Tag Archives: Jose Alvarez

Suns Power Past The Biscuits In 10 Innings

 

Curt Smith and Kyle Jensen each hit home runs, and the Suns scored three runs in the tenth inning for a 5-2 win over the Montgomery Biscuits at Riverwalk Stadium June 27, 2012. Photo Courtesy: Jacksonville Suns

 By Steve Kolbe

The Jacksonville Suns hit two home runs to power past the Montgomery Biscuits 5-2 in 10 innings at Riverwalk Stadium on Wednesday night. 
 
The Suns once again jumped on the scoreboard early, when Kyle Jensen led off the second inning blasting his ninth home run of the season to put Jacksonville in front 1-0.   Jensen has hit safely in his last three games.  The Suns offense has started quickly over the last week, scoring in the second inning or earlier in five of the last six games.
 
The Biscuits evened the score 1-1 in the bottom half of the second, when Tyler Bortnick hit his fourth home run of the season off Suns starter Jose Alvarez.  It was just the fourth home run that Alvarez has surrendered in nearly 79 innings of work this season.
 
In the third inning, Jeff Dominguez led off with his eleventh double of the season and scored on Jake Smolinski’s sacrifice fly to left, and the Suns took a 2-1 lead.  With 20 RBI, Smolinski is one of seven Suns players with at least 20 runs batted in this season.
 
Montgomery tied the game in the sixth inning against Suns reliever Kyle Kaminska.  Greg Sexton hit a one out single to left, and Brad Coon doubled to put runners on the corners.   Mayo Acosta then grounded to third, with Sexton beating Shawn Bowman’s throw to the plate to even the score 2-2.
 
The teams combined to leave 21 runners on base in the game, with the Suns stranding nine.  The Suns left the bases loaded twice, and the Biscuits left the bases full three times.  Each team loaded the bases in the ninth inning and failed to score. 
 
Jake Smolinski led off the tenth inning with a walk against Biscuits reliever Kirby Yates.  After Yates retired the next two batters, Shawn Bowman doubled off the wall in left field, with Smolinski scoring to give the Suns a 3-2 edge.   After falling behind in the count 0-2, Curt Smith added some insurance for the Suns by blasting his fifth home run of the season to increase the lead to 5-2. 
 
The win snapped the Suns three-game road losing streak.  Jacksonville improved to 3-2 in extra innings, with all five games played on the road.  The Suns are 3-0 against Montgomery this season when they hit a home run in a game, and 0-4 when they don’t.
 
Shawn Bowman and Jeff Dominguez each had two hits for the Suns.  Curt Smith connected for his fifth home run of the year.  After going without a home run since the first series of the season, Smith has belted four in his last 11 games. 
 
For the Biscuits, Hak-Ju Lee finished 3-for-5 with three singles.  His stolen base in the second inning was the 100th stolen base of the season by Montgomery base runners.  Greg Sexton and Brad Coon each had multi-hit games.
 
Jose Alvarez allowed only one run on seven hits over five innings.  Kyle Kaminska tossed three and two-thirds innings in long relief and allowed a run on four hits.  Suns reliever Corey Madden (2-1) entered the game in the ninth inning with the bases loaded, and struck out Tyler Bortnick to dash the Biscuits hopes.  Madden faced just the one batter in the game to earn his second win of the season.  A.J. Ramos retired the Biscuits in order in the tenth inning for his sixth save of the season.
 
Biscuits starter Kyle Lobstein allowed two runs on two hits in his five innings of work.  Kirby Yates (0-2) allowed two hits in each of his two innings after the Suns had only two hits in the first eight innings of the game.  Yates has two losses this season, both against the Suns.
 
Game three of the series is Thursday night with the first pitch slated for 8:05 p.m. EST.  RHP Bryan Evans (2-5, 3.48) is scheduled to start for the Suns.  RHP Jake Thompson (4-5, 5.26) gets the call for the Biscuits.

Leave a comment

Filed under Ahead Of The Curve, Southern League News

Jose Alvarez Quiets Smokies In 2-0 Win

Suns starter Jose Alvarez allowed just two singles over eight innings in the Suns win over the Tennessee Smokies.  Alvarez and closer A.J. Ramos combined for the two-hitter.  Photo Courtesy: Jacksonville Suns

By Steve Kolbe

The Jacksonville Suns used the combination of dominant pitching by Jose Alvarez, and the long ball, to blank the Tennessee Smokies 2-0 Friday night at the Baseball Grounds. 

With eight shutouts already this season, the Suns have one more than their total from the 2011 campaign.  Each of the last three home victories for the Suns have been by shutout (7-0 and 9-0 over the Jackson Generals; 2-0 over the Tennessee Smokies).  Seven different pitchers have been on the mound for Jacksonville shutout wins this season, with Graham Taylor involved in two. 

The Suns jumped out to an early lead in the first inning against Smokies starter Dae-Eun Rhee.  On the second pitch that he saw, Suns leadoff man Donnie Webb hit his fourth home run of the season to give Jacksonville a 1-0 edge.  Webb’s blast landed in the last row of seats in right field, and nearly cleared the stands.  It was the second straight night that the Suns have hit a home run in the first inning.  Webb has now smashed three home runs in his last 11 games in the starting lineup. 

A day after Chris Gutierrez had his 16-game hit streak end, he found his power swing in the fifth inning on Friday night.  His solo home run to left field increased the Suns lead to 2-0.  Gutierrez has hit both of his round trippers in front of the home fans this season. 

The two-run advantage was more than enough for Suns starter Jose Alvarez, who rebounded from his shortest outing of the season June 14th at Mississippi (3.1 IP, six runs on eight hits).  The last time that Alvarez pitched at the Baseball Grounds on June 8th, he tossed a season-high eight innings and allowed just one run on four hits and deserved a better fate.  The Suns were shutout 1-0 by Jackson Generals starter Danny Hultzen on that night.

Alvarez was rewarded for his efforts on Friday against Tennessee, winning for the first time since May 1st to improve to 2-4 on the season.  He allowed just two singles over eight innings, walked only one and struck out five.  From the fourth inning to the eighth inning, Alvarez retired 14 straight batters.  In his last three starts at the Baseball Grounds, Alvarez has surrendered only three runs on 10 hits in 21 innings of work.  With Alvarez at the 99 pitch mark (61 for strikes), the Suns summoned A.J. Ramos to pitch the ninth inning, and he slammed the door on the Smokies to ear his fifth save of the season. 

Pitching on eight days rest, Tennessee starter Dae-Eun Rhee suffered the loss to drop to 4-3 on the season.  He tossed seven innings, giving up two runs on seven hits.  Rhee has allowed the second-most runs (55) of any pitcher in the Southern League.

The Suns improved to 27-8 when scoring the first run of the game.  Jacksonville has scored at least one run in the first inning 20 times this season, with a record of 16-4 when they cross the plate in the first. 

Game three of the series in Saturday night at the Baseball Grounds with the first pitch scheduled for 6:05 p.m.  RHP Bryan Evans (2-4, 2.90 ERA) will start his 14th game of the season for the Suns.  Evans is third in the Southern League with his 2.90 ERA.  For the Smokies, RHP Dallas Beeler (2-5, 4.32 ERA) gets the nod for his 15th start of the season.

Leave a comment

Filed under Ahead Of The Curve, Southern League News

Danny Hultzen Dominates Suns With Two-Hitter

 

Seattle Mariners 2011 First Round draft pick Danny Hutlzen tosses a two-hitter in a season-high eight innings of work in 1-0 win over the Jacksonville Suns June 8, 2012. Photo Courtesy: Jackson Generals

By Steve Kolbe

The pitchers stole the spotlight at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville on Friday night, with Generals starter Danny Hultzen and a reliever combining on a two-hitter against the Suns in a 1-0 win.  The loss dropped the Suns record on Friday nights this season to 1-9. 

The Generals scored the only run of the game in the first inning against Jose Alvarez.  Nick Franklin singled and scored when Denny Almonte doubled down the left field line to put Jackson in front 1-0.  Three of the Generals five hits in the game were in first innng by the first four hitter of the night.  The Generals have seven shutouts this season, with five of them on the road.

For the Generals, First Round draft pick Danny Hultzen entered the game with the lowest ERA in the Southern League.  He won his fifth straight game to improve to 7-3 on the season, and increased his scoreless inning streak to 22.2 innings.  An All-Star selection for the North team, Hultzen pitched eight innings for the first time this season, allowing just two singles and three base runners total.  For the Suns, Jose Alvarez had his best start of the season pitching eight innings and allowing just one run.  Alvarez gave up just one hit after the first inning, but suffered the loss and dropped to 1-3 on the season.

The Suns have been shutout five times this season, with four of them coming at home.  The Generals earned their seventh shutout of the year, and just their second on the road. 

Chris Gutierrez and Paul Gran had the only hits for the Suns in the game, and Kyle Skipworth drew a walk.  This season, 25 of Jacksonville’s 62 games have decided by one run with the Suns 13-13 in those contests.

With just five wins in their last 17 home games, the Suns dropped to 12-20 at the Baseball Grounds in the first half of the season with three games left to play.  During the 2011 campaign, Jacksonville finished with an 18-17 record at home in the first half.

Game three of the series is Saturday with the first pitch scheduled for 6:05PM at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville.  The Suns will send LHP Graham Taylor (3-5, 4.93) to the mound for his 13th start of the season.  For the Generals, RHP Taylor Stanton (1-1, 7.56) will take the hill for his 3rd time this season.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Ahead Of The Curve, Southern League News

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Ahead Of The Curve, Southern League News

BayBears Sweep Double Header From Suns

 By Steve Kolbe
 
The Mobile BayBears swept both games of a double header against the Jacksonville Suns on Tuesday at the Baseball Grounds.  The BayBears edged the Suns 3-2 in game one, and claimed game two with a 3-1 win.
 
In the first game of the night, the Suns took an early lead in the first inning against Mobile starter Brett Lorin.  Shortstop Danny Black drew a lead off walk, and German Duran reached on an error by the pitcher to put runners on first and second with no outs.  Duran was reinstated from the 7-day disabled list prior to the game.  With one out, Shawn Bowman drove in his 24th run of the season with a double to right field with Black scoring to give the Suns a 1-0 advantage.  The Suns scored a run in the first inning for the 14th time this season, and lost for just the third time when crossing the plate in the first (11-3).
 
The BayBears gained the edge in the top of the second against Jose Alvarez.  With one out, Alfredo Marte started the rally with a double to center.  Brent Clevlen followed by jumping on the first pitch and doubled to left field, with Marte scoring to tie the game 1-1.  Mobile took the lead 2-1 when Wladimir Sutil hit a two-out single to drive in Clevlen.
 
Jacksonville used another walk to tie the game in the third.  Jake Smolinski was issued a free pass by Brett Lorin on a 3-2 pitch.  A single by Bowman put runners on the corners for the Suns, and Kyle Skipworth delivered with a single with Smolinski racing home to even the score 2-2.  Skipworth has hit safely in five of his last six games.  Smolinski leads the Suns with 26 runs scored.
 
In the top of the seventh, the last inning of the game, Ed Easley led off with a single to left against reliever Kyle Kaminska.  Pinch hitter Yazy Arbelo then drew a one out walk to put runners on first and second.  Mobile center fielder Evan Frey was 0-for-3 on the night, but in the seventh he drove the ball into left-center field where Suns center fielder Donnie Webb tried to make a diving catch but came up short.  Easley scored from second base to give the BayBears a 3-2 lead, and that’s the way the game would end.
 
The Suns went 10-5 in the month of April against opponents from the South Division.  In May, Jacksonville is 4-12 against division foes with seven of the loses against the BayBears.
 
Kyle Skipworth and Shawn Bowman each finished with two hits and drove in a run.  Danny Black and Jake Smolinski both walked and scored.  Seven different players for the BayBears had a hit, with five of them doubles.  Evan Frey drove in the game-winning run with a double in the seventh.     
 
Suns starter Jose Alvarez allowed two runs on fours hits in five innings of work.  Three of his last five starts have been no decisions.  Kyle Kaminska suffered the loss, allowing  a run on three hits and is 4-3 on the season.  BayBears starter Brett Lorin allowed two runs on five hits in four innings and wasn’t around for a decision.  Mobile reliever Kevin Munson allowed just one hit in his two innings to improve to 2-3 on the year.  Matt Gorgen pitched the seveth to earn his fifth save of the season.
 
In game two BayBears starting pitcher Mike Bolsinger stole the show, pitching five and a-third innings of no-hit ball.
 
Mobile took a 1-0 lead in the third against Suns starter Zach Neal, when Evan Frey and David Nick hit back-to-back doubles with Frey scoring the first run of the game.  The BayBears improved to 23-7 when they score the first run. 
 
Suns reliever Wade Korpi took over In the fifth inning, and  Dan Kaczrowski led off with a single.  With two outs, David Nick singled and Matt Davidson drew a walk to load the bases.  Marc Krauss then doubled to right field, with Nick and Davidson crossing the plate to increase the lead to 3-0.
 
Jake Smolinski broke up Bolsinger’s no-hit bid in the sixth inning with an infield single.  Curt Smith followed with a triple to straight-away center, with Smolinski scoring the Suns lone run of game two.   
 
The Suns have lost seven straight home games to the BayBears, and have been outscored 31-6 in those contests.  Mobile now leads Jacksonville by eight games in the standings.  The BayBears and Jackson Generals are tied for the most wins in the league with 31, and the Generals come to Jacksonville next week.   
 
David Nick went 3-for-4 with a RBI and a run scored.  Four of Mobile’s eight hits were doubles.  In the two games of the double header, the BayBears had nine doubles.  Jake Smolinski and Curt Smith were the only two Suns with a hit.  Smolinski scored two of the Suns three runs on the night.
 
Mike Bolsinger (2-1) allowed one run on two hits in six innings.  Evan Marshall pitched a perfect ninth for his 11th save of the season.  Four of his 11 saves this season have come against the Suns at the Baseball Grounds.  Suns starter Zach Neal (3-6) pitched four innings allowing one run on four hits. 
 
Game three of the series is Wednesday afternoon at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville, with the first pitch scheduled for 1:05 p.m.
 

Leave a comment

Filed under Ahead Of The Curve, Southern League News

Suns Lose Lead; Fall To Lookouts 6-3

Lookouts center fielder Nick Buss had two hits and drove in two runs with his fifth triple of the season against the Suns on Wednesday at AT&T Field. Photo Courtesy: Chattanooga Lookouts

By Steve Kolbe 

The Jacksonville Suns built a 3-0 lead over Chattanooga, but the Lookouts scored five times in the sixth inning on the way to a 6-3 win at AT&T Field on Wednesday night.
 
The Suns began the scoring in the second inning against Lookouts starting pitcher Aaron Miller.  Shawn Bowman led off the inning with a walk on four pitches,  Kyle Jensen followed with a single, and Kyle Skipworth also drew a free pass to load the bases with no outs.  Miller then bounced a pitch in the dirt that went all the way to the backstop, with Bowman scoring from third to put the Suns in front 1-0.  The wild pitch was just Miller’s second in 42 innings of work this season.  Jeff Dominguez then sent a sacrifice fly to right field, with Jensen scoring to increase the lead to 2-0.
 
In the top of the third, Jacksonville added another run, when shortstop Danny Black led off the inning with a double to right.  With one out, Jake Smolinski also doubled down the right field line and the Suns had a 3-0 advantage.  Black is 5-for-12 with two runs scored in his first three games with the Suns.
 
In the home half of the third, the pitcher Aaron Miller began the inning when he swung at the first pitch and doubled down the left field line off of Suns starter Jose Alvarez.  Miller is the Lookouts best hitting pitcher and helped his own cause, and is now 4-for-13 this season with a double and a triple.  After Nick Buss grounded out to first with Miller advancing to third, Rafael Ynoa put the Lookouts on the board with a single up the middle to make the score 3-1.
 
The Lookouts sent nine men to the plate in the sixth inning, scoring five runs on four hits.  J.T. Wise doubled to start the inning, and Pedro Baez was hit by a pitch.  With runners on first and second, Brahiam Maldonado came to the plate, and with one swing of the bat, the Lookouts had their first lead of the night 4-3.  The two-run blast to left field was Maldonado’s first home run and first runs batted in this season.
 
With Alvarez still on the mound, Griff Erickson doubled with two outs, and pinch hitter Travis Denker was walked intentionally.  Nick Buss then smashed a base-clearing triple to right-center, and the Lookouts had padded their lead to 6-3.  Buss is now third in the Southern League in triples with five.
 
The Lookouts have won five of the six meetings against the Suns this season.  Jacksonville is now a season-high four games below .500 with a record of 21-25.  After winning nine of the first dozen games on the road, the Suns have now lost six of their last eight road contests.  The Suns lost for just the third time this season after scoring the first run of the game (17-3).
 
Chattanooga has won four straight games, outscoring their opponents 31-18 along the way.  The Lookouts improved to 23-23 on the season.  Chattanooga is perfect on the season with a record of 21-0 when leading after the seventh inning. 
 
Jose Alvarez suffered the loss to fall to 1-2 on the season.  He pitched five and two-thirds of an inning allowing six runs on 10 hits, both season highs.  Aaron Miller pitched six innings, allowing three runs on four hits to improve his record to 3-4.  Two of his three wins this season have come against the Suns.  Miller and two relievers combined to one-hit the Suns in a 1-0 Lookouts win April 12th at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville.  Logan Bawcom pitched the ninth inning on Wednesday night to earn his third save of the season for the Lookouts.
 
For Jacksonville, Jake Smolinski finished 2-for-4 and drove in a run and Jeff Dominguez went 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles and drove in a run with a sacrifice fly.  For Chattanooga, Nick Buss was 2-for-5 and drove in a pair of runs with his fifth triple of the season.  Griff Erickson went 2-for-3 and scored a run.  Nine different Lookouts batters had at least one hit in the game.  The Suns scored three runs on nine hits, the Lookouts plated six runs on 11 hits.  The Suns haven’t out hit an opponent in their last nine games.
 
The Suns will look to bounce back on Thursday with Bryan Evans (0-3, 4.08) starting his ninth game of the season.  Matt Magill (3-2, 3.73) gets the call for the Lookouts.  The first pitch is set for 7:15p.m. from AT&T Field in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Leave a comment

Filed under Ahead Of The Curve, Southern League News

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Ahead Of The Curve, Southern League News

Suns Blanked By Biscuits 1-0

Shortstop Hak-Ju Lee drove in the only run of the game with an eighth inning double in the Biscuits 1-0 win over the Suns. Montgomery snapped a five-game home losing streak while Jacksonville lost for the sixth straight game. Photo Courtesy: Montgomery Biscuits

By Steve Kolbe

The Jacksonville Suns fell to the Montgomery Biscuits 1-0 in the first game of their five game series at Riverwalk Stadium on Friday night.  The Suns have now been shutout three times during their season-high six game losing streak. 

The Suns were hitless against Montgomery starting pitcher Matt Buschmann until the sixth inning, when Taylor Krick hit a line drive single to left.  Jacksonville starter Jose Alvarez was also impressive, allowing just five hits on the night.  Both starters didn’t figure in the decision, and handed the game over to their bullpen after pitching six and two-thirds innings each. 

The Biscuits broke through in the bottom of the eighth inning against reliever Garrett Parcell.  With one out, Mark Thomas doubled to left for his first hit of the game.  Top prospect Hak-Ju Lee followed by jumping on the first pitch he saw from Parcell and sending a line drive down the right field line for a double, with Thomas crossing the plate to give the Biscuits a 1-0 lead.  It was Lee’s 12th run batted in this season.  Thomas entered the game batting just .163 in his first 24 games of the season, but his double in the eighth started the rally. 

The win snapped a five game home losing streak for Montgomery.  The Biscuits were outscored 39-17 by Birmingham in the Barons sweep of a five game series at Riverwalk Stadium.  The Suns have lost six straight games and have been outscored 26-3 in those games.  Jacksonville has been shutout four times this season, and three times during the losing streak.  

Runs have been scarce for Jacksonville.  Since scoring all of their runs in the first four innings of an 11-7 win at Birmingham May 5th, the Suns have scored only three times in the last 59 innings.  In the last six games, the Suns have been outhit 51-28 and outscored 26-3.  Only three of the Suns 28 hits in that time have been for extra bases, with two doubles by Ryan Patterson and one by Kyle Jensen. 

The Suns and Biscuits are now tied for second place in the South Division with a record of 17-19 and both teams are six games behind the first place Mobile BayBears.  Three pitchers combined to three-hit the Suns in the win for Montgomery.  Jacksonville was also on the wrong side of a 1-0 one-hitter tossed by the Chattanooga Lookouts on April 12th at the Baseball Grounds. 

Matt Buschmann started the game for Montgomery and pitched six and two-thirds innings.  He allowed just one hit and struck out 12 of the 21 Suns batters that he faced in the no decision.  Frank De Los Santos pitched and inning and a third to earn his second win of the season for the Biscuits. 

Montgomery closer Adam Liberatore had to wiggle his way out of a jam in the ninth.  After Paul Gran singled and Jake Smolinski reached on an error to give the Suns runners on second and third with no outs, Liberatore found a way to escape.  He retired Kyle Skipworth and Curt Smith on ground outs, and Kyle Jensen on a fly ball to left to end the game and record his fourth save of the season.

It’s a matchup of right-handers looking for their first win of the season on Saturday at Riverwalk Stadium in Montgomery.  The Suns will send  Bryan Evans (0-2, 4.70) to the mound.  Evans allowed just one run over five innings in his last start.  The Biscuits counter with RHP Jake Thompson (0-3, 6.83).

Leave a comment

Filed under Ahead Of The Curve, Southern League News

BayBears Beat Suns To Take First Place

Mobile BayBears starter Trevor Bauer allowed just one hit in seven innings against the Suns to improve to a league-leading 6-1 on the season. Photo Courtesy: Mobile BayBears

By Steve Kolbe

When the night began, the Jacksonville Suns and Mobile BayBears were tied for the top spot in the South Division with identical 17-13 records.  By the end of the night, the BayBears had hit their way to an 11-0 win and handed the Suns their worst loss of the season.  The game was called in the eighth inning due to heavy rain and lightning. 

A day after scoring 11 runs on 11 hits in the series finale in Birmingham, the Suns managed only one hit off of Mobile starter Trevor Bauer.  Jake Smolinski’s leadoff single in the first inning was the only hit surrendered by Bauer in the game. 

Mobile took the lead for good in the fourth inning when Matt Davidson doubled for the first hit against Suns starter Jose Alvarez.  After a Brent Clevlen walk the stage was set for Marc Krauss.  He jumped on the first pitch that he saw from Alvarez and hit a three-run home run into the right field stands to put the BayBears in front 3-0.  Krauss now has five home runs and 22 runs batted in this season.  He has collected 14 hits in his last 11 games.  Mobile improved to 16-5 when scoring the game’s first run, while the Suns dropped to 3-13 when they allow their opponent to strike first. 

In the sixth, Matt Davidson led off the inning with a walk and Clevlen followed with a single to put two on with no outs.  Marc Krauss drove in Davidson with a single, and Clevlen scored on a fielder’s choice to increase the BayBears lead to 5-0. 

Mobile sent 10 men to the plate in the seventh inning against Suns reliever Wade Korpi.  Three straight singles by Archie Gilbert, David Nick, and Matt Davidson started the rally with Gilbert scoring the first run of the inning to push the lead to 6-0.  After scoring two runs earlier in the game, Clevlen drove in Mobile’s seventh run with a sacrifice fly to left and it was 7-0.  Later in the inning, Ed Easley drove in Davidson with a single to center and the lead was 8-0.  The BayBears scored three more runs in the inning when Yazy Arbelo doubled to drive in a pair, and Wladimir Sutel singled to drive in Arbelo to make it 11-0.  The BayBears scored six runs on six hits in the inning.  It was the second time this season that the Suns allowed six runs in an inning, with the last coming in a 10-5 loss at home to Chattagnooga April 11th. 

Trevor Bauer, the Arizona Diamondbacks first round pick in 2011, one-hit the Suns over his seven innings of work to improve his record to 6-1.  He leads the league in wins and is among the leaders in earned run average.  In his two starts against the Suns this season, Bauer has allowed only 5 hits in 14 innings.  Jose Alvarez pitched five and a-third innings allowing five runs on five hits and falls to 1-1 on the season.  Wade Korpi pitched one and a-third innings, giving up six runs on six hits.  Chris Squires also pitched and inning and a-third allowing one hit before the game was stopped.   

Game two of the series is Monday morning at 11:00AM at the Baseball Grounds with the Suns looking to even the series.  Bryan Evans (0-2, 5.26) will take the mound for Jacksonville against Mobile’s Tyler Skaggs (0-2, 3.91).

Leave a comment

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.

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Ahead Of The Curve, Southern League News