Suns Stumble In Late Innings


The BayBears scored six times in the final three innings, erasing a 4-0 deficit for a 6-4 win over the Suns at the Baseball Grounds August 11, 2012. Photo Courtesy: Jacksonville Suns

By Steve Kolbe

The Jacksonville Suns let one slip away on Saturday night at the Baseball Grounds.  After the Suns built a 4-0 lead over the BayBears through six innings, Mobile scored six runs in the final three innings for a 6-5 win.  The loss, combined with the Montgomery Biscuits walk-off win in the ninth inning on Saturday, dropped the Suns back into a first place tie with the Biscuits in the South Division.  Three of the BayBears four wins in August have been at the expense of the Suns.
The Suns took the lead in the second inning against BayBears starter Chase Anderson.  After singles by Kyle Skipworth and Ben Lasater, Kyle Jensen launched a three-run home run over the left field fence to put Jacksonville up 3-0.  It was the third home run that Anderson has allowed to the Suns in his last two starts.  Jensen has hit four of his 15 home runs this season against Mobile, and he has three three-run homers on the year, all off of BayBears pitching.  The Suns have hit a total of 16 home runs against the BayBears, second-most against any team (23 against Pensacola). 
Jacksonville increased the lead in the home half of the fifth when Chris Gutierrez reached second base on a throwing error by shortstop Chris Owings, and scored on a RBI single by Danny Pertusati to make the score 4-0.  Pertusati has 12 hits and a dozen RBI’s against the BayBears this season in the two series that he has played. 
Suns starter Brian Flynn was in line for his third straight win when he left the game in the seventh inning with the bases loaded.  Reliever Mike Ojala entered, and pinch hitter Kyle Greene singled to left field to plate the BayBears first run and make the score 4-1.  Ojala then walked Evan Frey to force in a run and the Suns lead was cut in half at 4-2.  Collin Cargill entered the game and struck out Alfredo Marte with the bases loaded to end the threat. 
In the eighth, the BayBears would send eight men to the plate for the second straight inning.  Matt Davidson was hit by Cargill to lead off the inning, and Brent Clevlen walked to put runners on first and second.  With one out, David Nick singled to left with Davidson scoring on the play to trim the Suns lead to 4-3.  Edgar Olmos then entered the game from the busy Suns bullpen on the pitching change, and walked Ed Easley to load the bases for a second straight inning.  Evan Frey then delivered with a single to drive in two runs and hand the BayBears their first lead of the night 5-4.
The Suns evened the score in the bottom of the eighth against Mobile closer Evan Marshall.  Kyle Skipworth doubled to lead off the inning, and scored when Ben Lasater singled to left to tie the game 5-5.  It was Marshall’s fifth blown save of the season. 
Walks continued to trouble the Suns in the ninth, when Olmos put the leadoff hitter Alfredo Marte aboard with a free pass.  Jordan Conley entered the game for the Suns bullpen with one out in the ninth, and hit Brent Clevlen with a pitch to put runners on first and second.  BayBears first baseman Ryan Strieby had entered the game with just two hits in the series, but his single in the ninth on Saturday drove in Marte from second with the game-winning run in the BayBears 6-5 win.  After collecting just two hits in the first six innings of the game, Mobile scored six times on six hits in the final three frames of the night.
The Suns lost for just the third time this season when leading after the seventh inning, with all three defeats at the Baseball Grounds.  The Mississippi Braves scored five runs in the ninth for an 8-5 win July 20th, and the Huntsville Stars plated a pair of runs to slip past the Suns 5-4 April 6th.  Jacksonville lost for the first time this season when leading a game by four or more runs.  The Mobile BayBears have a record of 59-60, with 15 of their wins against the Suns (25-percent).
Ben Lasater went 4-for-4 with four singles, and he is 10-for-11 in the series.  Kyle Skipworth and Kyle Jensen each collected two hits.  David Nick finished 2-for-5 with a RBI and a run scored for Mobile.  Evan Frey drove in three of the BayBears six runs on the night.  Suns pitchers combined to walk six BayBears batters, with three coming around to score.
Neither starter figured in the decision.  Suns lefty Brian Flynn allowed two runs on three hits over his six innings.  BayBears starter Chase Anderson allowed four runs on seven hits in his four and two-thirds innings of work.  Edgar Olmos (0-1) was charged with the game-winning run in the loss.  Evan Marshall (6-2) pitched an inning for the win.  Eury De La Rosa earned his third save of the season after nearly allowing a walk-off home run to Jake Smolinski in the bottom of the ninth, but the ball went foul down the left field line.
The series finale is set for Sunday at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville with the first pitch scheduled for 6:05 p.m.   LHP Jose Alvarez (5-6, 3.48) will start his 21st game of the season for the Suns.  LHP David Holmberg (3-4, 3.68) will take the mound for the BayBears.

Leave a comment

Filed under Ahead Of The Curve, Southern League News

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s