M-Braves finish off dismal half with a win

Published 12:00 pm Monday, June 21, 2010

The first half of the Southern League season didn’t go the way the Missisippi Braves would have liked, but at least they got to end it with a smile.

Alejandro Machado hit a two-run home run in the first inning and the M-Braves held off a late rally by Carolina to win the finale of a five-game series 5-4 on Sunday.

The win gave Mississippi its first series victory in six tries. The M-Braves hadn’t won a series since taking three out of five from Huntsville May 20-24 at Trustmark Park. They went 7-16 over the last month and finished fourth in the South Division in the first half, with a 30-38 record. Tennessee and Jacksonville won the first-half division titles and clinched a spot in the league playoffs in September.

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The M-Braves have today off, then return home to Pearl on Tuesday to start the second half with a six-game series against Mobile.

The M-Braves got off to a fast start on Sunday, then had to hang on for their second straight win. Machado’s homer gave them a 2-0 lead two batters into the game, they added a single run in the third and two more in the sixth to make it 5-1. Michael Daniel doubled in a run and scored on a double steal in the sixth.

Starter Jacob Thompson (4-5) held Carolina to two runs over 6 2/3 innings, but the bullpen made it interesting at the end. Carolina scored single runs in the seventh and eighth, then cut it to 5-4 on Chris McMurray’s RBI double with one out in the ninth. Reliever Thomas Palica earned his first save, though, by getting Dave Sappelt to fly out and then striking out Kris Negron.