Tag Archives: Bayfront Stadium

Suns Edge Blue Wahoos

 

Jake Smolinski(left)walked three times in the Suns 2-1 win over the Blue Wahoos July 16, 2012 at Bayfront Stadium. Photo Courtesy: Pensacola Blue Wahoos

By Steve Kolbe

Klye Skipworth hit a solo home run in the sixth inning to lead the Jacksonville Suns past the Pensacola Blue Wahoos 2-1 on Monday night at Bayfront Stadium.
 
The Suns took the lead in the third inning against Blue Wahoos starter J.C. Sulbaran.  After retiring the first eight batters of the game, Sulbaran surrendered a single to Suns pitcher Graham Taylor with two outs in the third.  Jake Smolinski then walked, and Chris Gutierrez beat out an infield single to load the bases.  Paul Gran walked on a full count to force in Taylor to give the Suns a 1-0 lead.  Jacksonville improved to 35-14 when scoring the first run of the game.
 
Kyle Skipworth increased the lead to 2-0 when he led of the sixth inning by smashing his eighth home run of the season off of reliever Wilkin De La Rosa.  Skipworth has hit four of his eight home runs off of Blue Wahoos pitching, with three of them at Bayfront Stadium.  The Suns have hit 21 of their 62 round trippers this season off Blue Wahoos pitching, the most against any team.
 
Graham Taylor pitched six scoreless innings, allowing just three singles.  The Suns went to the bullpen with Kyle Kaminska entering the game in the seventh.  Pensacola first baseman Beau Mills greeted Kaminska with a solo home run to right field to cut the Suns lead to 2-1, but that would be all the offense the Wahoos could generate in the game.   Kaminska has given up a long ball in the seventh inning in each of his last two outings.
 
The win was just the fourth this season for the Suns when they have been held to three runs or less (4-33), with two of the four wins against the Blue Wahoos.
 
The Suns collected just five hits in the game, and have a total of 19 in the first three games of the series.  Chris Gutierrez finished 2-for-4, and pitcher Graham Taylor went 2-for-2 and scored a run.  With a pair of singles, Taylor is the first Suns pitcher with a multi-hit game this season.  Jake Smolinski and Paul Gran each had three of the Suns nine walks in the game. 
 
Jacksonville is 15-11 overall this season against Pensacola, and 9-4 at Bayfront Stadium with one game left to play.  A win in the series finale on Tuesday would give the Suns their fourth series win over the Blue Wahoos this season.  Pensacola hasn’t lost two straight games in nearly a month (June 25 and 26).
 
Graham Taylor (5-8) snapped a four game road losing streak, winning for the first time since April 23.    In his last two starts overall, Taylor has allowed just one run over 11 innings of work.  Josh Schmidt pitched the eighth for the Suns, striking out two of the four batters he faced.  A.J. Ramos entered the game in the ninth inning and retired the side in order, including a strike out of David Vidal to end the game.  Ramos earned his 11th save of the season, and has a save in each of the Suns last five wins.  J.C. Sulbaran (6-7) allowed one run on three hits in four and two-thirds innings.  He entered the game second in strikeouts in the Southern League, with 33 of his 94 strikeouts against the Suns over four games.  Sulbaran had just four strikeouts Monday night  and also walked four batters.
 
The final game of the season between the the Suns and Blue Wahoos is Tuesday night, with the first pitch slated for 8:00 p.m.  RHP Matthew Neil (1-5, 5.72) takes the hill for the Suns.  He has lost his last five decisions.  RHP Wirfin Obispo (1-0, 2.28) is scheduled to make his first start of the season from the Blue Wahoos.

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Wahoos Shortstop Billy Hamilton Hits Inside The Park Home Run

Daniel Corcino(above)allowed just one run and struck out six in the Blue Wahoos 6-2 win over the Suns. Photo Courtesy: Pensacola Blue Wahoos

By Steve Kolbe

Pensacola shortstop Billy Hamilton hit the first inside-the-park home run in team history, and the Blue Wahoos evened the series against the Suns with a 6-2 win on Sunday afternoon at Bayfront Stadium.

Suns lefty Jose Alvarez came off the disabled list to make his first start since July 2nd, when he was forced to leave a game against Pensacola with a groin injury. The Blue Wahoos jumped out to the lead in the second inning against Alvarez. Bill Rhinehart led off with a double, but Alvarez was able to retire the next two Blue Wahoos batters. Miguel Rojas drew a two-out walk to put runners on second and third, and Mark Fleury then doubled down the right field line with both Rhinehart and Rojas scoring to give Pensacola a 2-0 advantage. Fleury entered the game batting just .143 against left handed pitchers. Blue Wahoos starting pitcher Daniel Corcino helped his own cause by driving in Fleury with a RBI-single to make the score 3-0. The Blue Wahoos improved to 38-14 when scoring the first run of the game, the Suns dropped to 10-37 when allowing the first run.

The Suns scored their first run of the day in the second inning when Paul Gran drove in his 19th run of the season, with Jake Smolinski scoring to cut the Blue Wahoos lead to 3-1.

Pensacola tacked on a run in the fourth when Beau Mills doubled and went to third on a single by Miguel Rojas. With runners on the corners, Fleury drove in his third run of the game when he grounded into a double play, with Mills scoring to pad the lead to 4-1.

Shortstop Billy Hamilton made Pensacola history in the seventh, when he hit a ball to right-center field off of Suns reliever Mike Ojala. Right fielder Kyle Jensen made a diving attempt only to have the ball deflect off his glove, hit center fielder Donnie Webb, and roll all the way to the warning track. Hamilton was given the green light, rounded third, and scored standing up to put Bayfront Stadium’s first inside-the-park home run in the books.

Beau Mills hit a solo home run in the eighth to increase the Blue Wahoos lead to 6-1. Kyle Jensen hit a solo home run in the ninth for the Suns to make it 6-2. It was Jensen’s 12th homer of the season.

Daniel Corcin0 (7-4) allowed one run on five hits over six and a -third innings for the win. Jose Alvarez (2-5) took the loss surrendering four runs on six hits in his four innings of work.

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Suns Beat Blue Wahoos; Win I-10 Panhandle Challenge

 

Catcher Kyle Skipworth drove in a pair of runs to lead the Suns past the Blue Wahoos 6-1. Jacksonville improved to 14-10 this season against Pensacola to clinch the season series. Photo Courtesy: Jacksonville Suns

 By Steve Kolbe

The Jacksonville Suns scored three times in the first inning and cruised to a 6-1 win over the Blue Wahoos on Saturday night at Bayfront Stadium.  The Suns improved to 14-10 overall (8-3 on the road) against the Blue Wahoos, and clinched the season series.
 
The Suns jumped out to the lead in the first inning against Wahoos starter Kyle Lotzkar.  Jake Smolinski was hit by a pitch and Chris Gutierrez walked.  With one out, Curt Smith hit a ground ball to shortstop Billy Hamilton who committed an error, with Smolinski scoring from second to put the Suns up 1-0.  Kyle Skipworth then drove in two runs with a double to left-center field to increase the lead to 3-0. 
 
The Blue Wahoos scored their lone run in the third inning.  Billy Hamilton walked, stole second base, and went to third on a throwing error.  Josh Fellhauer then drove in Hamilton with a RBI single to cut the Suns lead to 3-1.
 
Jacksonville loaded the bases in the fifth inning with no outs, when Chris Gutierrez and Curt Smith were each hit by a pitch and Paul Gran singled.  Kyle Jensen singled to center with Gran scoring on the play for a 4-1 Suns advantage.  Jensen leads the Suns with 44 runs batted in this season.  Shawn Bowman then drove in his 43rd run of the season with a ground out to make the score 5-1. 
 
Jake Smolinski walked to lead of the sixth inning and went to third when Gutierrez singled.  Paul Gran drove in the final run of the game when he grounded into a double play, with Smolinski scoring and the Suns led 6-1.  Four of the Suns six runs in the game were scored by base runners that had walked, were hit by a pitch, or reached on an error.
 
Kyle Skipworth went 1-for-2 with two RBI’s and had the only extra base hit for the Suns.  Miguel Rojas and Bryson Smith each had two hits for the Blue Wahoos.
 
Bryan Evans (3-6) allowed one run on six hits in five and a-third innings to earn his first win against Pensacola this season.  Jordan Conley and Josh Schmidt combined to pitch three and two-thirds scoreless innings.  Kyle Lotzkar (4-4) surrendered five runs on just two hits in the loss.  He hit three batters and walked four.
 
The Suns have won the season series against the Blue Wahoos to claim the first I-10 Panhandle Series, and will bring the “Golden Skillet” back to the Baseball Grounds. Game two of the series is Sunday afternoon with the first pitch scheduled for 5:00 p.m. EST. 
 

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Suns Hang On For Win Over Blue Wahoos

The Suns took three of five games in the series from the Blue Wahoos with a 2-1 win Wednesday June 6, 2012 at Bayfront Stadium. Photo Courtesy: Pensacola Blue Wahoos

By Steve Kolbe

Suns center fielder Donnie Webb drove in both runs for Jacksovnille in a 2-1 win over the Pensacola Blue Wahoos on Wednesday night at Bayfront stadium.  The Suns improved to 8-4 in series finales this season. 

The Suns started the scoring in the third inning against Pensacola starter Daniel Corcino.  Webb led off with a triple, and scored when Chris Gutierrez lifted a sacrifice fly to center field to put the Suns up 1-0.  Webb has hit four of his five triples this season against the Blue Wahoos.  The Suns are 22-6 when scoring the first run of the game, while the Blue Wahoos dropped to 4-20 when they allow the first strike. 

In the fifth inning, Webb connected for his second home run of the season to increase the lead to 2-0.   The Suns have hit 13 home runs in the last 22 games.  Both of Webb’s round trippers this season have come against Blue Wahoos pitcher Daniel Corcino.  Webb finished the series 6-19 and drove in four runs in the five games.

Pensacola scored a run in the eighth inning when Ryan LaMarre came home on a sacrifice fly by Josh Fellhauer to cut the lead to 2-1, but that would be the last run of the night.  The Suns improved to 12-8 against the Blue Wahoos this season, and close calls have been the norm between the in-state rivals, with 11 of the 20 meetings decided by only one run.

Jacksonville improved to 17-13 on the road this season, with nine of the wins by just a single run.  The Suns moved into sole possession of third place in the South Division, one game ahead of Pensacola.   The Suns denied the Blue Whoos their first three-game win streak since they won three in a row against Montgomery in the first series of the season. 

The Suns won for just the second time this season when scoring two runs or less (2-23).  Their previous win was 2-0 on Opening Night against Huntsville April 5th at the Baseball Grounds. 

The center fielders stole the show at the plate.  For the Suns, Donnie Webb finished 3-for-4 and scored both runs.  For the Blue Wahoos, Ryan LaMarre went 3-for-4 with three singles and scored Pensacola’s lone run.  All six of the Blue Wahoos hits in the game were singles. 

Suns starter Matthew Neil made his Double-A debut against the Blue Wahoos May 20th, and on Wednesday he earned his first career Double-A win against Pensacola.  Neil allowed five singles and struck out a season-high six batters over six innings.  Evan Reed closed out the game for his 12th save of the year, and is now tied for the league lead.  In his fourth start against Jacksonville this season, Daniel Corcino suffered his third straight loss and fell to 2-4 on the season.  He allowed two runs on five hits in five innings of work.

The Suns return home on Thursday to face the top team in the Southern League, with the 37-23 Jackson Generals making their lone visit of the season to the Baseball Grounds. 

 

 

 

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Blue Wahoos Even Series With Suns

Blue Wahoos starter J.C. Sulbaran struck out 10 to lead Pensacola to a 9-2 win over Jacksonville June 5, 2012 at Bayfront Stadium. Photo Courtesy: Pensacola Blue Wahoos

By Steve Kolbe

 
After a brief weather delay, the Jacksonville Suns started slow and never recovered in a 9-2 loss to the Blue Wahoos on Tuesday night at Bayfront Stadium in Pensacola.  The two teams are once again tied for third place in the South Division with identical 27-32 records.
 
The Blue Wahoos went right to work against Suns starter Graham Taylor in the first inning.  For the fans who were late to their seats, they missed leadoff hitter Ryan LaMarre blast his second round-tripper of the season to put Pensacola in front 1-0.  Didi Gregorius then doubled to left, and came around to score on Brodie Greene’s RBI single to give the Blue Wahoos a 2-0 lead.  It’s the second straight game that Pensacola has scored two runs in the first inning.  
 
Taylor settled down for the next two innings and was helped out by the double play ball, but he ran into more trouble in the home half of the fourth.  Joel Guzman and David Vidal hit back-to-back singles to left field to start the inning.  With one out, Andrew Means drove in both runners with a single, with Vidal scoring on an error, and the Blue Wahoos had doubled their lead to 4-0. 
 
Pensacola catcher Chris Berset keep the rally going with another single to left to put runners on first and third with only one out.  Blue Wahoos starting pitcher J.C. Sulbaran helped his own cause with a sacrifice bunt, with Means scoring on the play to make the score 5-0.  The inning finally ended when LaMarre was thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double, but not before Berset crossed the plate to pad the lead to 6-0 in favor of Pensacola.  In the inning, the Blue Wahoos scored four runs on five singles.
 
Jacksonville brought in reliever Zach Neal to start the fifth inning, and he was greeted by an infield single by Didi Gregorius, who then moved to second base on a throwing error.  Brodie Green drove in his second run of the night when he tripled into the gap in left-center, with Gregorius scoring for a 7-0 advantage.  Later in the inning, David Vidal’s sacrifice fly pushed Greene across the pate and the scoreboard read 8-0.
 
The Suns scored their only two runs of the night in the seventh against J.C. Sulbaran.  Kyle Jensen led off the inning with a walk, and scored when Ryan Patterson drove in his 10th run of the season with a double down the left field line.  With two outs, Donnie Webb doubled for his 15th run batted in on the year, with Patterson scoring to make the score 8-2.

Pensacola tacked on another run in the eighth inning on a RBI ground out by Chris Berset, and the Blue Wahoos had a 9-2 win.  It’s the sixth time this season that the Suns have allowed eight runs or more, with the Blue Wahoos accomplishing the feat three times.  Pensacola has won consecutive games for the first time in over two weeks, last winning two contests in a row in Jacksonville May 18-19.

It’s the third time this season that the Blue Wahoos have scored nine or more runs in a game, they also had a 9-3 win over the Suns April 26th at the Baseball Grounds.  The seven run win is the second largest margin over victory that Pensacola has had in a game this season, second only to an 8-0 win over Birmingham May 12th at Bayfront Stadium.

Suns pitcher Graham Taylor had his shortest outing since his first start of the season, when he allowed six runs in four innings against Chattanooga.  Taylor surrendered six runs (5 ER) on ten hits in his four innings of work on Tuesday and fell to 3-5 on the season.  Zach Neal came out of the bullpen, allowing three runs on four hits in the final four innings of the game. 

Blue Wahoos starter J.C. Sulbaran allowed two runs on seven hits over six and a-third innings to improve his record to 4-4.  Sulbaran struck out 10 Suns batters to earn his first win over Jacksonville this season in four starts.  Relievers Wilkin De La Rose and Clayton Tanner finished the job, allowing just one hit in the final three innings.  Pensacola pitchers fanned 14 Suns batters on Tuesday, and in the series Blue Wahoos hurlers have 49 strike outs in four games.

For the Suns, Donnie Webb and Jeff Dominguez each finished with two hits, with Webb driving in his 15th run of the season.  Ryan Patterson, Curt Smith, Kyle Jensen, and Kyle Skipworth each had one hit.  The Blue Wahoos collected 14 hits.  Five players had multi-hit efforts and seven players scored at least one run for Pensacola.  David Vidal finished 3-for-3, drove in a run, and scored twice.  Andrew Means went 3-for-4 with a RBI and a run scored.  Ryan LaMarre and Brodie Greene each had two hits and two RBI.  Didi Gregorius added a pair of hits to extend his hit streak to eight games.  It’s his second streak of at least eight games this season.

The rubber match of the series is Wednesday night with the first pitch scheduled for 8:00 p.m. from Bayfront Stadium in Pensacola.  RHP Matthew Neil (0-0, 5.49) will start his fourth game of the season for the Suns.  RHP Daniel Corcino (2-3, 3.79) is set to take the mound for the Blue Wahoos.

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Blue Wahoos Edge Suns In Extra Innings

    

 

The Blue Wahoos scored the game-winning run with two outs in the 11th inning for a 3-2 victory over the Jacksonville Suns June 4, 2012 at Bayfront Stadium. Photo Courtesy: Pensacola Blue Wahoos

By Steve Kolbe

 
Blue Wahoos first baseman Joel Guzman’s only hit of the night propelled Pensacola to a 3-2 walk-off win over the Jacksonville Suns in eleven innings on Monday at Bayfront Stadium.
 
The Blue Wahoos took an early lead in the first inning with two unearned runs against Suns starter Bryan Evans.  Ryan LaMarre led off the inning with a double down the left field line, and Didi Gregorius singled with LaMarre taking third on the play.  Brodie Green then sent a fly ball to Donnie Webb, but the throw to the plate from the Suns center fielder bounced into the Jacksonville dugout with both LaMarre and Gregorius scoring on the error to put Pensacola in front 2-0.  The Suns are now 6-26 when allowing the first run of the game.
 
The Suns tied the game in the fourth inning against Pensacola starting pitcher Kyle Lotzkar.  Paul Gran was hit between the numbers by Lotzkar to begin the inning.  It was the eleventh time this season that Gran has been hit by a pitch.  Suns first baseman German Duran continued his hot streak on the first pitch that he saw in the inning, hitting his third home run of the season over the left field fence to even the score 2-2.  Duran is 5-for-11 with two home runs, five runs batted in, and five runs scored in the first three games of the series.  The Suns have hit a home run in 12 of the their last 20 games, with the last two coming off the bat of Duran.
 
The game remained tied until the home half of the eleventh.  Suns reliever Corey Madden struck out Ryan LaMarre to start the inning, but then allowed a single to Didi Gregorius.  Brodie Green popped out to right field for the second out of the inning, and then the drama began.  Joel Guzman promptly ended the game by smashing a two-out single up the middle, with Gregorius scoring the game winning run.  The jubilation began as the Blue Wahoos exploded from their dugout and chased Guzman all over the field.  Before his extra inning walk-off hit, Guzman was 1-for-14 in the series.
 
The Suns are 2-2 in extra-inning games this season, with all four of the games played on the road.  The Blue Wahoos are 4-3 when working overtime.  Six of the eight games played between the Suns and Blue Wahoos at Pensacola’s Bayfront Stadium have been decided by a single run.
 
Jeff Dominguez finished 2-for-5 and was the only Suns player with more than one hit.  For the Blue Wahoos, Josh Fellhauer went 4-for-5 with four singles.  Didi Gregorius was 3-for-5 and scored two runs on the night. 
 
Both starting pitchers didn’t figure in the decision.  Bryan Evans allowed two unearned runs on six hits over six innings for the Suns.  Evans struck out five and did not walk a batter.  Kyle Lotzkar allowed two runs on seven hits in his seven innings of work, and struck out a season-high 10 batters.  Corey Madden (1-1) allowed four hits in his two and two-thirds innings, and surrendered the game-winning run.  Blue Wahoos relievers Curtis Partch and Justin Freeman combined to pitch four innings of one-hit ball.  Freeman (3-5) pitched the eleventh inning to earn the win.  Suns batters struck out 16 times, one shy of their season-high.
 
The Suns had won four straight games on the road before Monday’s loss.  Jacksonville is 27-31 on the season and five games behind Mobile in the South Division.  The Suns haven’t won more than two games in a row since a four-game win streak April 28 to May 2. 

Game four of the series is Tuesday with the first pitch scheduled for 8:00 p.m. EST.  For the Suns, LHP Graham Taylor (3-4, 4.41) will take the mound.  In his last start, Taylor allowed two runs on six hits in a win over Mobile.  The Blue Wahoos will look to even the series with RHP Daniel Corcino (2-3, 3.79) on the hill.

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Suns Single Their Way To Win Over Blue Wahoos

Jacksonville and Pensacola combined for 24 hits, 23 of them singles, in the Suns 5-4 win June 3, 2012 at Bayfront stadium. Photo Courtesy: Jacksonville Suns

By Steve Kolbe

 
For the second straight game the Jacksonville Suns earned a comeback win at Bayfront Stadium in Pensacola, rebounding Sunday afternoon from a 2-0 deficit against the Blue Wahoos by scoring five runs in the final three innings for a 5-4 victory.  The Suns improved to 6-25 when they give up the first run of the game, with half of the wins against their in-state rival.
 
The Blue Wahoos dented the scoreboard in the fifth inning against Suns starter Jose Alvarez.  After leadoff hitter P.J. Phillips grounded out to start the inning, right fielder Andrew Means singled to left and catcher Chris Berset singled to right to begin the rally.  Wahoos pitcher Tony Cingrani swung at the first pitch he saw in the inning, and scratched out an infield single for his first Double-A hit to load the bases.  Pensacola center fielder Ryan LaMarre cashed in when he lined a single into right field, with Means and Berset scoring to give the Blue Wahoos a 2-0 lead. 
 
The Suns had just three singles in six innings against Blue Wahoos starter Tony Cingrani, but just as they had done the previous night, the Suns began their comeback in the seventh inning.  Jeff Dominguez grounded out and Curt Smith struck out.  Donnie Webb then ignited the two-out rally when he singled to right, and advanced to second on a throwing error by right fielder Andrew Means.  Playing in his first game back with the Suns, Jose Duarte beat out an infield single to put runners on the corners with two outs. 
 
The Blue Wahoos made a call to the bullpen and summoned reliever Drew Hayes.  He allowed the hit parade to continue when pinch hitter German Duran, Chris Gutierrez, and Paul Gran each drove in a run with a single to put the Suns in front 3-2.  Jacksonville hit five straight singles in the inning. 
 
Pensacola also put together a two out rally in the seventh.  Ryan LaMarre was hit by Suns reliever Josh Schmidt, and Didi Gregorius followed with a single up the middle to tie the game 3-3. 
 
The Suns got to work in the ninth against Blue Wahoos closer Donnie Joseph, who began the day with only two earned runs allowed in his previous 24 appearances.  Jose Duarte drew a walk to lead off the inning, and pinch hitter Kyle Jensen singled to put runners on second and third with no outs.  Chris Gutierrez came to the plate with the intention of bunting the runners over, and his ground out did move Duarte over to third and Jensen to second.   Paul Gran followed by hitting a ball to straight-away center field, with Duarte tagging from third and coasting home to put the Suns ahead 4-3.  After an intentional walk to Shawn Bowman, Jacksonville added an insurance run when Kyle Skipworth struck out but catcher Chris Berset dropped the ball.  When Berset threw the ball to first to record the out it hit Skipworth in the back, with Jensen scoring to increase the lead 5-3.
 
In the home half of the ninth, Suns closer A.J. Ramos retired Chris Berset on a fly ball to left and struck out pinch hitter Stephen Hunt.  With two outs, Ryan LaMarre and Didi Gregorius both singled to bring Brodie Greene to the plate.  Greene drove in LaMarre with the third straight single of the inning, and cut the Suns lead to 5-4.  With two runners on base and first baseman Joel Guzman at the plate in front of a buzzing crowd, Ramos threw an off-speed pitch that fooled the big hitter, with Guzman hitting a dribbler in front of the plate for the final out of the game. 
 
A day after the Suns hammered out seven doubles in a 9-6 win, the two teams combined for 24 hits, with 23 singles.  The only extra base hit of the game on Sunday was a double by David Vidal in the second inning.  For the Suns, Paul Gran went 2-for-4 and drove in two runs.  Kyle Skipworth and Donnie Webb each had two hits.  The Blue Wahoos had 14 hits, with every player in the starting lineup collecting at least one hit in the game.  Ryan LaMarre went 3-for-4 with two runs scored.  Didi Gregorius, Brodie Greene, and David Vidal each finished with two hits.
 
Jose Alvarez began the day in search of his first win in over a month, with his lone victory of the season coming on the first day of May against the Barons.  Alvarez pitched five and a-third innings allowing two runs on nine hits and struck out four Pensacola batters.  Alvarez has started three games this season against the Blue Wahoos without a decision.  A.J. Ramos pitched the final two innings, allowing one run on season-high four hits to improve his record to 3-0. 
 
Blue Wahoos starter Tony Cingrani allowed two runs on five hits over six and two-thirds innings in his first-ever Double-A outing and didn’t factor in the decision.  He was promoted from High-A Bakersfield two days ago after going 5-1 in ten starts for the Blaze.  Donnie Joseph gave up two runs in the ninth and fell to 4-2 on the season.
 
Game three of the series is Monday with the first pitch slated for 8:00 p.m. EST.  RHP Bryan Evans (1-4, 3.66) will start his eleventh game of the season for the Suns in search of his second straight win.  RHP Kyle Lotzkar (2-1, 3.16) will start his fifth game of the season for the Blue Wahoos.

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Suns Late Inning Rally Stuns Blue Wahoos

The Jacksonville Suns scored seven unanswered runs in the final three innings to rally for a 9-6 win over the Blue Wahoos June 2, 2012 at Bayfront Stadium. Photo Courtesy: Pensacola Blue Whaoos

By Steve Kolbe

The Jacksonville Suns hammered out a season-high 14 hits, and used a late inning rally for a 9-6 win over the Blue Wahoos in Pensacola on Saturday night.  The Suns took sole possession of third place in the South Division with the victory. 

The Suns took the lead in the first inning against Blue Wahoos starter Tim Crabbe.  Chris Gutierrez walked to start the game for the second straight night, and German Duran doubled off the left field wall to put runners on second and third with no outs.  Kyle Jensen then gave the Suns a 1-0 lead with a ground ball to the right side of the infield for his 30th RBI of the season.  The Suns improved to 21-5 when scoring the first run of the game.  The Blue Wahoos fell to 4-19 when they allow the first run. 

German Duran increased the Suns lead in the third inning with his second home run of the season, a solo blast to left field for a 2-0 advantage.  Duran finished the game 3-for-5 and a triple shy of the cycle.  He drove in two runs and scored three times. 

Suns starter Omar Poveda allowed just three hits in the first four innings, but struggled in the fifth with the first five Pensacola batters in the inning reaching base.  Pensacola sent 10 men to the plate in the inning and scored six times.  Pinch hitter Stephen Hunt singled and Ryan LaMarre walked to start the rally.  Didi Gregorius hit a ball sharply to first that went under the glove of German Duran and into right field, with Hunt scoring on the error to put the Blue Wahoos on the board.  Brodie Greene gave Pensacola a 3-2 lead when he drove in two runs with a single to center, with LaMarre and Gregorius crossing the plate.  David Vidal drove in a run with a single to increase the lead to 4-2.  The Blue Wahoos used the suicide squeeze with Josh Fellhauer racing home from third, and a sacrifice fly by Mark Fleury to make the score 6-2.  The Suns have allowed six runs in an inning three times this season. 

The Suns started their comeback in the seventh when Donnie Webb doubled to lead off the inning.  With two outs, German Duran singled to right to drive in his second run of the night to cut the lead to 6-3.  Shawn Bowman followed with double, with Duran scrambling all the way from first and it was 6-4 Blue Wahoos.  

In the eighth, the Suns put together the big inning against reliever Justin Freeman sending eight men to the plate and scoring four runs on five hits.  Bowman drove in two runs with his third double of the game.  Webb and Gutierrez each had RBI singles and the Suns grabbed an 8-6 lead. 

Jacksonville tacked on one more in the ninth when Jeff Dominguez doubled and scored on Webb’s sacrifice fly.  German Duran, Shawn Bowman, and Jake Jefferies each finished with three hits.   Bowman’s three doubles tied Jake Smolinski and Paul Gran for the most in a game this season. 

The Suns improved to 10-6 against the Blue Wahoos this season. Jacksonville has won five of the six games played at Bay Front Stadium.  The Suns have won three of their last four games while the Blue Wahoos have lost three straight  and nine of the last 13 games. 

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