Saturday, May 19, 2007

Catching up on the Biscuits

Montgomery BiscuitsI haven't caught up on the Biscuits since my last visit to Montgomery two weeks ago.

In that time frame, they've played 13 games, and won 8 of them.

Back on the 6th, they took the rubber game of the series with Mississippi, beating the Braves 9-6.
Evan Longoria went 4-for-4 with his sixth home run of the season, helping the Montgomery Biscuits (15-15) earn a series win over the first place Mississippi Braves (20-10) with a 9-6 victory on Sunday afternoon at Riverwalk Stadium.

The next day, they opened a series at home against the Tennessee Smokies (Cubs). In the opener, the Biscuits won a nail-biter.
Chris Seddon brought a shutout into the ninth inning and Dale Thayer struck out Matt Craig with the tying and go-ahead runs in scoring position, saving a tense 2-1 victory for the host Montgomery Biscuits (16-15) over the Tennessee Smokies (15-14) in the first game of a five-game series.

The win was the fourth in a row for Montgomery, thriving since a four-game losing streak brought the team to its worst record since 2005.

The next game wasn't nearly as close, with the Biscuits winning 12-1.
Chris Nowak and John Jaso keyed a five-run fifth inning with back-to-back two-run doubles, leading the Montgomery Biscuits (17-15) to a 12-1 rout over the Tennessee Smokies (15-15) before a crowd of 7,115 at the final Grand Slam School Day of the season at Riverwalk Stadium.

The Biscuits have now won a season-high five in a row following a season-high four-game losing streak.

Every member of the Montgomery lineup scored a run in the rout. More impressively, for the second straight day Biscuits pitching limited the Southern League's top hitting team to just a lone run.

Tennessee bounced back and blanked the Biscuits on May 9, by a 9-0 score.
The loss ended the Biscuits' five-game winning streak, though one streak for the home team did indeed continue. Third baseman Evan Longoria reached on an infield single in the ninth, setting a new Biscuits team record with his 26th game reaching base.

That was the extent of the highlights that the Biscuits could glean from the third game in the five-game series. Montgomery committed four errors (two by Longoria) and watched its best pitcher, Chris Mason, suffer through his poorest showing of the year.

A 2-out error in the bottom of the 9th allowed the Biscuits to beat Tennessee on May 10, 4-3.
Jason Pridie and Evan Longoria each homered in the game for the Biscuits. For Longoria, it was his seventh home run of the season and extended his team-record on-base streak to 28 consecutive games.

Pridie's blast, a solo shot off Tennessee reliever James Henderson to right field that carried completely out of the stadium, tied the score at 3 in the bottom of the eighth.

After Montgomery closer Dale Thayer (2-0) worked a scoreless top of the ninth, the Biscuits mounted the winning rally against Henderson (2-1) in the bottom of the frame.

The series with Tennessee ended on a down note, with the Biscuits being shut out 3-0.
Montgomery starter Jon Barratt (0-1) allowed hits to the first three batters he faced in the game, the last a Jake Fox RBI double that put the visitors on the scoreboard. Barratt then walked Matt Craig to load the bases with none out, but retired the side on a flyout and a double play ground ball to escape the frame without any more damage.

That was all the offense that Tennessee would get off of the Biscuits southpaw, who gave up only one more hit and no more runs during the next five innings.

The West Tenn Diamond Jaxx hosted the Biscuits for 5 games starting on the 12th, and took game 1 of the series.
The Diamond Jaxx got to Montgomery starter Chris Seddon (3-2) in the fourth, as Chris Minaker and Prentice Redman began the inning with hits and scored on a groundout and a sacrifice fly. When Seddon departed after the sixth, he was on the hook for the loss, having allowed five hits and two walks.

The Biscuits took Seddon off the hook in the eighth against the Jaxx's bullpen. Juan Sandoval gave up a single to Jason Pridie before leaving the baserunner for Craig James. Pridie scored on a Reid Brignac sacrifice fly. Greg Norton walked, setting up Longoria's home run. It was his eighth. He also doubled in the game, extending his on-base streak to 30 games.

The Biscuits bounced back on the 13th, winning an 11-8 slugfest.
Every Biscuits starter but one had at least two hits. Jason Pridie and Brooks Badeaux had three apiece.

Aside from the offense's consistent hitting, the Biscuits' bullpen was to credit for the win. The relievers threw 5 2/3 innings of scoreless relief before allowing two meaningless runs in the ninth.

The Biscuits hits double-digits on the scoreboard the next day, taking a 12-4 decision.
Evan Longoria started off the scoring for the Biscuits in the first inning with a three-run homer. It was his third straight game in which he homered. He also singled twice and walked, marking his 32nd consecutive game reaching base.

From there, the gap only widened. Brooks Badeaux cleared the bases with a double in the fourth inning and Longoria plated him with a groundout. That made 10 RBIs in the series for Longoria, who now leads the league in home runs and RBIs. That inning spelled the end for West Tenn starter Robert Rohrbaugh (3-4), who lost his second game to the Biscuits by allowing eight hits and seven runs.

The Biscuits won their 3rd in a row on the 15th, blanking West Tenn, 4-0.
James Houser and two relievers threw a two-hit shutout and set down 20 in a row as the Montgomery Biscuits (21-18) won their third straight over the West Tenn Diamond Jaxx (17-21), 4-0, at Pringles Park Tuesday night.

Houser, who had missed three straight starts with a strained olique muscle, allowed a hit in the first inning, another in the second and a walk in the third, then set down the last 12 he faced. The 22-year-old struck out seven in his 6 1/3-inning start, moving to 2-0. He has won each of his last 13 starts, dating back to last May.

The series ended as it began, with West Tenn taking the contest, this time by a 2-0 score.
West Tenn starting pitcher Joe Woerman (1-1) handcuffed the Biscuits through seven innings, walking four, striking out five and serving up only a double each by Jason Pridie and John Jaso to earn the victory.

Mumba Rivera and Craig James held off Montgomery in the eighth and ninth innings, with James recording the final two outs with the tying runs on base to pick up his sixth save of the season.

On the 17th, the Biscuits returned to Montgomery to host the Birmingham Barons. Game one went to the Biscuits, 7-4.
Facing a full count with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning, Brooks Badeaux ripped a tie-breaking three-run double into the left field corner to lift the Montgomery Biscuits (22-19) to a 7-4 victory over the Birmingham Barons (18-23) in the opener of a five-game series at Riverwalk Stadium.

The second game, Friday night, went to Birmingham, 5-2.
After Cory Aldridge drew a one-out walk from Mike Prochaska (1-4) in the top of the second, Biscuits shortstop Reid Brignac booted Lucy's potential inning-ending double play ball grounder. Catcher John Jaso's passed ball sent both runners into scoring position. They each scored on an miscue by second baseman Josh Asanovich, giving Birmingham a 2-0 lead.

That sets the stage for tonight's game. And I'll be there. The Wife and I are heading to Montgomery to catch the game, and watch the fireworks. It'll be fun.

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