Ryan Yarbrough joined forces with three relievers to lead the Double-A Jackson Generals to a 2-0 shutout victory over the Birmingham Barons Friday night.
Yarbrough set the tone early for the Generals, who were playing the role of the dark side on Birmingham's Star Wars night. The 6'5, 205 pound lefty tossed six shutout innings to start the game, racking up seven strikeouts and lowering his season ERA to 3.11 in the process. Most importantly, Yarbrough pitched in a tight game all the way, with his only run of support coming in the second inning when first baseman D.J. Peterson laced a double to center to score Leon Landry.
Ryne Harper took over in the seventh and turned in an impressive scoreless inning, striking out one while keeping the ball glued to the edges on nearly every pitch. In the eighth, the Generals turned to brand new reliever Edwin Diaz, who was making his second relief appearance of the season. Diaz allowed a couple instances of hard contact, but he escaped the inning with a single allowed and nothing more.
The Generals would tack on one more run in the ninth when catcher Steve Baron singled home Landry, giving Jackson a slightly more comfortable 2-0 advantage when they turned the ball over to closer Emilio Pagan.
Pagan, who has been so amazingly stupidly good to start the year, continued to be so amazingly stupidly good. The righty worked a perfect ninth, inducing a fly out from the first hitter before striking out the last two. Pagan now possesses a 0.56 ERA and a 1.99 FIP down in Jackson. Seriously, it's time to bring him up to Tacoma.
The win improves Jackson to 20-13 on the year and keeps them a half-game above Montgomery in the standings.
Some quick notes:
- Catcher Rob Brantly hit his second homer of the season in Triple-A Tacoma's 4-3 loss to Fresno Friday night. His .268/.276/.429 line isn't pretty, and Steve Clevenger is probably going to live to fight many, many more days.
- Eddie Campbell tossed six shutout innings for High-A Bakersfield Blaze in a 4-1 win over Stockton.
- Chantz Mack led the Blaze's offense. Mack finished the day with a double, a home run, and two runs batted in.
- Class-A Clinton had their game rained out. It was indeed Iowa and not heaven