 24 19-6 6-13 5-5 W4
Tennessee Smokies (CHC) 23 22 .511 5.5 21 14-8 9-14 7-3 W1
* Chattanooga Lookouts (MIN) 19 25 .432 9.0 17 9-13 10-12 5-5 L1
Jackson Generals (SEA) 15 30 .333 13.5 12 6-15 9-15 5-5 W2
Southern League South
Club W L PCT GB ELIM # Home Away L 10 Streak
Mississippi Braves (ATL) 27 19 .587 14-11 13-8 7-3 W2
Pensacola Blue Wahoos (CIN) 26 20 .565 1.0 24 14-6 12-14 6-4 L1
Mobile BayBears (ARI) 25 20 .556 1.5 23 14-11 11-9 3-7 L4
* Biloxi Shuckers (MIL) 22 23 .489 4.5 20 10-10 12-13 5-5 W1
Jacksonville Suns (MIA) 15 31 .326 12.0 13 10-15 5-16 2-8 L5

Tuesday’s Highlights

Biscuits to Watch

  • Daniel Robertson, SS: Robertson, in his first season at the Double-A level, is currently ranked as the #1 prospect in Tampa Bay’s system by by Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus. The shortstop was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the first round (34th overall) in 2012, and was traded to Tampa in January 2015 along with Boog Powell in exchange for Ben Zobrist and Yunel Escobar. He’s played in just 55 games for the Biscuits this season due to injury, and has hit .265/.343/.416. With the High-A Stockton Ports last season, he hit a fantastic .310/.402/.471 with 15 home runs and 60 RBIs.
  • Justin O’Connor, C: O’Connor was also a first-round pick, being selected 31st overall by Tampa in 2010. Currently a top-five prospect for the Rays (#3 for BP, #5 for BA), O’Connor is struggling through a rough season, hitting just .223/.249/.375 in 86 games. He had his best season as a professional in 2014, hitting .278/.316/.466 between High-A and Double-A.

Game #1 Probable Pitchers

  • BIRMINGHAM: Tyler Danish (7-8, 4.93 ERA) – After showing some signs of rebounding in mid-July, Danish has struggled again through two starts in August, allowing seven earned runs on 16 hits over nine innings. Over his past ten starts, he’s been knocked around to a 6.10 ERA, and has nearly as many walks (30) as he has strikeouts (31). This will be the first time Danish has faced off against the Biscuits.
  • MONTGOMERY: Jaime Schultz (6-5, 4.02 ERA) – Schultz has had a similar season to Danish, in that he got off to a very good start, but has struggled as the summer has dragged on, recording a 4.97 ERA over six July starts, and a 5.32 ERA over his past ten starts. Shultz did face Birmingham on May 6, and tossed 6.2 scoreless innings while allowing only two hits and striking out five.

Game #1 Promotions

  • Thirsty Thursday: $2 beer and wine specials, presented by Liv Parkside, Miller Lite, Woodbridge, and Buffalo Wild Wings.
  • Thursday Night Concert Series: Presented by Birmingham Mountain Radio and Tin Roof.
  • YP Night: Presented by YP.

Birmingham (28-15, 61-51) @ Pensacola (25-19, 50-62) – Game #5 Preview

The Series So Far

The Barons and Blue Wahoos have split the opening four games of the series, with Pensacola taking the first two games (5-3 and 8-7) and the Barons winning the next two (3-2 and 7-2). Birmingham used a three-hit game from Tim Anderson and four no-hit innings from Tim Crabbe to defeat Pensacola on national television on Sunday, and followed it up with a five-run first inning on Monday, along with a strong pitching performance from Frankie Montas.

Birmingham continues to lead Montgomery by four games in the North Division, while Pensacola is in the midst of a very tight race in the South Division, currently tied for second with Mississippi and just 0.5 games behind Mobile.

Series Highlights

Game #5 Probable Pitchers

  • BIRMINGHAM: Myles Jaye (11-4, 2.70) – Jaye, who currently leads the Southern League in wins, has been one of the best pitchers in Minor League Baseball over the second half of the season, going 6-1 with a 1.91 ERA over eight starts and 47 innings since the All-Star break. In his most recent start against Tennessee, he allowed two earned runs in five innings while striking out three, and the Barons went on to win in extra innings. He’s faced Pensacola only once this season, way back on April 22, and threw six scoreless innings while picking up his first win of the year.
  • PENSACOLA: Barrett Astin (3-3, 4.21 ERA) – Astin began the season with High-A Daytona, where he went 4-3 with a 2.29 ERA before being promoted. Astin has made just eight starts with the Blue Wahoos, and took the loss in his lone start against the Barons after allowing three earned runs over six innings.

Get to Know: Jacob May

Jacob May returned to the Barons on July 24 after a nearly two-month layoff. (Michael Wade)

Barons center fielder and White Sox top-10 prospect Jacob May was in the midst of a breakout season with the Barons prior to a scary collision with Tim Anderson on June 2nd that left him concussed and sidelined for nearly two months. Prior to the injury, May was hitting .311/.359/.359 with 25 stolen bases.

May returned to the Barons on July 24, and while he has yet to find that same groove at the plate, his presence has definitely benefited the team as they enter the stretch run while continuing to fight for the second-half North Division title.

Where were you born?

Williamsport, PA

Where do you live in the off-season?

Cincinnati, OH

Where did you attend college?

Coastal Carolina University

Who was your favorite baseball player growing up?

Ken Griffey, Jr.

Who was your biggest influence?

My parents

What’s your favorite sport other than baseball?


What’s your favorite song?

50 Cent – Many Men

What’s your favorite movie?

The Matrix

What’s your favorite thing to do other than playing baseball?

Going to the beach

What other hobbies do you have?

Movies, PlayStation 4, Playing with dogs

What’s your Twitter handle?


If you could have dinner with any three people, who would they be?

Michael Jordan, Ken Griffey Jr., Jesus


For more about Jacob May, check out Curt Bloom’s in-depth interview with him below.

Roster Update: Tony Thomas Joins Birmingham

The White Sox have signed utility player Tony Thomas and assigned him to Birmingham, where he’ll take the roster spot of Brian Fletcher, who was placed on the disabled list on Tuesday.

For Thomas, a seasoned minor league veteran at the age of 29, Chicago will be his third organization of the season. He began the year with Philadelphia playing for Double-A Reading, where he hit .225/.271/.388 in 25 games before being released. He then quickly signed a minor league deal with Detroit, and hit .258/.314/.439 with seven homers for Double-A Erie. In his first game with the Barons on Wednesday night, Thomas went 1-for-4 with a strikeout, playing third base.

Originally a third-round draft pick by the Chicago Cubs out of Florida State in 2007, Thomas has experience at second, third, short, and outfield, and will likely be used in several of those roles with Birmingham.

Birmingham (25-12, 58-48) @ Tennessee (17-20, 56-50) – Game #4 Preview

Game #3 Recap

Birmingham fell to Tennessee in a tight contest on Tuesday night, 6-5, at Smokies Park, falling behind in the series, two games to one.

The Barons pounded out nine hits, and five different players recorded an RBI, but it wasn’t enough as the Smokies pounded Mark Blackmar (5-5) for six runs on eight hits over six innings.

Danny Hayes led Birmingham’s offense, going 3-for-4 with a double, two runs scored and an RBI, while Tim Anderson recorded his tenth triple of the season.

Catcher Jeremy Dowdy went 1-for-3 in his first game with the Barons this season.

Read the full game recap here.

Game #4 Probable Pitchers

  • BIRMINGHAM: Frankie Montas (3-2, 2.43 ERA) – Montas is coming off just his second loss of the year, where he allowed four runs (two earned) on eight hits to Mississippi, but also struck out seven while walking just one. Montas has lived up to the hype of his prospect status, as he’s allowed more than two earned runs on only three occasions this season, and all three of those games came before the end of May. Over his last ten starts, Montas has gone 3-1 with a 1.69 ERA.
  • MISSISSIPPI: Ryan Williams (5-2, 3.33 ERA) – Williams’ numbers look pretty impressive since joining the Smokies, but if you look at his stint with the South Bend Cubs of the Midwest League from earlier the season, they’re downright ridiculous. In nine games (eight starts) with the Cubs, the right-hander allowed just seven earned runs over 53.2 innings for a 1.19 ERA, had an opponents average of just .190, a WHIP of 0.71, struck out 37 batters, and walked only two. While he hasn’t dominated to that extent in the Southern League, he’s still turned in a solid stat line that would look even better if not for a rough outing against Montgomery his last time out.

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