Tag Archives: Drew Garcia

Barons 5-2 Win Ends Suns Winning Streak

Right fielder Justin Greene drove in two runs and scored another in the Barons 5-2 win over the Suns. Photo Courtesy: Birmingham Barons

By Steve Kolbe
The Jacksonville Suns four game winning streak came to an end with a 5-2 loss in Birmingham on Thursday night.
The Barons took the lead in the third against Suns starter Zach Neal.  Damaso Espino led off the inning with a single and Justin Green followed with a ground-rule double.  Espino scored the first run of the night when Tyler Saladino lifted a sacrifice fly to center for a 1-0 Barons lead, and Drew Garcia then tripled to dive in his fifth run of the series and it was 2-0.  The final run of the inning crossed the plate when Garcia scored from third on a ground out to give Birmingham a 3-0 advantage.  The Suns fell to 3-11 when allowing the first run of the game.  Garcia’s triple was his third of the season and 17th for the Barons this season.  Birmingham has hit the most triples in Minor League Baseball.
Birmingham scored two more runs in the fourth inning, when Greene smashed his second double in as many innings to expand the Barons lead to 5-0.  Green finished the game 2-for-3 with two runs batted in and also scored a run.
The Suns scored their two runs in the eighth inning to avoid being shutout for the second time this season. Jake Smolinski and Shawn Bowman singled off Barons starter Pedro Hernandez, who would give way to reliever Ryan Kussmaul after throwing 99 pitches.  Russell Michell doubled to left off of Kussmaul to cut the lead to 5-2, but that was as close as the Suns would get.
Jake Smolinski and Russell Mitchell finished 2-for-4.  Smolinski has hit safely in four straight games since returning from an injury.  He has three straight multi-hit games.   Mitchell drove in Jacksonville’s only two runs, and in his eight games with the Suns he has seven RBI’s. 
Birmingham pitcher Pedro Hernandez won his third straight game to improve his record to 3-1.  Hernandez threw 99 pitches over seven and a-third innings of work, allowing eight hits and two runs.  Zach Neal lost his second straight start.  He pitched four innings, allowing seven hits and five runs.  Bobby Bramhall and Chris Squires combined to pitch four innings and allowed two hits.  The Suns are now 9-4 on the road, and over their last 17 games have a record of 12-5.

The Suns look to get back on track on Friday with Graham Taylor (2-1, 3.86) on the mound.  Taylor has won his last two starts allowing just two runs on eight hits over 13 innings against Mobile and Pensacola.  The Barons counter with Simon Castro (1-1, 4.65).  He’s given up 35 hits and 16 runs in his 31 innings of work in his five starts.  The first pitch is scheduled for 8:05EST from Regions Park in Birmingham.

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Filed under Ahead Of The Curve, Southern League News

Suns Back On Top After 4-3 Win In Birmingham



The Suns rallied for a 4-3 win over the Barons at Regions Park. The win snapped the Barons five game winning streak and moved Jacksonville into first place in the South Division. Photo Courtesy: Birmingham Barons

By Steve Kolbe

The Jacksonville Suns improved to 8-3 on the road this season with a 4-3 win over Birmingham at Regions Park on Monday night. 

The Suns took a 1-0 lead in the third when Jose Duarte led off the inning by walking on four pitches, and Jake Smolinski tripled to center to drive him in.  The Suns now have seven triples this season.  In the home half of the inning, Jared Mitchell and Damaso Espino both walked to start the inning against Jacksonville starter Jose Alvarez.  That set the table for Drew Garcia, who drove in two runs with a double down the left field line to put the Barons in front 2-1.  

Birmingham increased the lead to 3-1 in the bottom of the fifth when Justin Greene singled and later scored of a sacrifice fly by Garcia, who drove in all three runs for the Barons in the game to increase his RBI total to 20 for the year. 

The Suns tied the game in the sixth when Paul Gran doubled and Shawn Bowman singled before there was an out in the inning.  Russel Mitchell then singled up the middle to drive in Gran and cut the Barons lead to 3-2.  Later in the sixth, Curt Smith’s sacrifice fly tied the game 3-3.  Mitchell now has five runs batted in with the Suns, and Smith has driven in four runs in the last two games.  With Birmingham a Chicago White Sox affiliate, Monday’s game was the first of the season for Jacksonville with the designated hitter and Smith came through. 

In the seventh inning, the Suns completed the comeback when Smolinski hit his second triple of the night and came in to score on a Shawn Bowman sacrifice fly to give Jacksonville a 4-3 lead.  Bowman leads the team with 14 runs batted in.  Smolinski is now five-for-eight in his last two games since returning from an injury. 

Jose Alvarez pitched six innings allowing seven hits and three runs to earn his first win of the season.  Once again the Suns bullpen was flawless, tossing three innings without allowing a hit.  Garrett Parcell pitched the seventh, Josh Schmidt the eighth, and Evan Reed locked down his seventh save by retiring the Barons in order in the ninth.  Reed leads the Southern League in saves.  Barons starter Jose Quintana pitched six innings and allowed five hits and three runs and didn’t figure in the decision.  The losing pitcher was Santos Rodriguez.  He dropped to 0-1 as the Barons five game winning streak came to an end. 

The Suns improved to 14-1 when they score the first run.  It was also the fifth come-from-behind win for Jacksonville this season.  

Game two of the series is Tuesday morning at 11:00AM with Bryan Evans (0-2, 5.75) scheduled to make the start for the Suns.  Nestor Molina (3-1, 3.56) will take the mound for Birmingham.



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Filed under Ahead Of The Curve, Southern League News