Tag Archives: DiDi Gregorius

Blue Wahoos Defeat Suns

 

Blue Wahoos second baseman Brodie Greene(above)reached base three times and drove in a run in a 7-5 win over the Jacksonville Suns July 3, 2012 at the Baseball Grounds. Photo Courtesy: Pensacola Blue Wahoos

By Steve Kolbe

Pensacola shortstop Didi Gregorius hit a home run and drove in four to lead the Blue Wahoos past the Jacksonville Suns 7-5 Tuesday night in Jacksonville.  The crowd of 11,392 was the largest at the Baseball Grounds since the 2008 season.
 
Pensacola jumped out to a lead in the first inning against Suns starter Bryan Evans when Gregorius hit a two-run home run deep to right field.  It was his first home run of the season. 
 
The Suns answered in the home half of the first inning scoring three runs on four hits.  Jacksonville finished with seven hits in the game.  Kyle Skipworth drove in two runs with a single, and Shawn Bowman knocked in another to give the Suns a 3-2 lead.
 
Both teams scored twice in the fourth.  Beau Mills his his fourth home run of the season and David Vidal drove in another to put Pensacola up 4-3.  Shawn Bowman smashed his seventh home run, and Jeff Dominguez drove in a run to put the Suns back in front 5-4.
 
The Blue Wahoos took the lead for good in the sixth inning, sending eight men to the plate and scoring three runs to take the lead back at 7-5.  
 
Suns pitcher Mike Ojala (0-1) suffered the loss.  Blue Wahoos reliever Mark Serrano (5-1) pitched and inning to earn the win.  Curtis Partch picked up his fifth save of the season.
 
The Suns open a three game set in Tennessee against the Smokies on Wednesday night with the first pitch scheduled for 7:15 p.m.

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Cingrani Shuts Down Suns

Blue Wahoos starter Tony Cingrani (above) combined with reliever Justin Freeman on a two hitter in a 2-0 win over the Suns July 2, 2012 at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville. Photo Courtesy: Pensacola Blue Wahoos

By Steve Kolbe

 
After scoring 31 runs in their previous three home games, the Suns were shut down by Pensacola lefty Tony Cingrani on Monday night in a 2-0 Pensacola victory.  Cingrani and reliever Justin Freeman combined on a two-hitter, and the Suns had just six base runners in the game.
 
In a match up of Southern League Pitchers of the Week, Jose Alvarez for the Suns and Tony Cingrani for the Blue Wahoos, both needed just 20 pitches to breeze through the first two innings at the Baseball Grounds.  Cingrani retired the first 10 batters he faced until Paul Gran singled in the fourth inning.  Alvarez kept the Wahoos off balance and allowed just a single through four innings before leaving the game with an injury.
 
Pensacola scored the only runs of the game in the sixth inning against Suns reliever Alan Oaks.  Pensacola pitcher Tony Cingrani helped his own cause when he led off with a single to left.  Brodie Greene was then hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second with no outs.  Didi Gregorius ripped a single to right field, with Cingrani racing around from second to score and give the Blue Wahoos a 1-0 lead.  Brian Peacock then drove in Gregorius with and infield single, and the 2-0 advantage was more than enough for Cingrani.  Pensacola improved to 30-0 this season when leading after the eighth inning.
 
Jose Alvarez left the game with an injury after pitching four innings of one-hit ball.  Alan Oaks (1-1) allowed two runs on three hits over three innings in the loss.  Tony Cingrani (3-1) allowed just two singles in six and two-thirds innings and struck out nine.  He set a team record with 15 strikeouts in his last start against the Jackson Generals.  Justin Freeman closed out the game, fanning four batters in his two and a-third innings to earn his fifth save of the season.  For the Suns it was unlucky 13, with Jacksonville hitter striking out 13 times in the game, 12 times swinging.  Donnie Webb was the only player called out on strikes, and that ended the game. 
 
The Suns were shut out for the eighth time this year, with six of the white washes coming at the Baseball Grounds.  The Suns have been blanked five times in the last 21 games.  It was the first shutout for Pensacola in the season series.  This season the Suns have been on the wrong side of three dominant pitching performances.  Including Pensacola’s Tony Cingrani of the Blue Wahoos, three teams have tossed a two-hitter or a one-hitter at the Baseball Grounds.  Chattanooga’s Aaron Miller and two relievers combined on a one-hitter April 12 in a 1-0 Lookouts win.  Jackson’s Danny Hultzen and Carter Capps pitched a two-hitter June 8 in a 2-0 Generals victory.
 
Chris Gutierrez and Paul Gran were the only players with hits for Jacksonville.  The Blue Wahoos had five players with a single each in the game.  The Suns lead the season series 13-9 (6-6 at home, 7-3 on the road).  The Suns have won three of the four series this season against the Blue Wahoos.
 
The Suns will look to win the season series by taking the finale of the three game set on Tuesday night.  RHP Bryan Evans (2-5, 3.38) will take the mound for the Suns.  RHP Kyle Lotzkar (4-3, 4.21) gets the start for the Blue Wahoos.  The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. EST.

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Suns Reel In Blue Wahoos

Jeff Dominguez, Curt Smith, and Paul Gran each hit a home run in the Suns 10-4 win over the Pensacola Blue Wahoos at the Baseball Grounds. Photo Courtesy: Jacksonville Suns

By Steve Kolbe

 
The Suns began their brief three game home stand by exploding for a 10-4 win over the Pensacola Blue Wahoos on Sunday night in Jacksonville.  The Suns have won three in a row at the Baseball Grounds, outscoring opponents by a combined 31-4.  The Suns have scored at least 10 runs in each of their last three home games.
 
The Suns used the combination of aggressive base running and power to take the lead in the first inning against Blue Wahoos starter Tim Crabbe.  Jake Smolinski led off the game with a walk, and promptly stole second base.  With one out, Curt Smith hit a two-run home run deep to left field to put the Suns ahead 2-0.  Smith has smashed three home runs in his last five games, and six round trippers in his last 14 games after hitting just one in the first two months of the season.  The Suns have now hit at least one home run in six straight home games.
 
Quick starts have been the norm for the Suns in the second half, scoring at least one run in the first inning in four straight games and five of the last six.  Jacksonville improved to 30-13 when scoring the first run of the game, and the Suns are 18-8 when scoring a run in the first inning.
 
Jacksonville used the long ball again in the second inning to increase the lead to 3-0, when Jeff Dominguez hit his fourth home run of the season.  Dominguez has hit two of his four home runs against Pensacola.  The Suns have hit 17 home runs in the last 15 games.
 
For the third straight game the Suns had built a 3-0 lead, and for the third straight time it would vanish.  With Omar Poveda transferred to New Orleans, Suns lefty James Leverton made his first start of the season and breezed through the first two innings.  In the third, Leverton issued free passes to Mark Fleury and Ryan LaMarre.  With one out, Didi Gregorius tripled down the first base line driving in both base runners to cut the Suns lead to 3-2.  Brodie Greene then sent a sacrifice fly deep to right field, with the speedy Gregorius coasting across the plate to even the score 3-3. 
 
Crabbe continued to struggle with his control in the fifth inning, walking pitcher Kyle Kaminska and Jake Smolinski both on four pitches.  Paul Gran cleared the bases when he hit a three-run home run to left field to hand the Suns a 6-3 advantage.  It was Gran’s first home run since April 16, when he hit a two-run homer against Pensacola’s Curtis Partch in the Suns twelfth game of the season. 
 
Blue Wahoos first baseman Beau Mills hit a solo shot to deep right field off Suns reliever Kyle Kaminska in the sixth to cut the Suns lead to 6-4.  In the home half of the inning, the Suns had four straight hitters reach base with two outs.  Pinch hitter Donnie Webb, Jake Smolinski, and Paul Gran each singled, with Gran’s base knock driving in Webb to make the score 7-4.
 
In the seventh inning, the Suns had five straight batters reach base as they batted around for the eighth time in an inning this season.  Jose Duarte singled to center, Chris Gutierrez walked, and Jeff Dominguez singled to load the bases with one out.  Suns pitcher Josh Schmidt drove in his first run of the season when he bunted for a base hit, with Duarte scoring from third base and it was 8-4 Suns.  Suns pitchers now have three RBI this season.  On a 3-2 count, Jake Smolinski was hit by Chris Manno, with Gutierrez scoring to add to the lead 9-4.  With two outs, Curt Smith drove in Dominguez with the final run of the night. 
 
Jacksonville improved to 13-8 overall this season against Pensacola (6-5 at home, 7-3 on the road), and are one win away from claiming the first-ever season series against their in-state rival.  Sunday’s game was the fifth time this season that the Suns scored 10 or more runs in a game.
 
Curt Smith, Paul Gran, and Jeff Dominguez each finished with two hits.  Smith extended his hitting streak to six games going 7-for-21 with three home runs, seven RBI, and five runs scored during the streak.  Gran drove in half of the Suns eight runs on the night.  Jake Smolinskii reached base all five times at the plate with three walks, a single, and hit by a pitch.  Smolinski and Dominguez each scored twice.  The Suns had at least one base runner in every inning except the fourth.  Every Suns player with the exception of Shawn Bowman reached base at least once.  The Suns finished with 11 hits (8 singles and 3 home runs).
 
Left fielder Bryson Smith had a perfect night in the loss, collecting half of the Blue Wahoos eight hits in the game.  He finished 4-for-4 with three singles and a double.  It’s the seventh time this season that a player has recorded four hits in a game against the Suns.
 
Kyle Kaminska (6-3) allowed a solo home run in two innings of work to earn his second win in the Suns last seven games.  He also helped the offense with a walk and a run scored.  Josh Schmidt pitched the final three innings without allowing a hit to earn his first save of the season.  Tim Crabbe (3-5) allowed six runs on  three hits over four innings in the loss for Pensacola.  He tied his season high by walking six batters, three of the free passes came in to score.  Entering the game, Crabbe had surrendered four home runs in 73 innings.  He gave up three in just four innings to the Suns.
 
Game two of the series is Monday with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m.  LHP Jose Alvarez (2-4, 4.00) is set to make his 15th start of the season for the Suns.  LP Toni Cingrani (2-1, 2.15) will take the mound for the Blue Wahoos.

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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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Blue Wahoos Down Suns In Series Finale

Blue Wahoos starting pitcher Tim Crabbe gave up just two hits in six scoreless innings and struck out six against the Suns to earn his second win of the season. Photo Courtesy: Jacksonville Suns

By Steve Kolbe 

The Pensacola Blue Wahoos used strong starting pitching from Tim Crabbe, and a three-run home run from Yordanys Perez to top the Jacksonville Suns 4-1 on Monday afternoon at the Baseball Grounds.
 
Omar Poveda kept the Pensacola bats silent until the sixth, when he lost his control and walked center fielder Ryan LaMarre on four pitches to lead off the inning.  LaMarre’s 12 stolen bases are third-most in the league, and with Poveda trying to limit his lead from first base, he threw the ball away allowing LaMarre to advance to second on the throwing error.  On the next pitch, Didi Gregorius drove in the first run of the day with a single up the middle, with LaMarre scoring from second base to give Pensacola a 1-0 lead.
 
The Blue Wahoos increased their lead in the eighth inning against Suns reliever Corey Madden.  With one out, Brodie Green and Joel Guzman each singled.  They weren’t on base for long, when Yordanys Perez turned on an 0-2 pitch and hit his second home run of the season to increase Pensacola’s lead to 4-0.   Guzman hit safely in every game in the series going 8-for-21 with 6 RBI. 
 
Perez finished the day 3-for-4 with two singles and the three-run home run.  He tied his career highs for hits and RBI in a single game.  Pensacola has smashed 15 home runs in the month of May, after hitting just 11 in the first month of the season.
 
Suns second baseman Jeff Dominguez hit a solo home run to right field off of reliever Justin Freeman to account for Jacksonville’s only run.  It was his second homer of the season, and first since the opening series of the year, when he hit a three-run home run against Huntsville.  The Suns have now hit a home run in seven of the last nine games. 
 
The win gave the Blue Wahoos their first road series victory of the season, while the Suns have now lost their last three series.  Pensacola is one game below .500 with a record of 22-23 and have moved past the Suns in the standings, with Jacksonville falling to 21-24.  The Suns are 9-16 at the Baseball Grounds, and haven’t won more than two straight home games this season.
 
Omar Poveda suffered the loss even though he allowed just three hits and only one run in six innings of work.  Poveda is now 3-2 on the season.  He struck out six and walked three batters.  Zach Neal and A.J. Ramos each pitched an inning of scoreless ball.  Corey Madden allowed three hits and three runs in the Pensacola half of the eighth.
 
Tim Crabbe pitched six scoreless innings and gave up just two hits to even his record at 2-2, with both of his wins this season coming on the road.  The only hits he allowed in the game were singles by Ryan Patterson and Donnie Webb.  In his last three starts, Crabbe has allowed just ten hits and one earned run over 18 innings.  He earned his first win in nearly a month, with his last victory on April 23rd at Montgomery.  Last season leadoff hitters batted just .167 against Crabbe, and the Suns had their leadoff hitter reach base only once in the game against him.
 
The Blue Wahoos once again relied on the bullpen, using four relievers on Monday.  Curtis Partch, Justin Freeman, and Donnie Joseph each pitched an inning and held the Suns to just one run.  Donnie Joseph tossed the ninth inning to record his Southern League leading tenth save of the season.  Joseph earned a save in all three of the Blue Wahoos wins in the series.
 
The Suns dropped to 4-22 when allowing their opponent to score the first run.  The first run has been a key for the Wahoos as well, with 19 of their 22 wins coming when they cross the plate first.  In the final three games of the series, the Blue Wahoos built leads of 6-0, 3-0, and 4-0.  In the last four games of the series, the Suns had just six hits combined in the first five innings of play, and scored a total of three runs against Blue Wahoos starters.
 
The Suns travel to Chattanooga to open up a five-game set with the Lookouts on Wednesday.  In a match up of southpaws, LHP Jose Alvarez (1-1, 4.23) is set to start his eighth game of the season for the Suns in game one.  LHP Aaron Miller (2-4, 5.65) will start his ninth game of the season for Chattanooga.  The Lookouts outscored the Suns 28-18 and took four-of-five at the Baseball Grounds in April.

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Bowman Powers Suns Past Blue Wahoos

After a 44 minute rain delay, the Jacksonville Suns defeated the Pensacola Blue Wahoos 8-5 at the Baseball Grounds on Thursday May 17th. Photo Courtesy: Jacksonville Suns

By Steve Kolbe

The Jacksonville Suns used the long ball to defeat the Pensacola Blue Wahoos in the first game of their series 8-5 at the Baseball Grounds on Thursday night. 

After a 44 minute rain delay, the Suns jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning against Pensacola starter J.C. Sulbaran, when Jeff Dominguez singled and scored on a Kyle Skipworth grounder that went under the glove of Blue Wahoos second baseman Brodie Greene.  The Suns have scored at least one run in the first inning 12 times in 41 games this season, and have a record of 10-2 when they cross the plate in the first inning. 

Jacksonville increased the lead to 2-0 in the second, when Kyle Jensen led off with a walk and scored on a one-out double by Chris Gutierrez.  It was the first of two doubles and two runs batted in for Gutierrez, who now has eight doubles this season.

The Blue Wahoos figured out starter Jose Alvarez in the third inning, collecting four hits and scoring two runs to tie the game 2-2.  With one out, Didi Gregorius doubled and Brodie Greene singled to put runners on first and third.  Joel Guzman and Koyie Hill each drove in a run with and RBI single. 

Pensacola added two more runs in the fourth against Alvarez when P.J. Phillips led off the inning with a single, and Andrew Means then doubled to center with Phillips motoring around to increase the Blue Wahoos lead to 3-2.  Means would later score on a sacrifice bunt by Ryan LaMarre, and Pensacola had a 4-2 advantage. 

For the second straight game the Suns would rally from two runs down for a win.  In the bottom of the fourth, Kyle Jensen doubled to lead off the inning and scored on a sacrifice fly by Gutierrez to trim the Blue Wahoos lead to 4-3. 

In the fifth inning, Jacksonville took the lead back when Jeff Dominguez and Jake Smolinski walked to start the inning.  Kyle Skipworth drove in Dominguez with a ground out, and Ryan Patterson plated Smolinski with a double down the right field line and the Suns were ahead 5-4. 

The score stayed that way until the ninth, with Evan Reed trying to preserve the win.  With one out, Didi Gregorius singled and stole second base.  Reed retired Brodie Greene on a fly out to center, but with two outs Joel Guzman jumped on a 2-0 pitch and doubled to left to drive in Gregorius and tie the game 5-5. 

The Blue Wahoos turned the game over to Curtis Partch for the bottom of the ninth.  Jake Smolinski led off with a double, and then Skipworth was walked intentionally.  Shawn Bowman ended the game with a walk-off three-run home run that sailed into the flag court in left field to give the Suns an 8-5 win.  The Suns have now hit a home run in five of the last six games.

The win snapped the Suns five game home losing streak.  Jacksonville was outscored 25-3 in a five game sweep by the Mobile BayBears last week.

Chris Gutierrez finished the game 2-for-3 with two runs batted in.  It was his fifth multi-hit game of the year.  Kyle Skipworth drove in two runs to increase his RBI total to 17.  The Suns finished with 10 hits in the game, reaching double-digits in hits for the first time in 13 games.  Seven of the 10 hits were for extra bases, with six doubles and a home run.

Suns starter Jose Alvarez pitched six innings in his seventh start of the season.  He allowed seven hits and four runs, while striking out five and walking just one.  Blue Wahoos starter J.C. Sulbaran pitched four innings and allowed four hits and five runs.  Evan Reed pitched two innings for the Suns earning the win and is now 2-1 this season.  He allowed three hits, struck out three, and gave up the game tying run in the ninth.  Curtis Partch didn’t record an out in the ninth and fell to 2-3 on the season.

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Suns Win Series Finale Over Blue Wahoos

Suns win their season-high fourth straight game to close out series in Pensacola. Photo Courtesy: Pensacola Blue Wahoos

By Steve Kolbe

The Jacksonville Suns won their season-high fourth straight game with a 4-3 victory over the Blue Wahoos on Thursday night.  The Suns won four of the five games in their first-ever trip to Pensacola. 

The Suns jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning against the Wahoos.  Pensacola starter J.C. Sulbaran didn’t have his control early on.  He hit Paul Gran in the back with the first pitch of the game, followed by singles from Chris Gutierrez and Shawn Bowman to load the bases with no outs.   Kyle Jensen drove in a run with a ground out, and the second run scored on a throwing error by second baseman Brodie Greene.  The Suns have now scored the first run in eight of their last 10 games and are 8-1 this season when crossing the plate before their opponent.  Last season Jacksonville finished 47-23 when they scored the game’s first run..

Pensacola scored a run in the bottom of the inning to cut the lead into the lead to make it 2-1 when Didi Gregorius extended his hit streak to eight games with a leadoff single.  He was driven in by a sacrifice fly by Henry Rodriguez.  The leadoff batter for the Blue Wahoos reached base six times in the game and came in to score all three of their runs on the night. 

The Blue Wahoos tied the game 2-2 in the bottom of the second against Suns starter Omar Poveda.  Brodie Greene led off with a single, and scored when Yordanys Perez doubled to right field to drive in his fifth run of the season.  Perez was thrown out at third trying to stretch play into a triple. 

In the top of the third, Kyle Skipworth sent a ball sailing to the beach.  He hit a towering solo home run that went over the center field lawn and seats to give the Suns a 3-2 lead.  It was estimated that the home run went about 430 feet.  It was Skipworth’s third homer of the year and second in as many nights.  However, it’s the first home run that the Sun’s catcher has ever hit into a bay.   Ryan Patterson added solo home run in the fourth and the Suns had doubled the lead to 4-2.  Skipworth now has a five game hitting streak.  Patterson now has two home runs this year. 

The Wahoos inched closer by scoring a single run in the bottom of the fourth to make it 4-3.  Joel Guzman lined a single into center and took second on a wild pitch by Poveda.  Mark Fleury then drove him in with a single.  Pensacola would threaten in the eighth and ninth but came away empty.  In the game, the Blue Wahoos had at least one runner on base in every inning except the sixth.  

After being forced to leave his last start after just three innings when he was hit in the ankle by a line drive, Omar Poveda earned his second win of the season.  He pitched five innings, allowing eight hits and three runs.  The losing pitcher was J.C. Sulbaran.  He pitched six innings and allowed four runs while striking out 11.  Sulbaran recorded 155 strikeouts during the 2011 season with Bakersfield, a total that was fourth-most in the Reds system.  Bobby Bramhall and Josh Schmidt combined to pitch three scoreless innings while striking out four Wahoos hitters.  With his eighth appearance, Schmidt is now tied for the league lead among pitchers.  A.J. Ramos pitched the ninth for his first save of the year.  He’s given up just one hit to the 26 batters that he has faced this season.  

Jacksonville travels to Mobile for the first of a five game series against the defending Southern League Champions starting Friday night

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