By Steve Kolbe
The Mobile BayBears increased their lead in the South Division over Jacksonville to three games with a 6-1 win on Tuesday night. Mobile has won the first three games of the series, outscoring the Suns 19-2.
The BayBears started quickly against Suns pitcher Zach Neal sending nine men to the plate in the first inning. The first four batters of the game singled to put Mobile in front 2-0. Brent Clevlen and Marc Krauss each drove in a run. Before the inning was over Alfredo Marte had driven in a run with a single, and Wladimir Sutil knocked in a run with a double for a 4-0 BayBears lead. It was the second time this season that the Suns allowed four runs in the first inning.
In the second inning, David Nick led off with a single and Clevlen drove in his second run of the night with a ground out to make the score 5-0 BayBears. Zach Neal allowed five runs on seven hits in two innings on the night. The BayBears are the second team in the Southern League to reach 20 wins.
The Suns scored their only run of the game in the fourth inning when Kyle Skipworth walked with one out and Kyle Jensen doubled behind him. Dallas Poulk then drove in his second run of the year with a sacrifice fly to center.
Mobile added a run in the sixth inning when Sutil tripled to left and came in to score on a Rossmel Perez sacrifice fly to extend the lead to 6-1. Wladimir Sutil finished the game 3-for-4, drove in a run and also scored. All three of his hits were for extra bases with two doubles and a triple. David Nick, Kyle Greene, and Marc Krauss each finished with two hits, and Brent Clevlen drove in two of the six runs for Mobile. Krauss, who was named the Southern League player of the week, has now hit safely in 17 of his last 19 games.
Derek Eitel improved his record to 3-2 with the win. He pitched six innings allowing five hits and one run. It was the first earned run that a BayBears starting pitcher has allowed in three games in this series. In the first eight games of the season series against Mobile, the Suns have scored just nine runs against BayBears starting pitchers. Suns starter Zach Neal pitched two innings, allowing seven hits and five runs to fall to 2-4.
The BayBears have won nine of their last 12 games and scored at least six runs in six of the wins. The Suns have lost five of their last six and have been outscored 32-18.
Game four of the series is Wednesday afternoon with the first pitch scheduled for 1:05PM at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville. LHP Graham Taylor (2-2, 5.23) will make his seventh start of the season for the Suns. The BayBears counter with RHP Chase Anderson (1-0, 2.63) as he starts his fifth game of the year.