By Steve Kolbe
The Jacksonville Suns used a five run seventh inning to get past Chattanooga 7-6 in the final game of their season-opening 10 game home stand.
The Suns started quickly when Jake Smolinski led off the game with a double into the left field corner. He swung at the first pitch from Lookouts starter Nathan Eovaldi, who has the best fastball in the Dodgers organization. Smolinski scored the game’s first run on a ground out by Kyle Jensen and the Suns led 1-0. It was the third time in the series that the Suns scored the first run.
The Lookouts took the lead in the top of the third when Brian Cavazos-Galvez hit his first home run of the season off of Suns starter Omar Poveda. A two-run blast into the flag court to give Chattanooga a 2-1 lead. Kyle Skipworth tied the score in the home half of the fourth when he hit his first home run of the season. A blast that landed in the last row of seats in the right field stands. Skipworth had 11 home runs last season.
With the score tied 2-2, Cavazos-Galvez came through again for the Lookouts, this time an RBI double in the fifth to put Chattanooga back in front. It was his first double of the season. Cavasoz-Galvez continued his big night in the seventh when he hit his second home run of the game to increase the Lookouts lead to 4-2.
He finished the night 4-for-5 with four runs batted in and scored three runs.
In the seventh inning, the Suns took the lead for good when relief pitcher Luis Vasquez gave up six hits and five runs. The big hit in the inning came off the bat of Shawn Bowman, a bases-clearing double that plated three runs. Kyle Skipworth and Curt Smith also chipped in with RBI singles.
The Lookouts scored single runs in both the seventh and ninth innings, but left the bases loaded in the ninth when Suns closer Evan Reed retired Luis Nunez on a ground out. The winning pitcher was Kyle Kaminska. He went four innings, allowing five hits and two runs. Reed earned his third save of the season.
The Suns travel to Pensacola starting Sunday to face the Blue Wahoos in a five game series in the first-ever meeting between the two teams. It marks the first road trip of the season for Jacksonville. During the 2011 season, the Suns won 36 games on the road, fourth-most in the Southern League.