31 May

the old guard

Freddy Garcia, 36 and a long time removed from his days as a Jackson Generals ace, turned back the clock on Thursday, throwing eight shutout innings for Baltimore in a 2-0 win over Washington. Garcia hadn’t gone eight innings in a start since 2009 and hadn’t put up eight shutout innings since 2006. “It was fun to watch,” said Orioles manager Buck Showalter, the former Mississippi State star. Garcia is 2-2 with a 3.57 ERA in this latest comeback. … Meanwhile, former Jackson Mets manager Davey Johnson saw his struggling Nationals drop to 27-27 and 5.5 games back of first-place Atlanta in the National League East. … Jeff Francouer, eight years removed from his Double-A campaign with the Mississippi Braves, hit a big ninth-inning homer for Kansas City, which snapped an eight-game losing skid by beating St. Louis 4-2. The game, which marked George Brett’s debut as Royals hitting coach, was halted for 4½ hours in the ninth and didn’t end until 2:14 a.m. CDT. Former Pillow Academy star Louis Coleman from Schlater got the win, and former JaxMets star Ned Yost, KC’s manager, got some relief — maybe — from the hot seat. … Atlanta put up season-highs for runs and hits in an 11-3 win over Toronto. Former M-Braves Jordan Schafer, Freddie Freeman, Evan Gattis and Mike Minor played key roles in that game, another pebble in the sack weighing down Blue Jays manager and ex-JaxMets standout John Gibbons. The Jays, loaded with talent, are 23-31 and 9.5 games back in the American League East. … Former JaxMets manager Clint Hurdle has Pittsburgh (34-20) playing well, but former OJMs infielder Ron Gardenhire is having another tough year in Minnesota (23-28). … Not to be overlooked is the positive impact former Gens star Lance Berkman is having on the field (.285, four homers, 28 RBIs) and off for first-place Texas.

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