Monthly Archives: April 2012
By Steve Kolbe
The Jacksonville Suns scored three runs in the first inning Saturday night on the way to a 5-2 win over Pensacola at the Baseball Grounds.
Donnie Webb led off the game by reaching base on an error charged to shortstop Miguel Rojas. It was the 12th time this season that the first batter of the game for the Suns has reached base. Ryan Patterson then singled against Blue Wahoos starter Tim Crabbe, and both he and Webb advanced to second and third with no outs. Shawn Bowman delivered with the runners in scoring position, a double to right field to drive in a pair of runs for a 2-0 Suns lead. Bowman and Kyle Jensen are tied for the team lead with 13 runs batted in. Jacksonville tacked on another run in the first when Russell Mitchell singled to drive in Bowman from second. Mitchell has driven in four runs in his last three games.
Suns starting pitcher Graham Taylor was strong throughout, allowing only four singles through five innings. He was able to keep the Pensacola bats silent, the Blue Wahoos had scored 17 runs on 26 hits in the last two games. In the sixth inning, Pensacola broke through against Taylor when Henry Rodriguez beat out an infield single and Cody Puckett hit his first home run of the season to cut the Suns lead to 3-2. Puckett hit 15 home runs last season with the Carolina Mudcats, which was good for second-most on the team. He hit his first round-tripper this season in his 21st game of the year.
Down by just a run and in search of their third straight win, the Blue Wahoos went to their bullpen in the sixth and seventh innings. Drew Hayes and Wilkin De La Rosa struggled in the seventh allowing two runs, walking three batters, and hitting another.
The Suns sent eight men to the plate in the seventh, and with the bases loaded Kyle Skipworth was hit by a pitch on a full count to force in a run an increase the lead to 4-2. It was Skipworth’s 12th run batted in this season. Jose Duarte, Shawn Bowman, and Russell Mitchell each drew a base on balls in the inning, with Mitchell’s walk forcing in a run to make it 5-2.
Graham Taylor improved his record to 2-1. He pitched six innings allowing six hits and two runs, struck out five and walked only Ryan LaMarre, who was the first batter of the game. In his last two starts, Taylor has allowed eight hits and just two runs in 13 innings of work. Evan Reed earned his league-leading sixth save of the season by pitching two hitless innings and striking out two batters. Tim Crabbe was the losing pitcher and is now 1-1 on the season. He allowed seven hits and those three runs in the first inning, but none after that.
Shawn Bowman finished 2-for-3, drove in two runs, and scored another. Kyle Jensen went 2-for-4 and has had at least one hit in all four games in the series against the Wahoos. Russell Mitchell was 1-for-3 with two runs batted in. The Suns scored in the first inning for the ninth time this season, and are now 12-1 when scoring the game’s first run. With the win the Suns improved to 13-11, and are now 6-8 at home.
The rubber game of the series between the Suns and Blue Wahoos is Sunday afternoon at 3:05 pm. The game will also be televised on CW-17.
By Steve Kolbe
The Pensacola Blue Wahoos downed the Jacksonville Suns for the second straight game with an 8-2 win on Friday night at the Baseball Grounds.
For the second time in as many nights Henry Rodriguez and Joel Guzman led the Blue Wahoos at the plate. After combining for eight hits the previous night, the duo were at it again in this one. Rodriguez led off the fourth inning with a single, and Guzman followed by hitting his third home run of the season to give the visitors a 2-0 lead for a second straight night. It was just the second home run that Zach Neal has surrendered this year in his four starts. The Suns dropped to 1-10 when they allow their opponent to score first, while the Wahoos are now 9-4 when they score the first run.
In the fifth inning, Ryan LaMarre doubled to left and came in to score Pensacola’s third run on a single by Rodriguez. LaMarre finished the night 2-for-4, scored two runs, and drove in another.
The Blue Wahoos sent 11 hitters to the plate and exploded for five runs in the top of the seventh against reliever Garrett Parcell and built an 8-0 lead. Yordanys Perez drove in two runs in the inning with one of the Blue Wahoos five doubles in the game. Ryan LaMarre, Josh Fellhauer, and Miguel Rojas also each drove in a run in the inning. Six straight Pensacola batters reached base in the seventh, including a pair of intentional walks.
The Suns scored their first run of the night in the seventh, when Kyle Jensen walked to lead off the inning, and scored when Donnie Webb doubled. Webb was thrown out on a close play at third. Jensen also hit his third home run of the season in the ninth inning.
Seven players had two hits for Pensacola as the Blue Wahoos hammered out 14 hits in the game. Yordanys Perez and Joel Guzman each drove in two runs on the night. In the first three games of the series, the Wahoos have scored 22 runs on 36 hits. After having just one extra base hit and 11 singles in the second game of the series, Pensacola had five doubles and a home run in Friday’s game.
Jensen was 1-for-3 with two runs scored and he also drove in a run. Donnie Webb was 2-for-4 with a run batted in. Webb is 5-for-11 in the last three games. Daniel Corcino allowed just three hits in five and a-third innings to even his record at 2-2. Zach Neal allowed 10 hits and three runs in his six innings of work and is now 2-2 on the season.
The Pensacola Blue Wahoos topped the Jacksonville Suns 9-3 on Thursday night at the Baseball Grounds. The win snapped the Suns five-game winning streak over the Wahoos.
Pensacola jumped out to a lead in the first inning when Ryan LaMarre and Henry Rodriguez both singled, and with one out Joel Guzman doubled to left to drive in the first run. A batter later it was 2-0 when Rodriguez scored on Brodie Greene’s ground out. It was a tough first inning for Suns starter Bryan Evans. He allowed three hits, two runs, and walked a batter.
In the bottom of the inning Jacksonville cut the lead in half when Ryan Patterson singled, stole second, and scored on a throwing error by Pensacola catcher Mark Fleury. The Suns took the lead in the third inning when Patterson and Kyle Skipworth both walked and came around to score when Russell Mitchell doubled into left to give Jacksonville a 3-2 advantage. Patterson has scored four runs in the last two games.
That Blue Wahoos scored the next seven runs in the game. Pensacola sent nine men to the plate in the fourth and scored three runs to take a 5-3 lead. Josh Fellhauer, Mark Fleury, and Mark Serrano all walked and scored in the inning. In the game, the Wahoos drew eight walks and five of them came around to score.
Pensacola scored two more in the sixth and seventh innings to build a 9-3 lead. Joel Guzman finished 4-for-5 and drove in three runs. Henry Rodriguez went 4-for-5, scored two runs and drove in another. 11 of the Blue Wahoos 12 hits in the game were singles.
The Suns were held to four hits in the game. Russell Mitchell drove in two of Jacksonville’s three runs, the other was unearned. The Suns dropped to 1-9 this season when allowing the game’s first run.
Bryan Evans dropped to 0-2. He pitched three and two-thirds innings, allowing five hits and five runs but only two were earned. Evans walked five and struck out two. The winning pitcher was Mark Serrano. He tossed three scoreless innings to improve to 2-0.
Game three of the series is Friday night with Zach Neal (2-1, 1.42) taking the mound for the Suns. The Blue Wahoos counter with Daniel Corcino (0-1, 4.12).
By Steve Kolbe
The Suns returned to Jacksonville after winning seven games on their 10-game road trip and picked up right where they left off, downing Pensacola 6-5 at the Baseball Grounds.
Kyle Skipworth put the Suns in front 1-0 in the second inning with a solo home run off of Blue Wahoos starter Pedro Villarreal. Skipworth has hit three of his four round-trippers this season against Pensacola. Curt Smith walked later in the inning and scored when Ryan Patterson doubled to left field to increase the lead to 2-0. On a wild play, Jose Alvarez hit a ball back to the pitcher with Donnie Webb on first. It bounced off of Villarreal, and started a double play in which Webb and Alvarez were both tagged out on a base running miscue. Patterson scored from second on the play to make it 3-0.
In the fourth inning, Kyle Jensen singled with one out and scored on Patterson’s second double of the night for a 4-0 Suns lead. A batter later it was 5-0 when Donnie Webb hit his second triple of the season to drive in Patterson. It was Webb’s third run batted in of the season. Patterson has now driven in six runs on the year.
Suns starting pitcher Jose Alvarez was cruising along into the sixth inning. He had retired 15 straight Pensacola batters after Ryan LaMarre doubled to lead off the game. But in the sixth, the Blue Wahoos were able to get to Alvarez when Brian Peacock led off with a single, and that was followed by a double by Yordanys Perez. A sacrifice fly by LaMarre plated the first of four runs in the inning for the Blue Wahoos and what was a comfortable Suns lead was gone with the score 5-4. Didi Gregorius had a single to drive in a run in the inning, and Henry Rodriguez drove in his 12th run of the season with a double. Gregorius has hit safely in 11 of his last 12 games.
After Garrett Parcell pitched the eighth inning for the Suns, Evan Reed took over in the ninth inning for Jacksonville looking to secure the win for his sixth save of the season. The leadoff man in the inning Cody Puckett popped up into shallow right field and second baseman Dallas Poulk dropped the ball and Puckett ended up on second. It was the Suns third error of the game and a costly one. Two batters later Brian Peacock drove in the game-tying run with a single to even the score 5-5.
In the home half of the ninth, Donnie Webb led off against relief pitcher Justin Freeman with his second triple of the night. After an intentional walk to pinch hitter Paul Gran, Pensacola manager Jim Riggleman brought his center fielder into the infield to give the Blue Wahoos five players in the infield with the game-winning run at third for the Suns with no outs.
What happened next was a moment that could have been taken right from a Hollywood script. Dallas Poulk, who had committed that error earlier, came to the plate with a chance to give the Suns the win. He didn’t disappoint. After falling behind in the count no balls and two strikes, Poulk launched a single into center field to give Jacksonville the walk-off win 6-5. It was one of those moments that can be frozen in time for a player in just his third game with his new team. It was just the third run that the Suns have scored in the ninth inning in 21 games this season.
Jose Alvarez pitched five-and-a-third innings, allowing four runs on five hits and didn’t figure in the decision. He struck out six and didn’t walk a batter. Evan Reed allowed one hit and one unearned run in the ninth to earn his first win of the season. The losing pitcher was Justin Freeman. He entered the game having allowed only two runs this season, but he allowed the game winning run on two hits on Wednesday to fall to 2-2 on the season.
Donnie Webb had a perfect night going 3-for-3 with two triples, a run batted in, and a run scored. Overall this year, the Suns have hit five triples, and Webb has hit all three of his against Pensacola. Ryan Patterson also had a big night at the plate going 2-for-4 with two doubles, two runs batted in, and two runs scored. Kyle Jensen finished 2-for-4 and scored a run.
The Suns have won five straight over the Blue Wahoos after dropping the first-ever meeting against their new in-state rival. Five of the first six meetings this season between the two teams have been decided by a single run, with Jacksonville winning four of them. Jacksonville improved to 10-1 when scoring the game’s first run. The Suns have won eight of their last 11 games, while the Blue Wahoos have just three wins in their last 11 contests.
The win, combined with Mobile’s 8-7 loss to Chattanooga in 12 innings, leaves the Suns alone atop the Southern League South Division. With 12 wins in the month, Jacksonville already has more wins in April then in the 2011, when they finished 11-12 in the first month of the season. Game two of the series against Pensacola is Thursday at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville. In a matchup of right-handers, Bryan Evans takes the mound for the Suns looking for his first win of the season. Tim Gustafson gets the call for the Blue Wahoos.
By Steve Kolbe
By Steve Kolbe
By Steve Kolbe
The Jacksonville Suns five-game winning streak came to an end on Saturday night with an 8-1 loss to Mobile at Hank Aaron Stadium. The BayBears became the first team in the South Division to reach 10 wins this season, and once again are alone in first place with a record of 10-7.
BayBears starter Trevor Bauer entered the game with a league-best 3-0 record and a 0.57 earned run average. Suns starter Bryan Evans came into the game looking for his first win of the year. Bauer, the third overall draft pick in 2011, was sharp throughout the game. And with his fastball reaching 97 miles per hour, he allowed only four hits in his seven innings of work. Evans matched Bauer pitch-for-pitch throughout the night, including getting the BayBears to hit into three double plays. Evans held Mobile hitless through the first five innings.
In was in the sixth inning that the BayBears finally broke though against Evans. Leadoff hitter Trevor Bauer drew a walk on four pitches. It was the fourth time in the game that Evans walked the leadoff batter in an inning, and this time he couldn’t pitch his way out. After Bauer advanced to second on a wild pitch, he then scored the game’s first run on a sacrifice fly by Wladimir Sutil to make it 1-0. Mobile scored four runs in the inning, with the big hit coming of the bat of the Southern League’s top hitter Matt Davidson, who blasted a two-run homer to left-center field. By the end of the inning Mobile had collected four hits and scored four runs.
Suns reliever Chris Squires took over for Evans in the sixth, and in his one-and-a-third innings of work allowed two runs on four hits. The BayBears tacked on two more runs in the seventh, when the first four batters in the inning reached base. Catcher Rossmel Perez led off the inning with his second double of the season. Pinch hitter Kyle Greene walked, and Raoul Torrez singled to load the bases. Wladimir Sutil then drove in his second run in as many innings to increase the lead to 5-0. Brent Clevlen added a run by lifting a sacrifice fly to center, and the Suns trailed 6-0.
It was more of the same in the home half of the eighth for Mobile hitters, when Alfredo Marte singled off of Suns lefty Wade Korpi to lead off the inning. That brought Marc Krauss to the plate, and after hitting a long foul ball to right he straightened a pitch out and hit a two-run home run over the right field fence for an 8-0 BayBears lead. The runs were the first that Korpi has allowed in his last three appearances.
Trevor Bauer improved to 4-0 with the win. He pitched seven innings and scattered four hits while striking out eight and walking only two. The only Suns batter to reach second base was Ryan Patterson, who doubled in the seventh. In the game, Jacksonville had just four runners in scoring position. Bryan Evans pitched five-and-a-third innings and lost his first game of the season (0-1). The BayBears nine hits and their eight runs all came from the sixth inning on. The Suns were limited to just four hits in the game, and scored their only run in the ninth inning on a sacrifice fly by Ryan Patterson. It was the first run that Jacksonville has scored in the ninth inning this season.
Game three of the series is 2:05PM on Sunday afternoon with Zach Neal scheduled to make the start for the Suns. He’s 1-1 with a 0.69 ERA in his two starts this season. Neal has allowed only one run in his 13 innings pitched. Charles Brewer takes the hill for the BayBears looking for his first win of the year. Brewer has already allowed two home runs in his first three starts this year, after giving up just two home runs all of last season.
By Steve Kolbe
With a share of first place on the line, the Jacksonville Suns continued their winning ways on the road, powering past Mobile 5-1 at Hank Aaron Stadium. Jacksonville has used a five game winning streak to improve to 9-7 and tie the BayBears atop the South Division. Last April, the longest winning streak the Suns put together was two games, when they finished the first month of the season 11-12. The Suns had two five game winning streaks all year during 2011, May 23-28 and June 16-23. They’ve matched that mark already.
The first meeting of the season between the Suns and BayBears began as a pitcher’s duel, with Jacksonville’s Jose Alvarez and Mobile’s Tyler Skaggs stealing the spotlight. Alvarez breezed along until the fourth inning, when Brent Clevlen hit his first home run of the season to give the Bay Bears a 1-0 lead. The BayBears had three hits in the game, and all were off the bat of Clevlen. He finished 3-for-4 with a single, double, and a homer.
Jacksonville managed just three hits in the first six innings against Skaggs, who was cruising along allowing just a pair of singles by Shawn Bowman and a double by Kyle Skipworth. Skaggs tied his career high for strikeouts in a game by fanning 12 of the first 22 Suns batters he faced in the game.
Everything changed for the Suns in the top of the seventh inning. With one out, Curt Smith reached base with an infield single. It appeared that Chris Gutierrez was going to pop out to first baseman Yazy Arbelo, but he dropped the ball for an error and gave Gutierrez another swing. He made it count, ripping a double into right-center and Smith scored all the way from first to tie the game 1-1. Jose Duarte put Jacksonville in front 2-1 when his double to left drove in Gutierrez. Gutierrez has driven in four runs and scored five times in his last four games.
The rough inning for Skaggs continued when pinch-hitter German Duran came to the plate for just the second time this season, and launched a two-run home run over the left field wall. It was a towering blast that padded the Suns lead to 4-1. Mobile entered the game with a team ERA of 3.10, second-best in the league behind the Jackson Generals. The Suns have scored 30 runs during their five game streak.
In the eight inning, Shawn Bowman hit his third home run of the season to straight-away center to increase the lead to 5-1. The Suns have hit 16 home runs this season, most in the league and five more than both Jackson and Mobile. Bowman and Kyle Skipworth are tied for third in the league with three round trippers each.
The Suns bullpen was strong once again. Jose Alvarez went four innings, allowing two hits and one run while striking out four and didn’t factor in the decision. The losing pitcher was Tyler Skaggs, he pitched six-and-a-third innings and allowed seven hits and four runs. Kyle Kaminska pitched two innings without allowing a hit and earned his second win of the season. Wade Korpi pitched the seventh, Garrett Parcell the eighth, and A.J. Ramos the ninth. Overall, Jacksonville relievers tossed five innings and allowed just one hit. Jacksonville hurlers struck out eight without walking a batter.
Shawn Bowman finished the night 3-for-4. Kyle Skipworth was 2-for-4 with two doubles. Skipworth is batting .340 in his last seven games in the starting lineup. He’s hit safely in each game, going 10-for-29. The win was Jacksonville’s first when they allow their opponent to score first, they were 0-6 entering the game.
Game two of the series is Saturday night at Hank Aaron Stadium. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05PM with Bryan Evans making the start for Jacksonville looking for his first win of the year. Former first-round draft pick Trevor Bauer takes the mound for the BayBears. He leads the Southern League with a record of 3-0 and a 0.57 ERA. Bauer was the third overall pick by the Diamondbacks in the 2011 draft.