Tag Archives: Dallas Poulk

Suns Take Two From Barons


Suns starter Graham Taylor (above left)threw three-hit complete game to lead Jacksonville past Birmingham 5-0 in game one. Keyle Jensen(above right)hit his 20th home run of the season in the Suns 5-3 comeback win in the night cap at the Baseball Grounds August 21, 2012. Photo Courtesy: Jacksonville Suns

By Steve Kolbe

The Jacksonville Suns swept a double-header from the Birmingham Barons, winning game one 5-0 with a dominant performance from starter Graham Taylor, and the Suns turned up the power to claim the night cap 5-3.  It’s the first time this season that the Suns have swept both games of a twin bill.
The Suns broke the ice in game one in the second inning against Barons starter Nestor Molina.  Kyle Jensen led off the inning with his 19th home run of the season to put the Suns in front 1-0.  The Suns improved their record to 47-22 when scoring the first run of the game.
The Suns were turned away by Molina after loading the bases with no outs in the fifth, but Jacksonville added some insurance in the home half of the sixth,  loading the bases for a second straight inning.   Singles by Ben Lasater and Kyle Skipworth and a walk by Kyle Jensen loaded the bases with no outs.  Jake Jefferies delivered a RBI-single with Lasater cruising home to increase the Suns lead to 2-0.  The Barons summoned Salvador Sanchez from the bullpen, and he walked Danny Pertusati on four pitches to force in Skipworth from third to make the score 3-0.  After Jensen hustled home on a wild pitch to pad the lead to 4-0, Dallas Poulk capped the scoring with a sacrifice fly plating Jefferies for the 5-0 final.
Kyle Skipworth and Jake Jefferies each finished 2-for-3 for the Suns.  Jacksonville has 13 shutouts this season, with 11 of them tossed at the Baseball Grounds.   The Barons were blanked for the seventh time this season.
Taylor (8-10) allowed just three singles for the complete game seven-inning win.  In his previous start this season against the Barons, Taylor allowed a season-high 12 hits in an 8-3 loss May 4th at Hoover, Alabama.  The win Tuesday was Taylor’s first complete game of the season.  Another Suns lefty, Jose Alvarez, is tied for the league lead with three complete games.  Nestor Molina (4-10) surrendered five runs on nine hits in the loss.   Molina won three of his first five starts this season, but has just one victory in his last 15 outings.
The Suns capped of the night in come-from-behind fashion, falling behind the Barons 3-0 in the second game.  James Leverton retired the first 11 batters he faced, but with two outs in the top of the fourth the Barons put together a two-out rally.  Trayce Thompson walked and scored when Andy Wilkins doubled to the gap in left center to give the Barons a 1-0 lead.  Brady Shoemaker followed with a double to right-center, with Wilkins scoring to increase the lead to 2-0.  Shoemaker added a RBI-single in the sixth inning to hand Birmingham a 3-0 cushion.
The Suns powered their way to the comeback in the home half of the sixth against Barons starter Spencer Arroyo, hitting three home runs.  Leadoff man Jake Smolinski smashed the first pitch he saw over the left field wall to put the Suns on the board.  Smolinski has hit all six of his homers in the second half of the season.  After Chris Gutierrez walked and Zack Cox singled, Kyle Jensen cleared the bases with his second home run of the double header to put the Suns in front to stay 4-3.  Jensen is one of only five players in the Southern League with 20 or more round trippers.  Kyle Skipworth made it back-to-back home runs in the inning, when he belted his 18th home run of the season to help the Suns claim the night cap 5-3.   Skipworth also homered against the Barons May 5th.
The Suns have won six of their eight games against the Barons this season.  With a record of 21-12 at home in the second half, the Suns have more wins than any team in the league on their home turf.  Jacksonville is 10-3 in the last 13 games at the Baseball Grounds, with five of the victories by shutout.  
Jake Smolinski went 2-for-3 for his 23rd multi-hit game of the season.  Kyle Jensen has belted six three-run home runs this season, with half of them in the month of August.   Jensen has left the yard five times in the last six games.
Collin Cargill (1-0) earned his first win with the Suns.  Spencer Arroyo (6-4) allowed five runs on seven hits in the loss.  Arroyo allowed three home runs in the sixth inning on Tuesday, after giving up just four all season.
Game four of the series is Wednesday with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 PM.  RHP Bryan Evans (5-7, 4.31) will start for the Suns.  RHP Jacob Petricka (2-2, 3.59) takes the mound for the Barons.

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Suns Roll Past Barons 13-7

The Jacksonville Suns tied their season-high with 15 hits in a 13-7 win over the Birmingham Barons at the Baseball Grounds August 19, 2012. Photo Courtesy: Birmingham Barons

 By Steve Kolbe

The Jacksonville Suns snapped their season-high seven-game losing streak, defeating the Birmingham Barons 13-7 on Sunday night at the Baseball Grounds.  It’s the ninth time the Suns have scored 10 or more runs in a game, with six of the offensive explosions at home. 
The Barons took the lead in the first inning against Suns starter Matthew Neil.  Tyler Saladino led off with a double, and Carlos Sanchez followed with a double to left-center, with the speedy Saladino scoring all the way from first to put Birmingham up 1-0.  The Barons entered the game with a record of 40-20 when scoring the first run of the game.
The Suns broke the ice against Barons starting pitcher Andre Rienzo in the bottom of the fourth.  After retiring the first 10 batters of the game, Rienzo surrendered a single to Chris Gutierrez with one out in the fourth.  Zack Cox then got the green light on a 3-0 pitch and delivered with a double to center field, with Guiterrez scoring from first to even the score 1-1.  Cox has driven in 11 runs in 13 games with the Suns after being acquired by Miami from St. Louis.
Birmingham took the lead in the sixth against Neil, with the first four batters in the inning all reaching base.  Leadoff hitter Trayce Thompson jumped on the first pitch he saw and belted a solo home run to left to put the Barons up 2-1.  Since being promoted from Class-A Winston-Salem on August 13th, Thompson has nine hits including his first two Double-A  home runs.  It was the 10th round tripper that Neil has surrendered this season.  Neil walked both Andy Wilkins and Seth Loman, and a single by Brady Showemaker loaded the bases  with no outs.  Jose Martinez cashed in with a double to right field, with both Wilkins and Shoemaker racing around to score to increase the Barons lead to 4-1.
The Suns sent 13 men to the plate in the home half of the sixth, scoring a season-high eight runs on eight hits in the inning to take a 9-4 lead.  Barons reliever Leroy Hunt was touched for four runs on five hits and didn’t retire a batter in the inning.  With Chris Gutierrez and Zach Cox aboard, Kyle Jensen drove in the first two runs in the inning with his second triple of the season.  Gutierrez plated a pair of runs his second time at bat with his 23rd double of the year.   Jake Smolinski, Ben Lasater, Aaron Dudley, and Dallas Poulk each drove in a run.  Jacksonville batted around in an inning for the 13th time this season.
The Suns scored all eight of their runs in the sixth inning with two outs.  The Suns previous high for most runs in an inning was seven (April 23rd vs. Mobile; June 25th vs. Tennessee; July 31st @ Mobile).   
Birmingham used the long ball in the seventh against Suns reliever Grant Dayton to inch closer.  Andy Wilkins smashed a two-run home run, and Seth Loman added a solo blast to cut the Suns lead to 9-7.  The duo share the team lead with 16 home runs each. 
In the home half of the seventh, Zack Cox led off with a walk and scored when Kyle Skipworth just missed a home run, hitting a double off the wall in the deepest part of the ball park to pad the Suns lead to 1-7.  Jacksonville tacked on three more runs in the bottom of the eighth for the 13-7 final.  The Suns improved to 16-43 when allowing the first run of the game.
The Suns ended their season-high seven game losing streak, and are now just three games behind the Montgomery Biscuits in the pennant race in the South Division.  The Birmingham Barons have lost seven of their last 10 games.
Jacksonville tied a season-high with 15 hits in the game (August 6th vs. Montgomery).  The Suns managed a triple, three doubles, and 11 singles on the night.  Every player in the Suns lineup had at least one hit and drove in at least one run.  Kyle Jensen and Chris Gutierrez each crossed the plate three times.  Chris Gutierrez, Zack Cox, Ben Lasater, Aaron Dudley, Donnie Webb, and Dallas Poulk each collected two hits in the game.  Poulk finished with three RBI’s, with Gutierrez and Jensen each driving in a pair of runs.
Grant Dayton (1-0) allowed three runs on three hits over an inning and a-third to record his first win with the Suns.  Andre Rienzo (4-2) surrendered five runs on five hits in the loss.  He had allowed a total of six earned runs over 19 innings in his previous three starts.  
Game two of the series is Monday with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 PM from the Baseball Grounds.  LHP Graham Taylor (7-10, 4.11) will take the mound for the 24th time this season for the Suns.  RHP Nestor Molina (4-9, 4.70) will start his 19th game for the Barons.

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Suns Work Extra For Win Over Barons

Suns left fielder Jake Smolinski slides in safely for one of his three doubles at Regions Park against the Barons. Smolinski finished the day 4-for-6 with an RBI and two runs scored. Photo Courtesy: Birmingham Barons

By Steve Kolbe

The Jacksonville Suns won their second straight game over the Barons with an 8-6 victory in 12 innings on Wednesday afternoon.  The Suns are a season-high five games over .500 with a record of 16-11, and have sole possession of first place in the South Division.  

Birmingham scored the first run of the day in the third inning, when Tyler Saladino walked and scored on a single by Drew Garcia to give the Barons a 1-0 lead.  Garcia increased his hitting streak to six games and at that point had driven in all four Birmingham runs in the series.
Before back-to-back losses to the Suns, the Barons had won five straight after their series sweep over Montgomery.  The Barons outscored the Biscuits 39-17 in the process.  Birmingham lost for just the second time this season when scoring at least six runs in a game.  The Suns won for just the third time when allowing the game’s first run.
Birmingham starter Nestor Molina entered the game in search of his fourth straight win, and pitched into the fifth before the Suns were able to get to him.  Three straight singles by Donnie Webb, Jake Smolinski, and Dallas Poulk put Jacksonville on the scoreboard in the fifth.  Poulk’s base hit to center field drove in Webb to tie the game 1-1.  Poulk and Smolinski would later score when Kyle Jensen doubled to left.  Jensen now has 15 runs batted in for the season.
The Barons sent eight batters to the plate and scored three times in the sixth inning, when Suns starting pitcher Bryan Evans was a little wild.  Saladino walked, went to second on a wild pitch, and crossed the plate later in the inning on a wild pitch to cut the Suns lead to 3-2.  Wade Korpi entered the game in relief, and with the bases loaded Jose Martinez came through with a single to left field driving in two runs and giving the Barons in front 4-3.  Martinez now has a five-game hitting streak.
No lead was safe throughout the day, and in the seventh inning the Suns tied the game 4-4 off of Barons reliever  Nevin Griffith.  Jake Smolinski drew a leadoff walk and scored on Shawn Bowman’s single to right.  Bowman has 14 runs batted in this season.  Jacksonville took a 5-4 lead in the eighth when Kyle Jensen singled to center to lead off the inning.  Ryan Patterson entered the game as a pinch runner and went to second on a wild pitch, advanced to third on a ground out, and scored when Curt Smith sent a fly ball to center.  Smith has driven in six runs in the last three games.
A.J. Ramos entered the game in the eighth inning, but couldn’t hold the one-run lead.  Andy Wilkins hit a solo home run to right field to tie the game 5-5.  It was his fourth round-tripper of the season.  Ramos had given up just one single to the first 40 batters that he had faced this season.  He allowed two hits and one run in his two innings of work on Wednesday against Birmingham.

In the 12th inning, Ryan Patterson led off with a walk.  Curt Smith then drove in his second run of the day with a double to center with Patterson scoring to give the Suns a 6-5 advantage.  Donnie Webb drove in a run with a sacrifice bunt to increase the lead to 7-5, and Jake Smolinski plated a run in the inning with his third double of the game.  The Suns improved to 2-0 in extra inning games this season.  During the 2011 campaign, the Suns led the Southern League with 10 extra inning wins.

Overall, seven of Jacksonville’s 13 hits were doubles.  Jake Smolinksi finsihed 4-for-6 with three doubles, two runs scored, and a run batted in.  Dallas Poulk wednt 3-for-7 with two doubles and scored a run.  Kyle Jensen and Curt Smith each had two hits and two runs batted in.  It’s the second time this season that Smolinski has had three doubles in a game to come within one of tying the Southern League record for most doubles in a single game.  He had three doubles against Huntsville April 7th.

Suns starter Bryan Evans pitched five-and-a-third innings, allowing two hits and three runs(two earned).  Kyle Kaminska was the winning pitcher to improve his record to 4-1.  He tossed two innings, allowing just two hits and struck out two.   Evan Reed pitched the 12th inning to notch his league-leading eighth save of the season.  Six Suns pitchers combined to strike out a season-high 17 Birmingham hitters. 

The Suns will look to continue their winning ways on Thursday night with RHP Zach Neal (2-2, 2.16) on the mound.  Neal’s 2.16 ERA has him among the league leaders.   LHP Pedro Hernandez (2-1, 3.24) is scheduled to start for the Barons.

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Suns Reel In Wahoos With Walk-Off Win


Dallas Poulk singled in the bottom of the ninth inning to drive in Donnie Webb and give the Suns a walk-off win over the Blue Wahoos. Photo Courtesy: Jacksonville Suns

By Steve Kolbe

The Suns returned to Jacksonville after winning seven games on their 10-game road trip and picked up right where they left off, downing Pensacola 6-5 at the Baseball Grounds.

Kyle Skipworth put the Suns in front 1-0 in the second inning with a solo home run off of Blue Wahoos starter Pedro Villarreal.  Skipworth has hit three of his four round-trippers this season against Pensacola.  Curt Smith walked later in the inning and scored when Ryan Patterson doubled to left field to increase the lead to 2-0.  On a wild play, Jose Alvarez hit a ball back to the pitcher with Donnie Webb on first.  It bounced off of Villarreal, and started a double play in which Webb and Alvarez were both tagged out on a base running miscue.  Patterson scored from second on the play to make it 3-0.   

In the fourth inning, Kyle Jensen singled with one out and scored on Patterson’s second double of the night for a 4-0 Suns lead.  A batter later it was 5-0 when Donnie Webb hit his second triple of the season to drive in Patterson.  It was Webb’s third run batted in of the season.  Patterson has now driven in six runs on the year.

Suns starting pitcher Jose Alvarez was cruising along into the sixth inning.  He had retired 15 straight Pensacola batters after Ryan LaMarre doubled to lead off the game.  But in the sixth, the Blue Wahoos were able to get to Alvarez when Brian Peacock led off with a single, and that was followed by a double by Yordanys Perez.  A sacrifice fly by LaMarre plated the first of four runs in the inning for the Blue Wahoos and what was a comfortable Suns lead was gone with the score 5-4.  Didi Gregorius had a single to drive in a run in the inning, and Henry Rodriguez drove in his 12th run of the season with a double.  Gregorius has hit safely in 11 of his last 12 games.

After Garrett Parcell pitched the eighth inning for the Suns, Evan Reed took over in the ninth inning for Jacksonville looking to secure the win for his sixth save of the season.  The leadoff man in the inning Cody Puckett popped up into shallow right field and second baseman Dallas Poulk dropped the ball and Puckett ended up on second.  It was the Suns third error of the game and a costly one.  Two batters later Brian Peacock drove in the game-tying run with a single to even the score 5-5.  

In the home half of the ninth, Donnie Webb led off against relief pitcher Justin Freeman with his second triple of the night.  After an intentional walk to pinch hitter Paul Gran, Pensacola manager Jim Riggleman brought his center fielder into the infield to give the Blue Wahoos five players in the infield with the game-winning run at third for the Suns with no outs.

What happened next was a moment that could have been taken right from a Hollywood script.  Dallas Poulk, who had committed that error earlier, came to the plate with a chance to give the Suns the win.  He didn’t disappoint.  After falling behind in the count no balls and two strikes, Poulk launched a single into center field to give Jacksonville the walk-off win 6-5.  It was one of those moments that can be frozen in time for a player in just his third game with his new team.  It was just the third run that the Suns have scored in the ninth inning in 21 games this season.

Jose Alvarez pitched five-and-a-third innings, allowing four runs on five hits and didn’t figure in the decision.  He struck out six and didn’t walk a batter.  Evan Reed allowed one hit and one unearned run in the ninth to earn his first win of the season.  The losing pitcher was Justin Freeman.  He entered the game having allowed only two runs this season, but he allowed the game winning run on two hits on Wednesday to fall to 2-2 on the season. 

Donnie Webb had a perfect night going 3-for-3 with two triples, a run batted in, and a run scored.  Overall this year, the Suns have hit five triples, and Webb has hit all three of his against Pensacola.  Ryan Patterson also had a big night at the plate going 2-for-4 with two doubles, two runs batted in, and two runs scored.  Kyle Jensen finished 2-for-4 and scored a run.

The Suns have won five straight over the Blue Wahoos after dropping the first-ever meeting against their new in-state rival.  Five of the first six meetings this season between the two teams have been decided by a single run, with Jacksonville winning four of them.  Jacksonville improved to 10-1 when scoring the game’s first run.  The Suns have won eight of their last 11 games, while the Blue Wahoos have just three wins in their last 11 contests. 

The win, combined with Mobile’s 8-7 loss to Chattanooga in 12 innings, leaves the Suns alone atop the Southern League South Division.   With 12 wins in the month, Jacksonville already has more wins in April then in the 2011, when they finished 11-12 in the first month of the season.  Game two of the series against Pensacola is Thursday at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville.  In a matchup of right-handers, Bryan Evans takes the mound for the Suns looking for his first win of the season.  Tim Gustafson gets the call for the Blue Wahoos.          

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