Pirates, Astros tied for top spot in Babe Ruth
By By SCOTT COOPER – Sports Writer
The Pirates notched consecutive wins over the past week, including a victory over the previously unbeaten Astros, to surge into a tie for the top spot in the Brewton Babe Ruth standings.
Both the Pirates and Astros sit atop the six-team league with 4-1 records. Holding down the third place position after two straight victories are the Blue Jays (3-2). The Angels and Brewers both hold 2-3 marks and follow in the standings while the Devil Rays have yet to break into the win column and bring up the rear at 0-5.
Astros 12, Devil Rays 5
With a decisive win over the Devil Rays on May 13, the Astros kept their unbeaten record and league-leading position intact.
Although the Astros outhit the Devil Rays by only a 10 to 9 margin, they got more mileage out their offensive production in notching a 12-5 win. Holding a 2-1 lead after two innings, the Astros scored a couple of runs in both the third and fourth innings before a four-run barrage in the fifth put the game out of reach.
Astros' starting pitcher Jimmy Jones went six innings in recording the win. Jones allowed only two earned runs on six hits and struck-out four.
Devil Ray offensive leaders were Wesley Booker, 1-for-1; Caleb Dixon, 1-for-1; Blake Bradley, 1-for-1; Fred Samuel, 2-for-3 with one RBI and Nick Stanley, 1-for-2.
Astros' offensive leaders were Ryne Hand, 1-for-1 with one RBI; Matt Hamric, 1-for-1; Mikel Riggs, 2-for-3; Jordan Cauley, 2-for-4 with four RBIs; Brad Smith, 1-for-2 with one RBI and Jimmy Jones, 1-for-2.
Pirates 16, Brewers 4
The Pirates made sure the Astros' lead in the standings did not lengthen when they notched an impressive May 13 victory over the Brewers. The win allowed the Pirates to remain just a game behind the Astros with a May 16 matchup between the two teams on the horizon.
Against the Brewers, the Pirates belted 10 base hits and took advantage of 10 Brewer errors to score a 16-4 win in a game called after five innings due to the 10-run rule. Leading 2-0 at the end of an inning, the Pirates exploded for seven second-inning runs that escalated the advantage to 9-0. From there, the Pirates simply coasted to victory.
Allen Williams earned the win in a starting role, allowing no hits and striking-out four in three innings of work.
Pacing the Pirate offense were Justin Gomez, 2-for-2; Hayes Peace, 2-for-4 with three RBIs; David Payne, 1-for-2 with one RBI; Allen Williams, 2-for-4; Antonio Gomez, 1-for-2 and Baxley Raines, 1-for-3 with four RBIs.
Batting leaders for the Brewers were Justin Marshall, 2-for-3; Wade McCall, 1-for-2 with two RBIs; Brandon Johnson, 1-for-2; Jared Cooper, 1-for-2 and Kyle Baggett, 1-for-2.
Blue Jays 12, Angels 11
A May 13 meeting between the Blue Jays and Angels required 10 innings before a winner was decided.
Trailing 9-4 at the completion of five innings, the Blue Jays rallied for five sixth-inning runs to tie the game at 9-9. After each team scored two runs in the seventh, the contest continued into extra innings with the score knotted, 11-11.
Neither squad moved a runner across the plate in either the eighth or ninth inning, but then the Blue Jays manufactured a run in the tenth to claim a 12-11 victory.
Derek Busby earned the win for the Blue Jays in a relief role, giving-up two runs on five hits while striking-out four.
Offensive leaders for the Blue Jays were Becker Denton, 2-for-4 with two RBIs; Mackie Jackson, 2-for-4; Derek Busby, 1-for-3 and Justin Smith, two RBIs.
Batting leaders for the Angels were Wesley Fillmore, 1-for-1; Clayton Booker, 3-for-4 with two RBIs; Justin Ball, 1-for-2 and Will Waters, 1-for-3 with one RBI.
Brewers 11, Angels 4
A May 16 contest between the Brewers and Angels saw the Brewers break open a tight game with a third inning scoring frenzy on their way to an 11-4 win.
Leading 2-1 heading into the third inning, the Brewers got RBIs from James Freeman, Parke Dubose and Jake Hodge in a seven-run rally that lifted them to a 9-2 lead and effectively put the game away.
The Angels suffered the loss despite outhitting the Brewers by a six to five margin. Ten walks given up by the Angels' pitching staff, however, contributed to the Brewers' scoring total.
James Freeman went the distance in earning the win for the Brewers. Freeman gave-up only six hits and struck-out seven while allowing but four free passes on walks.
Offensive leaders for the Brewers were James Freeman, 2-for-3 with two RBIs; Travis Holland, 2-for-3 and Jared Cooper, 1-for-2 with two RBIs.
Leading the Angel offense were Aaron Nelson, 2-for-2; Kirby Green, 2-for-3 with one RBI and Brennan Klenk, 2-for-3.
Pirates 13, Astros 1
Baxley Raines threw a two-hitter to lead the Pirates to a dominating 13-1 win over the Astros on May 16 and placed the two teams into a deadlock in the race for league supremacy.
While the Pirates were playing error-free defense and producing 10 base hits over the course of the game, the Astros' bats were being silenced by Raines' excellent performance from the mound.
After taking a 1-0 lead in the first inning, the Astros were held hitless the remainder of the game. Meanwhile, three Pirate runs in the second inning were followed by nine more in the third for a 12-1 advantage. After another score in the fourth inning pushed the Pirates' leading total to 13-1, Raines registered a 3-up, 3-down fifth inning to close out the win.
In addition to his two-hitter, Raines struck-out eight and walked only one.
Batting leaders for the Pirates were Justin Gomez, 2-for-2 with three RBIs; Nykeem Barton, 1-for-1; Brandon Odom, 2-for-3 with one RBI; Daniel Pace, 1-for-2 with one RBI; Hayes Martin, 1-for-2 with one RBI; Allen Williams, 1-for-3 with one RBI and Hayes Peace, two RBIs.
Leaders for the Astros were Mikel Riggs, 1-for-1 and Jordan Cauley, 1-for-2 with one RBI.
Blue Jays 13, Devil Rays 2
Mackie Jackson tossed a two-hitter in leading the Blue Jays to a May 16 13-2 win over the Devil Rays.
While Jackson was putting the clamps on the Devil Ray batters, the Blue Jays broke open a 2-2 game with four runs in the fourth inning for a 6-2 lead. Then, seven more runs in the fifth ended the score at 13-2 after the game was called due to the 10-run rule.
Along with his two-hitter, Jackson struck-out 10 and walked only four.
Offensive leaders for the Blue Jays were Justin Smith, 1-for-2 with two RBIs; Becker Denton, 1-for-2; Derek Busby, 1-for-3 with one RBI; Aaron Lambert, 1-for-3 and Jake Smith, two RBIs.
Leading the Devil Ray offense were Fred Samuel, 1-for-2 and Brice Martin, 1-for-3.
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