The Jacksonville Suns shut out the Jackson Generals twice on Sunday, scoring a combined 16 runs on 23 hits. The Suns started the day with a 7-0 win in the completion of a game that was suspended by rain on Saturday night. In the seven-inning night cap, the Suns again blanked the Generals, 9-0.
The Jacksonville Suns had already built a 4-0 lead over the Jackson Generals at the Baseball Grounds on Saturday night, with Donnie Webb hitting a two-run home run, and Ryan Patterson and Shawn Bowman each driving in a run. Rain then stopped the play, and the game was suspended in the bottom of the fourth inning. Webb has hit the Suns last two home runs.
After a rain delay of one hour and 20 minutes, the game resumed on Sunday at 4:25 p.m., with the Suns batting in the fourth. Generals reliever Moises Hernandez took over on the mound, and the Suns picked up where they had left off the night before. With two outs, Chris Gutierrez increased the Suns lead to 6-0 by sending a double to the gap in right-center, with Jake Jefferies and Paul Gran scoring on the play. Gutierrez is the fifth Suns player this season with 20 or more runs batted in.
The Suns tacked on another run in the sixth, when Jake Jefferies led off the inning with a double for his second hit of the game. After Paul Gran grounded out, Ryan Patterson drove in Jefferies with his second double of the game to pad the lead to 7-0.
The Suns had four playres with a multi-hit game, led by Ryan Patterson who was 3-for-4 with two doubles, two RBI and a run scored. Donnie Webb finished 2-for-5 with two RBI and scored a pair of runs. Chris Gutierrez went 2-for-4 with two runs batted in. Jake Jefferies also had two hits and scored twice.
Suns starting pitcher Bryan Evans was cruising along in search of his second straight win before the game was suspended the previous night. He had retired the first seven batters he faced, and allowed just two hits over four innings. Left hander Bobby Bramhall (1-1) was pressed into service to re-start the game on Sunday afternoon. He allowed just three hits in his four innings of work to win his first game of the season.
Josh Schmidt struck out two of the three batters he faced in the ninth. Steve Garrison (3-3) allowed six runs on seven hits. The Generals had just five singles in the game.
In the second game, the Suns continued to batter Generals pitching on the way to a 9-0 win, with every player reaching base safely at least once. It didn’t take long for the Suns to figure out Jackson starter Taylor Stanton. Back in left field for the first time since his concussion, Jake Smolinski led off the first inning with a single, and scored when Chris Gutierrez doubled to the wall in left field for 1-0 lead. Ryan Patterson then singled, with Gutierrez coasting home, and it was 2-0 Suns. The Suns improved to 14-3 this season when scoring in the first inning.
Suns first baseman Curt Smith had the big swing in the third inning, connecting for a three-run home run and a 5-0 Jacksonville advantage. It was Smith’s second home run of the year, and first since the fifth game of the season, when he hit a two-run homer against the Huntsville Stars in the first series.
Jacksonville added three more runs in the fourth to pad the lead to 8-0, with Kyle Skipworth driving in two runs with his second triple of the season, and Kyle Jensen delivering with a RBI single.
The Suns plated one more in the sixth on three straight singles, with Ryan Patterson driving in the Suns ninth run of the night. On the play, Patterson appeared to injure his left ankle when rounding first base and trying to stop.
Every Suns player finished with at least one hit with the exception of third baseman Shawn Bowman. Jake Smolinski, Kyle Skipworth, Kyle Jensen, and Ryan Patterson each finished with two hits.
By scoring at least a run in the first inning in both games, Jacksonville improved to 24-5 when crossing the plate first. The Suns have seven shutouts this season, matching their total from the 2011 campaign. It’s the first time this season that the Jackson Generals have been blanked in two straight games.
Suns starter Graham Taylor allowed just four hits in his five innings of work to improve his record to 4-5. Taylor has won two of his last three starts after dropping three in a row. A.J. Ramos and Evan Reed each pitched an inning. Taylor Stanton( 1-2) surrendered eight runs on nine hits over four innings. Every Suns batter reached base at least once in the game. Jacksonville is now 9-3 in games played on Sunday.
The final game of the series is Monday at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m. RHP Matthew Neil (1-0, 4.37) will start the Suns final home game in the first half of the season . RHP Brandon Maurer (4-1, 3.80) is set to start his 13th game of the year for the Generals.