Alex Colome allowed just three singles and struck out nine over six innings in the Biscuits 2-1 win over the Jacksonville Suns. Photo Courtesy: Montgomery Biscuits
By Steve Kolbe
The Suns were held to just four singles in a 2-1 loss to the Montgomery Biscuits on Thursday night at the Baseball Grounds. Montgomery has outscored the Suns 8-3 in the first two games of the series. The Biscuits moved ahead of the Blue Wahoos into sole possession of first place in the South Division.
The starting pitchers, Matthew Neil for the Suns and Alex Colome for the Biscuits, combined to allow just four singles in the first four innings of the game. Jacksonville failed to take advantage of some control issues by Colome. He walked a season-high six batters in his six innings of work, but didn’t surrender a run.
Montgomery took the lead in the fifth inning against Neil. Michael Sheridan hit a high fly ball to left field that fell in fair territory between the trio of Jose Duarte, Chris Gutierrez, and Curt Smith. Sheridan ended up on second, and scored when Brett Nommensen singled up the middle to put the Biscuits up 1-0. The Suns are 10-36 when allowing the first run of the game.
Biscuits shortstop Hak-Ju Lee helped generate a run in the sixth inning when he led off with a walk, stole second base, and went to third on Neil’s second wild pitch of the night. With one out, Omar Luna hit a sacrifice fly to center, with Lee beating the throw to the plate to increase the lead to 2-0.
The Suns scored their only run of the game in the seventh inning against reliever Shane Dyer. Jose Duarte walked, Jake Jefferies singled, and Donnie Webb walked to load the bases with no outs. Chris Gutierrez then grounded into a double play, with Duarte scoring to make the score 2-1.
The Biscuits have won five straight games against the Suns, and improved to 9-3 overall in the season series. Jacksonville is 9-13 in games this season with the designated hitter.
The Suns fell to 14-18 in one-run games this season, and Jacksonville is now 3-32 when scoring fewer than three runs in a game.
Omar Luna was the only player to collect two hits in the game. The Suns have 10 hits in the series against the Biscuits, but only one for exrtra bases.
Suns starter Matthew Neil (1-5) allowed two runs on five hits in five and two-thirds innings, and has lost his last five decisions. Alex Colome (5-3) allowed just three singles over his six innings of work. He stuck out nine, one shy of his season high. Colome allowed six runs on eight hits in just three innings the last time he faced the Suns June 26 at Riverwalk Stadium. Kirby Yates pitched two innings of hitless ball to earn his eighth save of the season. The Biscuits are the only team in the Southern League to have two pitchers with eight saves of more (Adame Liberatore-8; Kirby Yates-8).
The Suns will look to salvage the final game of the series Friday night, with the first pitch slated for 7:05 p.m. from the Baseball Grounds. LHP James Leverton (0-0, 2.25) will start his third game of the season for the Suns. LHP Kyle Lobsein (4-4, 4.47) takes the mound for the Biscuits.