By Steve Kolbe
The Birmingham Barons scored all of their runs in the first five innings and ended the Suns three-game winning streak, with an 11-7 victory on Wednesday at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville.
The Barons sent 10 men to the plate in the top of the first, scoring six runs on six hits against Suns starter Bryan Evans to take a 6-0 lead. It’s the most runs the Suns have allowed in the first inning of a game this season.
Ben Lasater hit a two-run home run with two outs in the bottom of the first to put the Suns on the scoreboard and make the score 6-2. It was Lasater’s first home run of the season with the Suns. After the teams traded runs in the second inning, the Suns cut the lead to 7-5 in the home half of the third when Kyle Jensen connected for his 21st home run of the season, a two-run blast to left-center. Jensen has hit a home run in three straight games.
The Barons scored twice in the fourth against Evans to increase the lead to 9-5. Jake Oester drove in a run with a bases loaded single, and Luis Sierra lifted a sacrifice fly to center.
The long ball provided the runs for both clubs in the fifth. Andy Wilkins hit a two-run home run for the Barons to pad the lead to 11-5. Kyle Skipworth then hit his 19th homer of the year in the bottom of the inning to make it an 11-7 contest. The final four innings of the game were scoreless.
The Barons finished with 18 hits, the most that the Suns have allowed in a game this season. Every player for the Barons had at least one hit, and every player in the game reached base at least once.
Bryan Evans (5-8) allowed nine runs on 11 hits in 3.1 innings in the loss. Leroy Hunt (2-3) pitched three scoreless innings for the Barons in the win.
The final home game of the regular season is Thursday night at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville, with the first pitch slated for 7:35 PM. LHP Brian Flynn (2-0) will take the mound for the Suns. RHP Nick McCully (1-3, 5.17) will start for the Barons.