The Suns and BayBears began a double header on July 31st at 6:05PM central time. The final out of game two was recorded August 1st at 1:05AM central time. Photo Courtesy: Mobile BayBears
By Steve Kolbe
The Jacksonville Suns and Mobile BayBears split a doubleheader at Hank Aaron Stadium, with the BayBears claiming game one in 10 innings 3-2, and the Suns winning the night cap 15-3. During the twin bill the calendar changed from July to August, with first game starting at 6:06 PM on July 31st, and the final out of game two secured in the books at 1:05 AM August 1st.
The Suns took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third inning in game one when Jake Smolinski hit his fourth home run of the season, a solo blast off of BayBears starter Brett Lorin. Smolinski has hit all four of his home runs in the second half.
The BayBears edged in front in the bottom of the fifth against Suns starter Bryan Evans. Mobile third baseman Matt Davidson doubled to right-center to drive in Chris Owings to tie the score 1-1. Brent Clevlen then drew a walk and Ryan Strieby reached on a error to load the bases. David Nick forced in the go-ahead run with a walk to give the BayBears a 2-1 lead.
Kyle Skipworth hit a solo home run in the top of the sixth inning off of Mobile reliever Eury De La Rosa to tie the game 2-2. Skipworth has six home runs and 10 runs batted in over his last 11 games.
The game went into extra innings, and the BayBears ended the contest in the tenth inning. Rossmel Perez and Wladimir Sutil each singled to start the rally against Suns reliever Bobby Bramhall. Chris Owings then walked to load the bases. Matt Davidson walked on a full count to force in pitcher Bo Schultz with the winning run in the 3-2 victory. The Suns have played seven extra-inning games this season(4-3), with all of them on the road.
Curt Smith, Ben Lasater, and Jake Smolinski each finished with two hits for the Suns. Matt Davidson had two hits and drove in two of the BayBears runs in the game. The BayBears were 1-for-14 with runners in scoring position, and left 16 men on base.
Bobby Bramhall (1-2) allowed one run on two hits in the loss. Suns pitchers combined to walk 11 batters in the game. Bo Schultz (1-2) pitched the tenth inning for the win.
In game two, the Suns started quick and never looked back in the 15-3 win. Curt Smith and Paul Gran each drove in a run in the first inning to put the Suns up 2-0. Jacksonville has scored at least one run in the first inning 33 times this season (24-9).
Mobile countered in the home half of the first against Suns starting pitcher James Leverton, scoring three times to take a 3-2 lead. David Nick drove in two runs with a single, and Brent Clevlen drove in a run with an infield hit. The Suns would go on to score 13 unanswered runs the rest of the night.
In the top of the second, after Shawn Bowman was hit by a pitch, Danny Pertusati put the Suns in front to stay with his first Double-A home run. His blast to left-center gave the Suns a 4-3 lead. The Suns have hit at least two home runs in the first three games of the series at Hank Aaron Stadium
In the fifth inning, Curt Smith hit his eighth home run of the season and Jake Jefferies drove in a run with a single to increase the lead to 7-3. Smith finished the game with four RBI’s. Jacksonville exploded for a season-high seven runs in the seventh inning, capped by a three-run home run by Kyle Jensen.
Seven different Suns players scored a run in the game, with six players crossing the plate at least twice. Jake Smolinski, Chris Gutierrez, Curt Smith, Kyle Jensen, and Shawn Bowman each scored two times. Danny Pertusati scored three runs for Jacksonville. Seven different Suns drove in at least one run. Curt Smith drove in four runs, Kyle Jensen drove in three, and Danny Pertusati and Jake Smolinski each had two RBI’s.
Game four of the series is Wednesday with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 PM from Hank Aaron Stadium. LHP Jose Alvarez (4-5, 3.95) takes the hill for the Suns. LHP David Holmberg (2-4, 4.63) will start for the BayBears.