It went in the box score as a hold (H, 20 to be precise), but that designation doesn’t do justice to what former Biloxi Shuckers star Josh Hader did for Milwaukee on Monday night. In a huge game at Wrigley Field, Hader struck out all six batters he faced in the seventh and eighth innings, preserving the Brewers’ one-run lead in what ended as a 3-2 win against the Chicago Cubs. The Brewers cut the Cubs’ lead in the National League Central to 1 game heading into tonight’s contest, the second of the three-game set. In the eighth inning, Hader cut down Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and Javier Baez. That’s big time. A lefty with vicious stuff, Hader now has 127 punchouts, a Brewers record for relievers. “To have any type of record is a great feeling,” he told mlb.com. Hader pitched, as a starter, in Biloxi in 2015 and ’16. In the latter season he gave a preview of what was to come in The Show, posting a 0.95 ERA with 73 strikeouts in 57 innings. … In San Francisco, the fingerprints of former Mississippi Braves were all over Atlanta’s 4-1 win against the Giants, which moved the Braves 5 games ahead of Philadelphia atop the NL East. Ozzie Albies went 2-for-4 (with a triple) and scored twice, driven in both times by Dansby Swanson (sac fly, squeeze bunt). More significant perhaps was the pitching of three left-handers, all M-Braves alums. Sean Newcomb worked six innings for the W, moving to 12-8 with a 3.82 ERA. Jonny Venters tossed a scoreless eighth inning for his 12th hold, and A.J. Minter closed it out for his 14th save. Though he has had some notable hiccups, his ERA is now 3.36. Minter was in Mississippi in 2016 and ’17, pitching mostly in middle relief. He had only two saves in his minor league career.
So much news involving Mississippi-connected pitchers … where to start? Lance Lynn, the ex-Ole Miss star, will be in pinstripes today, having been traded from Minnesota to the New York Yankees. “It’s going to be a different experience,” the veteran right-hander told mlb.com. Lynn was erratic with the Twins, going 7-8 with a 5.10 ERA. Overall, including his years in St. Louis, he is 79-55, 3.54. Primarily a starter, Lynn said he is open to working out of the pen for the Yankees. … Former Mississippi State standout Chris Stratton will rejoin San Francisco’s rotation, taking the spot of the disabled Johnny Cueto. Stratton, recently back from a stint in Triple-A, is 8-6, 4.93 this year for the Giants. … Bulldogs alum Dakota Hudson notched his first MLB win on Monday, working a scoreless 10th inning for St. Louis, which beat Colorado 5-4 on a Marcell Ozuna homer. … Ole Miss product Drew Pomeranz goes to the bump for Boston against Philadelphia tonight seeking his second win of the season. Pomeranz took an L last week in his first outing off the DL and is an ugly 1-4, 6.91 for the team with the best record in baseball. … Former Mississippi Braves standout Kolby Allard is scheduled for his big league debut tonight with Atlanta, and in a corresponding move, Kyle Wright departs from the M-Braves for Triple-A Gwinnett. Allard is rated Atlanta’s No. 8 prospect by MLB Pipeline, and Wright is No. 2. Former M-Braves ace Touki Toussaint, the No. 7 prospect now at Gwinnett, may also be in line for big league look, according to reports. … Former State standout Reid Humphreys is now in Double-A in the Colorado system and worked a scoreless inning for Hartford over the weekend. Humphreys posted 22 saves and a 1.83 ERA at Class A Lancaster.