David Holmberg and two relievers combined on the Mobile BayBears (Double-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks)1-0 win over the Jacksonville Suns at Hank Aaron Stadium August 2, 2012. Photo Courtesy: Mobile BayBears
By Steve Kolbe
After scoring 24 runs in their previous two games, the Jacksonville Suns were shutout in the series finale 1-0 by the BayBears on Thursday night at Hank Aaron Stadium in Mobile. The Suns have been blanked 10 times this season, three times by Mobile. Jacksonville suffered a shutout loss for the first time in a month.
The BayBears scored the only run of the night in the bottom of the fourth inning against Suns starter Jose Alvarez. Brent Clevlen led off with a single and went to third on a fly out by Ryan Strieby. Alfredo Marte then drove in his 61st run of the season with a ground out to short, with Clevlen coasting across the plate. Marte made his return to the lineup after serving a three game suspension for throwing a punch in a brawl against Mississippi last week.
BayBears starter David Holmberg kept the Suns off balance throughout the night, and at one point retired 10 batters in a row. The BayBears have four shutouts this season, with three of them against the Suns. Trevor Bauer blanked the Suns May 6th, and Chase Anderson turned the trick May 9th as part of the BayBears five-game sweep of the Suns at the Baseball Grounds in the first half.
Chris Gutierrez and Shawn Bowman each finished 2-for-4. Danny Pertusati’s seventh inning double was the only extra-base hit for the Suns. Jacksonville was 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position, and left 10 men on base during the night. It was the first game of the series that the Suns were held without a home run. Jacksonville belted nine homers off of seven different pitchers in the five games.
Suns starter Jose Alvarez (4-6) went the distance in the loss. He allowed just the one run on five hits over eight innings. It’s the second time this season that Alvarez has tossed eight innings, the last time he earned Pitcher of the Week honors with a 2-0 shutout against Tennessee. David Holmberg (3-4) scattered five hits and struck out a season-high seven in 6.2 innings of work for the win. Eury De La Rosa pitched the final two innings to earn his second save of the season.
The Suns lost a game in the standings to South-leading Montgomery, falling four games behind the Biscuits. The stage is now set for a showdown for first place in the South Division with the Biscuits invading Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville for a five-game series starting Friday night. LHP Graham Taylor (6-8, 4.09) will take the mound for the Suns. RHP Merrill Kelly (6-1, 3.55) will start his fourth game of the season for the Biscuits.