- Biscuits starter Shane Dyer allowed just one hit over seven innings against the Suns at Riverwalk Stadium. Photo Courtesy: Montgomery Biscuits
By Steve Kolbe
The Montgomery Biscuits edged the Jacksonville Suns 3-2 in walk-off fashion at Riverwalk Stadium on Monday night.
The Suns took a 1-0 lead in the second inning off of Biscuits starting pitcher Shane Dyer when Kyle Jensen hit a solo home run over the left field wall. Jensen is tied for the team lead with five home runs this season, and he has hit the Suns last three round-trippers. That pitch to Jensen was the only mistake that Dyer would make in the game. He pitched seven innings allowing just that one hit.
Montgomery took the lead in the bottom half of the fourth against Suns left-hander Graham Taylor when Omar Luna led off the inning with a bunt single, and Kyeong Kang followed with a double to put runners on second and third with no outs. An error cost the Suns three runs in their 7-1 loss on Sunday night, and once again a miscue opened the door for Montgomery. Michael Sheridan hit a line drive to second, but the ball went under Paul Gran’s glove for an error with both Luna and Kang scoring on the play to put the Biscuits in front 2-1.
After cruising through seven innings with a one-hitter, Shane Dyer turned the game over to Biscuits closer Adam Liberatore. In the ninth inning pinch-hitter Ryan Patterson and Jake Smolinski both singled to left, and for the second time in the series Liberatore was on the ropes in the ninth. This time he didn’t escape, with Kyle Skipworth hitting a ground ball to first baseman Michael Sheridan, who threw the ball into left field trying to start a double play. On the error, Patterson scored all the way from second base and the game was tied 2-2.
In the home half of the ninth, Sheridan put the error he committed behind him by leading off the inning with a single off of Suns reliever Kyle Kaminska. A sacrifice bunt by Greg Sexton then moved Sheridan to second base. After an intentional walk to Brad Coon and a walk on for pitches by Mark Thomas the bases were loaded for one of the top prospects in the Rays system and all of minor league baseball. And Hak-Ju Lee didn’t disappoint the home crowd, swinging at the first pitch he saw from Kaminska in the ninth and driving it into center field for the walk-off single to give the Biscuits a 3-2 win. The winning run was scored by Sheridan, who had committed the error that allowed the Suns to tie the game in the top of the inning.
Both starters pitched seven innings and didn’t figure in the decision. Graham Taylor allowed seven hits and two runs(one earned)while walking only one batter. Shane Dyer allowed just one hit, struck out a season-high five batters and walked one. Dyer entered the game with a 2.18 ERA, fifth-best in the Southern League. Montgomery improve to 15-0 when leading a game heading into the ninth inning.
Adam Liberatore pitched the final two innings earning the win to improve to 3-2. He also has a save in the series. Kyle Kaminska lost a game for the first time since April 11th. He pitched the eighth and ninth for the Suns, allowing three hits and the game winning run.
Hak-Ju Lee finished 3-for-5 with three singles and now leads the league with 158 plate appearances. Lee had just two hits in his last 15 at-bats entering the game. Omar Luna and Michael Sheridan each collected two of the Biscuits 10 hits in the game.
The Suns have dropped eight of their last nine games, and in the last two games against the Biscuits have just seven hits. Jacksonville lost for just the second time this season when scoring first (15-2).
The Suns will send RHP Omar Poveda (3-1, 6.08) to the mound for the series finale on Tuesday morning. The Biscuits turn to LHP Kyle Lobstein (2-2, 6.32) with the first pitch scheduled for 11:35PM ET from Riverwalk Stadium in Montgomery, Alabama.