By Steve Kolbe
The Suns were held hitless by Barons starter Simon Castro until the fifth inning, when Curt Smith singled to center. It wasn’t until the sixth inning that Jacksonville scored against the hard-throwing Castro. Donnie Webb hit his fourth triple of the season and Jake Smolinski drove him in with a single to make the score 7-1.
Birmingham added a run in the seventh against releiver Garrett Parcell, when Espino sparked another two out rally with a single up the middle. Greene singled and Tyler Saladino was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Drew Garcia drew a walk to force in Espino for an 8-1 lead. Garcia went 2-for-4 to increase his hitting streak to eight games.
Jake Smolinski and Donnie Webb each drove in a run in the Suns half of the eighth, but Jacksonville fell short 8-3. Smolinski extended his hitting streak to five games going 2-for-4 and driving in two runs. Smolinski has four straight multi-hit games. Webb finished the night 2-for-3 with a run batted in and a run scored.
The Suns hit into five double plays in the game, and the Barons finished one shy of the Southern League record for most double plays in a game. It was the most double plays for a Barons team since September 6, 2009. Donnie Webb, Ryan Patterson, and Curt Smith each hit into a double play, and Dallas Poulk hit into two.
The winning pitcher was Simon Castro. He improved to 2-1 on the season by pitching seven innings allowing six hits and three runs. His fastball reached 99 miles per hour in the game, and he threw in the mid-90’s throughout the night. Graham Taylor lost his second straight start to drop to 2-2 on the year. It’s the first time this season that the Suns have lost back-to -back road games.
The series finale in Saturday with the first pitch scheduled for 7:35 PM EST. Omar Poveda (2-1, 4.34) makes his fifth start of the season for Jacksonville. Cameron Bayne (3-0, 2.70) will take the mound for Birmingham.