Tag Archives: Jose Duarte

Suns Big Inning Dooms Generals

 

Right fielder Kyle Jensen(above right)belted his 24th home run of the season and drove in four runs to lead the Suns past the Jackson Generals 10-9 at Pringles Park.

Right fielder Kyle Jensen(above right)belted his 24th home run of the season and drove in four runs to lead the Suns past the Jackson Generals 10-9 at Pringles Park.

By Steve Kolbe

The Jacksonville Suns exploded for a season-high nine runs in the fourth inning, and then held on for a 10-9 win over the Generals on Sunday afternoon at Pringles Park in Jackson, Tennessee.  The Suns snapped a four-game losing streak, and prevented the Generals from winning their 80th game of the season.
 
After allowing the first run of the night in each of the first three games, the Generals scored a run in each of the first three innings against Suns starter Bryan Evans.  In the first inning, Bran Miller hit his first triple of the season, and scored on Chih-Hsien Chiang’s sacrifice fly to put the Generals up 1-0.  Jackson increased the lead to 2-0 in the second inning when Johermyn Chavez doubled and scored on a Denny Almonte RBI-single.  The Generals added another run in the third inning when Nate Tenbrink hit his fifth home run of the season, a solo blast to right field to make the score 3-0.
 
Generals starting pitcher Taijuan Walker breezed through the first three innings, striking out seven of the first 10 batters he faced in the game.  The Suns solved Walker in the fourth with their biggest inning of the season, sending 14 men to the plate and scoring nine times.  After Danny Pertusati walked and Aaron Dudley reached on an error, Kyle Jensen tied the game 3-3 with the Suns first hit of the afternoon when he belted a three-run home over the right field wall.  Seven of Jensen’s 24 home runs this season have been three-run homers.
 
With one out Paul Gran was hit by a pitch for a league-leading 19th time, and Jake Jefferies followed with his second home run of the season to give the Suns a 5-3 edge.  It was his first home run since May 15th at Montgomery.  The Suns first two hits in the game on Sunday afternoon were both home runs.
 
After Jose Duarte singled and went all the way to third on a throwing error by Taijuan Walker, Alfredo Lopez singled with Duarte crossing the plate to add to the lead at 6-3.  When Donnie Webb singled to put runners on the corners to continue the rally, the Generals would make the call to the bullpen and summoned Jose Jimenez.  Danny Pertusati promptly greeted the new Generals pitcher by singling to right, driving in Lopez from third base for a 7-3 advantage.  Dudley then reached base for the second time in the inning with a walk to load the bases.  Kyle Jensen delivered a run with a single, and Kyle Skipworth drove in another with a ground out and the Suns had scored a season-high nine runs in the inning to build a commanding 9-3 lead.  Joe Dunigan went deep for the 25th time this season in the home half of the fourth inning and it was 9-4.
 
Kyle Skipworth provided the Suns with a huge run in the top of the seventh when he smashed his 21st homer run of the season, a solo blast to right field to make the score 10-4.  The Suns have hit three home runs in a game five times this season, all in the second half.
 
The Generals scored five runs in the final three innings of the game against three different Suns relievers.  Brad Miller hit a solo home run in the seventh inning off of Sandy Rosario to cut the Suns lead to 10-5.
In the eighth inning the Generals cut the lead to 10-8 when Denny Almonte hit a three-run home run off of Bobby Bramhall.  It was Almonte’s 12th round tripper of the season.
 
The Suns turned the game over to Arquimedes Caminero for the ninth, and Nate Thomson led off with a double and he scored to make it a one run game at 10-9 when Chih-Hsien Chiang singled to center field.  After some tense moments, Caminero retired both Mike Zunino and Joe Dunigan on ground outs to end the game. 
 
Kyle Jensen went 2-for-5 with a home run and four RBI.  He’s third in the league with 24 homers and 83 runs batted in.  Kyle Skipworth and Jake Jefferies each hit the long ball and drove in a pair of runs.  Every player in the Suns lineup scored at least one, with Danny Pertusati crossing the plate twice.

Denny Almonte finished 2-for-4 with a home run and four RBI.  Nate Tenbrink, Brad Miller, and Johermyn Chavez each collected two hits and scored two runs.  Miller ranks second among all Minor League players with 191 hits this season.  The Suns and Generals combined for seven home runs in the game.  The Generals lead the league with 117 round trippers, and have 15 multi-homer games in the last 47 contests.

Bryan Evans (7-8) allowed four runs on seven hits over 6.0 innings to win his final start of the season.  Evans finished strong, winning four of his last six starts.  He was 3-4 at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville, and 4-4 on the road this year.  Arquimedes Caminero pitched the ninth to earn his second save with the Suns.  Taijuan Walker (7-10) surrendered seven runs on eight hits over 3.1 innings in the loss, including home runs by Jake Jefferies and Kyle Jensen.  Walker has allowed at least one home run in each of his last five starts.

The Suns are set to play their final game of the 2012 campaign Monday afternoon against the Generals at Pringles Park, with the first pitch scheduled for 3:05 PM.  LHP Brian Flynn (2-0, 3.92) will take the mound for the Suns in the season finale.  Jacksonville finished last season with a record of 70-70, and a win on Monday would give the Suns a .500 record for the second straight season.

Leave a comment

Filed under Ahead Of The Curve, Southern League News

Suns Eliminated From Playoff Contention

 

Graham Taylor(above)allowed six hits in his final start of the season in the Suns 3-2 rain-shortened six inning loss to the Generals.

Graham Taylor(above)allowed six hits in his final start of the season.  Jacksonville fell 3-2 to the Jackson Generals in six innings at Pringles Park.

By Steve Kolbe

The Jacksonville Suns quest for a playoff birth in the second half of the season came to an end on Saturday night, with a 3-2 loss to the Jackson Generals in a six inning rain-shortened game at Pringles Park.  The loss, combined with the Biscuits 11-4 win over the Stars, eliminated the Suns from playoff contention and vaulted Montgomery to the South Division title in the second half.
 
After waiting through a 23 minute rain delay prior to the first pitch, the Suns jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the second inning when Paul Gran hit his fifth home run of the season, a solo blast to left field off of Generals starting pitcher Anthony Fernandez.  It was Gran’s first home run since July 7th.  The Suns have scored the first run in all three games in the series, but have lost all three to fall to 51-25 when crossing the plate first.
 
The Generals used the long ball to even the score in the home half of the second inning against Suns lefty Graham Taylor.  Kalian Sams belted his 11th round tripper of the season, a solo shot to left field to tie the game 1-1.  
 
Jackson took the lead for good in the bottom of the third inning when Brad Miller doubled to right field, and Stefen Romero followed with a two-run blast to left-center to make the score 3-1.  Taylor has allowed 18 home runs this season, tied for the most in the Southern League.  The Generals lead the league with 114 home runs, and have had 13 multi-homer games in their last 45 contests. 

In the fifth inning Jake Smolinski led off the inning with his league-leading 78th walk, and Chris Gutierrez singled to put runners on the corners with no outs.  The Generals then summoned Moises Hernandez from the bullpen.  With one out, Kyle Jensen lifted a sacrifice fly to center with Smolinski cruising home to cut the Generals lead to 3-2.

The teams continued to play knowing that severe weather was on the way.  Play was then stopped after Taylor struck out Leury Bonilla to end the sixth inning, and after a delay of 1 hour and 22 minutes due to heavy rain, lightning, and strong wind, the game was ruled complete with Jackson declared the winner.

The Suns have just four wins in their last 14 road games, and fell to 13-20 away from home in the second half.  The Generals continued to improve on the best home record in the league at 44-24, and Jackson has won six straight and 11 of their last 13 games at Pringles Park.

Jose Duarte finished 2-for-2 with a pair of singles for his fifth multi-hit game of the season for the Suns.  Jacksonville left eight runners on base over six innings.  Mike Zunino and Stefen Romero each finished with two hits for the Generals.  Zunino has hit safely in 10 of his first 13 games with Jackson.  Romero has hit safely in 19 of his last 20 games, with eight multi-hit games and six home runs.  He has belted a two-run home run in each of the last two games against the Suns.

Graham Taylor (9-11) allowed three runs on six hits and struck out five over six innings of work.  Taylor finished the season 6-5 at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville, and 3-6 on the road.  Moises Hernandez (5-2) tossed two hitless innings for the victory.  He’s the older brother of Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez.

The Suns will send RHP Bryan Evans (6-8, 4.59) to the mound for game four of the series on Sunday afternoon at Pringles Park, with the first pitch slated for 3:05 PM.  RHP Taijuan Walker (7-9, 4.31) will start for the Generals.  The Suns finished with a record of 70-70 during the 2011 campaign, and will need to win their final two games to finish at .500 this season.

Leave a comment

Filed under Ahead Of The Curve, Southern League News

Generals Walk-Off With 8-6 Win Over Suns

 

Generals second baseman Stefen Romero's two-run home run in the 12th inning led Jackson to an 8-6 win over the Jacksonville Suns at Pringles Park.

Generals second baseman Stefen Romero’s two-run home run in the 12th inning led Jackson to an 8-6 win over the Jacksonville Suns at Pringles Park.

 By Steve Kolbe

The Jacksonville Suns rallied from a five-run deficit, but fell to the Jackson Generals 8-6 when Stefen Romero hit a walk-off two-run home run against A.J. Ramos in the 12th inning on Friday night at Pringles Park. The Suns have dropped three straight, and have fallen two games behind the Montgomery Biscuits in the South Division with three games remaining.
 
The Suns took the lead in the first inning for the second straight game.  Jake Smolinski led off the game against Generals starter James Gillheeney by belting his seventh home run of the season, a blast over the 20-foot high left field wall to put the Suns in front 1-0.  Smolinski entered the season with seven career home runs, and he has hit all seven of his round trippers this season in the second half.  The Suns fell to 51-24 when scoring the first run of the game.
 
Suns starter Matthew Neil struck out the first four batters he faced in the game on Friday.  In the third, Jesus Sucre reached on a error by third baseman Zack Cox, Nate Tenbrink walked, and Francisco Martinez singled to load the bases.  With two outs, Stefen Romero singled to left field with both Sucre and Tenbrink scoring to give the Generals a 2-1 edge.  With runners on the corners, Chih-Hsien Chiang hit his first home run in nine games, clearing the bases with a three-run blast to right field to increase the lead to 5-1.  All five of the runs in the inning were unearned.
 
Jackson tacked on a run in the fourth inning, when Joe Dunigan hit his 24th double of the season and scored on a sacrifice fly by Jesus Sucre to make the score 6-1.
 
Jacksonville began the comeback in the fifth inning against Gillheeney, when Jose Duarte hit his second home run of the season to trim the Generals lead to 6-2.  It was Duarte’s first homer since the fourth game of the season, when he belted a pinch-hit two-run home run to give the Suns a 6-5 victory over the Huntsville Stars.
 
In the sixth inning, Zack Cox walked and Ben Lasater doubled to put runners on second and third.  Kyle Jensen then drove in his 78th run of the season with a ground out to inch the Suns closer at 6-3.
 
The Suns completed the comeback in the seventh inning against reliever Jose Jimenez.  Danny Pertusati singled and went to second on a ground out by Duarte.  Alfredo Lopez came through with a single back up the middle, with Pertusati scoring from second to cut the lead to 6-4.  Jake Smolinski doubled and Chris Gutierrez walked to load the bases with one out.  After Zack Cox struck out, Ben Lasater singled to right field, with both Lopez and Smolinski racing home to tie the game 6-6. 
 
Suns closer A.J. Ramos took over on the mound in the ninth inning and was overpowering, striking out seven of the 10 batters he faced going into the bottom of the 12th inning.  With one out, Brad Miller singled and set the stage for Stefen Romero, who hit his 11th homer of the season, a two-run shot over the left field wall to hand the Generals an 8-6 walk-off win.  It was the third walk-off home run for the Generals this season, and first in over three months with the last one on May 21st off the bat of Francisco Martinez against Mobile. 
 
The Suns have just four wins in their last 13 road games and are 13-19 away from home in the second half.  The Generals have the best home record in the league at 43-24, and have won five straight and 10 of their last 12 games at Pringles Park. 
 
Ben Lasater finished 3-for-6 with a pair of RBI, and Jake Smolinski went 3-for-5 with a homer, double, and a single.  Smolinski has hit a lead off home run in the first inning twice this season.  Stefen Romero finished  3-for-6 and drove in four of the Generals eight runs.  Francisco Martinez went 2-for-6 after entering the game with one hit in his previous 20 at-bats.

In his final start of the regular season, Matthew Neil allowed six runs (only one earned) on five hits in 3.2 innings of work.  It was his third straight no decision.  James Leverton, Collin Cargill, and Grant Dayton combined to toss 4.2 scoreless innings for the Suns.  A.J. Ramos (3-3) allowed two runs on two hits in the loss.  Ramos recorded seven of the Suns season-high 18 strikeouts.  Jacksonville’s previous high for strike outs in a game was 15 on April 12th against Chattanooga. 

Generals starter James Gillheeney surrendered three runs on four hits and struck out a season-high 10 batters over 5.2 innings.  Mauricio Robles (2-2) allowed just one single in his three innings of work to earn the win. 

The Suns trail the Montgomery Biscuits by two games in the South Division with three games remaining in the regular season.  The Jackson Generals won the first half in the North Division, and will meet the Chattanooga Lookouts in the playoffs.

The Suns will look to get back into the win column in the middle game of the series on Saturday night, with the first pitch scheduled for 6:05 PM from Pringles Park.  LHP Graham Taylor (9-10, 3.95) will make his 26th start of the season for the Suns.  Taylor defeated Jackson June 10th at the Baseball Grounds, allowing four hits in 5.0 IP in the Suns 9-0 win over the Generals.  LHP Anthony Fernandez (4-3, 3.25) takes the mound for the Jackson.

Leave a comment

Filed under Ahead Of The Curve, Southern League News

The Suns Fall To Generals 7-3

The Jacksonville Suns fell to the Generals 7-3 at Pringles Park in Jackson, Tennessee August 30, 2012. Photo Courtesy: Jackson Generals

By Steve Kolbe

The Jackson Generals defeated the Jacksonville Suns 7-3 Thursday night in the first game of a five-game series at Pringles Park.  The loss, combined with the Montgomery Biscuits 10-3 win over Huntsville, dropped the Suns one game back in the South Division with four games remaining in the regular season. 

The Suns dented the scoreboard in the first inning against Generals starter James Paxton.  Jake Smolinski led off with a single and Chris Gutierrez followed with a double to start the inning.  Paxton then settled down to strike out both Zack Cox and Ben Lasater.  With two outs, Kyle Jensen delivered with a double off the right field wall with both Smolinski and Gutierrez racing around to score and the Suns had a 2-0 lead.  Jensen is among the league leaders with 77 RBI.  

The Generals didn’t waste any time getting even, and were able to solve Suns starting pitcher Jose Alvarez in the home half of the first inning.  After Alvarez walked Francisco Martinez to start the inning, Brad Miller and Stefen Romero both singled to load the bases with no outs.  This season’s Johnny Bench Award winning catcher Mike Zunino stepped up, and the former Florida Gator lifted a sacrifice fly to deep center field with Martinez coasting home to cut the lead to 2-1.  Alvarez continued to struggle with his control, and a wild pitch allowed Miller to score from third to tie the game 2-2. 

Jackson sent eight men to the plate in the second inning, scoring three more runs to take control of the contest early.  Denny Almonte led off with a single, Francisco Martinez walked, and Brad Miller singled to load the bases for a second straight inning.  Stefen Romero gave the Generals the advantage with a sacrifice fly, with Almonte racing home to make the score 3-2.  Zunino then fell behind in the count to Alvarez 0-2, but went the opposite way for a single to right field with both Martinez and Miller scoring on the play to increase the lead to 5-2.  

Jackson added a run in the fifth on a RBI double by Joe Dunigan, and another in the sixth when Stefen Romero drove in his second run of the night with a single to pad the lead to 7-2.  The top four hitters in the Generals lineup combined for five RBI and scored five times.  

The Suns loaded the bases in the ninth inning with no outs, but scored just one run and fell to the Generals 7-3.  After allowing 15 runs during their five-game winning streak, the Suns have now allowed 14 runs in the last two games.  Jacksonville is 4-8 in the last 12 road games. 

Kyle Jensen finished 2-for-4 and had a hand in all three Suns runs with two RBI and a run scored.  Jensen now has 20 multi-hit games this season.  Brad Miller went 3-for-4 and scored three times for the Generals.  Mike Zunino drove in three of the Generals seven runs.  He has eight RBI in a dozen games with Jackson since being promoted.  The Generals improved to 42-24 at Pringles Park, the best home record in the Southern League.  

Jose Alvarez (6-9) allowed five runs on five hits, walked three and had a wild pitch in 1.2 innings of work, his shortest outing of the season.  Alvarez finished the season with a 2-6 record in his 12 road starts.  James Paxton (9-4) surrendered two runs on four hits over six innings for the win.  Paxton has won six of his last seven decisions, and has just one loss since May 25th.   Logan Bawcom entered the game in the ninth to shut down the Suns rally for his 19th save of the season.

Leave a comment

Filed under Ahead Of The Curve, Southern League News

Suns Fall To Biscuits; Drop Into First Place Tie

Catcher Mark Thomas drove in the go-ahead runs with a double in the seventh inning, helping the Biscuits top the Jacksonville Suns 7-4 at Riverwalk Stadium August 28, 2012. Photo Courtesy: Montgomery Biscuits

By Steve Kolbe

The Montgomery Biscuits avoided being swept and moved back into a tie for first place, defeating the Jacksonville Suns 7-4 on Tuesday night at Riverwalk Stadium.  The Suns and Biscuits have identical 35-30 records and are tied atop the South Division with five games remaining in the regular season for each team.  

The Biscuits broke the ice against Suns starter Brian Flynn with a two out rally in the third inning.   After striking out Kyeong Kang and Ty Morrison, Flynn allowed singles to both Omar Luna and Shawn O’Malley, and a walk to Mikie Mahtook to load the bases.  Derek Dietrich was then hit by a pitch to force in O’Malley from third to give the Biscuits a 1-0 lead.  The Suns fell to 18-45 this season when allowing the first run of the game.
 
The Suns stormed back in the top of the fourth sending eight men to the plate against Biscuits pitcher Jake Thompson.  With one out, Kyle Jensen walked and Danny Pertusati singled and then advanced a base on a wild pitch.  Jose Duarte then walked to load the bases.  Kyle Jensen scored on Thompson’s second wild pitch of the inning to tie the game 1-1.  After Alfredo Lopez reached base on a single to load the bases again, both Duarte and Lopez came around to score on a throwing error by catcher Mark Thomas to put the Suns in front 3-1.  Chris Gutierrez then drove in his 45th run of the season with a double off the left field wall, with Jake Smolinski scoring to increase the lead to 4-1.
 
The Biscuits had an answer in the fifth with Ty Morrison leading off with a double, Shawn O’Malley hit by a pitch, and Omar Luna hitting a single to left field to load the bases.  Mikie Mahtook drove in a run with a ground out to cut the Suns advantage to 4-2.  Dietrich tied the game 4-4 when he delivered with a single back up the middle, with O’Malley and Luna crossing the plate. 
 
Montgomery grabbed the lead in the seventh against Suns reliever Grant Dayton.  Luna doubled to start the inning, and Dietrich bunted his way aboard to put runners on first and third.  Mark Thomas drove in both base runners with a double down the left field line to give the Biscuits the lead 6-4.  Kyeong Kang increased the lead to 7-4 with a RBI-single later in the inning.  It was his first RBI in his last eight games.  The Suns had outscored the Biscuits 23-11 in the first four games of the series.
 
The Suns five-game winning streak came to an end, a stretch where Suns relievers tossed 18.2 scoreless innings.  Jacksonville has still won eight of the last 10 games.  The Biscuits snapped their five-game losing streak.  The Suns won the season series 13-10.
 
The Suns finished the 2012 campaign 43-41 against division opponents, six more victories than last season.  On the road the Suns are 32-33, and have won seven of their 14 road series this season.
 
Chris Gutierrez and Kyle Jensen each finished 2-for-4 for the Suns.  Gutierrez hit his team-leading 25th double of the season.  Jensen recorded his 19th multi-hit game of the season.  
 
Derek Dietrich and Mark Thomas combined to drive in five runs.  Dietrich finished 2-for-4 with three RBI, and Thomas was 2-for-3 and drove in in a pair of runs.  Omar Luna extended his hitting streak to nine games going 3-for-5 with two runs scored.  He is third in the Southern League in batting and finished the five-game series 10-for-21 with two straight three-hit games.
 
Suns starter Brian Flynn did not figure in the decision for the fourth straight outing.  He allowed four runs on six hits in 4.2 innings.  Grant Dayton (2-1) allowed three runs on four hits in 1.2 innings in the loss.  Biscuits starter Jake Thompson surrendered four runs on eight hits over five innings in the no decision.  He hasn’t won a start since July 14th.  Marquise Fleming (4-5) tossed two hitless innings for the win.  Matt Nevarez struck out two in a perfect ninth to earn a save in his Biscuits debut.
 
The Suns begin a pivotal five-game series in Jackson on Thursday night.   The Generals own the best record overall record in the Southern League (76-59), and the best home record (41-24).   In a match up of left handers, Jose Alvarez (6-8, 3.97) will start his 24th game of the season for the Suns against James Paxton (8-4, 3.05) for the Generals.  
 
The Suns took three of five games from the Generals at the Baseball Grounds earlier this season by a combined score of 20-11 with two shutouts.
 
 
 

Leave a comment

Filed under Ahead Of The Curve, Southern League News

Suns Tie For First In South Division

 

The Suns rallied for a come from behind win for the third straight game in Montgomery, defeating the Biscuits 7-3 at Riverwalk Stadium August 26, 2012. With the victory, the Suns pulled into a tie for first place with the Biscuits. Photo Courtesy: Montgomery Biscuits

By Steve Kolbe

The Jacksonville Suns vaulted into a tie for first place in the South Division of the Southern League, defeating the Montgomery Biscuits 7-3 on Sunday afternoon at Riverwalk Stadium.  The Suns and Biscuits have identical 34-29 records in the second half. 
 
The Suns jumped in front in the second inning against Biscuits starter Kyle Lobstein.  Kyle Jensen led off with a walk, and Danny Pertusati singled to put runners on first and third.  Jose Duarte then lifted a sacrifice fly to left field, with Jensen rumbling home to give the Suns a 1-0 lead.  Duarte would finish the day with three RBI.
 
Jacksonville added a run in the fourth inning against Lobstein. Kyle Jensen led off with his 19th double of the season, and advanced to third on a ground out by Kyle Skipworth.  Danny Pertusati then grounded out, with Jensen hustling home for the second time in the game to make the score 2-0 Suns.  Jensen has scored 15 runs in his last 11 games.
 
The Biscuits broke though against Suns starter Graham Taylor in the home half of the fourth inning.  Derek Dietrich doubled and Greg Sexton singled to put runners on first and third.  After Dietrich scored on a wild pitch by Taylor to put the Biscuits on the board, catcher Mayo Acosta belted a two-run home to put Montgomery in front 3-2. 
 
The Suns came back for the third time in the series in the sixth inning.  Zack Cox hit a ball high off the left field wall just missing a home run, but collected his third double in the last two games to start the inning.  Ben Lasater followed with a double to right-center, with Cox racing around from second to tie the score 3-3.  Kyle Jensen singled to put runners on first and third, and Kyle Skipworth followed with a single to drive in Lasater from third and the Suns had reclaimed the lead 4-3.  In a pivotal play in the inning, Danny Pertusati dropped down a sacrifice bunt moving Jensen to third base and Skipworth to second.  Jose Duarte cashed in by delivering with a single up the middle with the infield in, with Jensen and Skipworth scoring for a 6-3 Suns advantage.  On the play Biscuits catcher Mayo Acosta was injured in a home plate collision with Skipworth and was forced to leave the game.
 
Ben Lasater smashed his second home run of the season in the ninth, a solo blast to add to Suns the lead at 7-3.
 
Graham Taylor (9-10) allowed three runs on nine hits over five innings for the win.  Kyle Lobstein (7-7) surrendered six runs on nine hits in the loss.
 
The Suns can take over sole possession of first place with a win in game four of the series on Monday night, with the first pitch scheduled for 8:05 PM from Riverwalk Stadium.   RHP Brian Evans (5-8, 4.86) will take the mound for the Suns. 
 

Leave a comment

Filed under Ahead Of The Curve, Southern League News

Suns Stun Biscuits 9-6; One Game Out Of First Place

 

Second baseman Alfredo Lopez drove in four runs in the Suns 9-6 win over the Biscuits at Riverwalk Stadium in Montgomery, Alabama. Photo Courtesy: Jacksonville Suns

By Steve Kolbe 

The Jacksonville Suns scored seven unanswered runs in a 9-6 victory over the Montgomery Biscuits on Saturday night at Riverwalk Stadium.  The Suns have won the first two games of the five-game series to trim the Biscuits lead in the South Division to just one game.

The Suns dented the scoreboard in the first inning against Biscuits starter Shane Dyer.  Chris Gutierrez singled and scored when Zack Cox doubled to left field to put the Suns up 1-0.  The Suns improved to 49-22 when scoring the first run of the game. 

Montgomery stormed back in the home half of the first against Suns pitcher Matthew Neil.  The first three batters of the inning each singled, with Derek Dietrich driving in Ty Morrison to tie the game at 1-1.  A throwing error by Jose Duarte allowed Shawn O’Malley to score to give the Biscuits the edge 2-1.  Ryan Garko then lifted a sacrifice fly to left, with Dietrich coasting across the plate for a 3-1 Biscuits lead. 

The Suns got one back in the top of the second.  Kyle Jensen led off with a walk, and Jose Duarte singled to put runners on first and third.  Alfredo Lopez delivered with a RBI single, with Jensen scoring to cut the lead to 3-2.  Lopez would finish the night 3-for-3 with four runs batted in.  Suns second basemen have thrived ninth in the batting order in the last two weeks.  The four RBI’s by Lopez are the most by a Suns number nine hitter a game this season.  Dallas Poulk was playing second base and batting ninth when he drove in three runs August 19th against Birmingham. 

The Biscuits scored three more runs on three hits in the bottom of the second off of Neil to take command with a 6-2 lead.  Mikie Mahtook drove in two runs with a double, and Ryan Garko plated another with a sacrifice fly.  Montgomery collected eight hits in the first two innings, then just three singles in the last seven. 

The Suns solved Shane Dyer and pulled even in the third.  Kyle Skipworth drove in two runs in the inning with his 16th double of the season to cut the lead to 6-4.  Kyle Jensen scored on a wild pitch to make the score 6-5, and Alfredo Lopez knocked in a run with a single to even the score 6-6.  

Jacksonville scored three runs in the eighth inning with a two-out rally to take a 9-6 lead.  Lopez drove in two runs with a seeing-eye single up the middle, and Jake Smolinski drove in a run with his 23rd double of the season.  The Suns finished with a season-high 16 hits and tied their season-high for doubles in a game with seven.  Jacksonville had at least one base runner in every inning except the fourth, and every player in the Suns lineup reached base at least once in the game. Paul Gran was the only Suns player without a hit, but he reached base when he was hit by a pitch for a league-leading 18th time this season. 

The Suns had six players record a multi-hit game.  Alfredo Lopez and Jose Duarte each finished with three hits.  Chris Gutierrez, Zack Cox, Kyle Skipworth, and Kyle Jensen each collected two hits in the game.  Lopez drove in four to double his RBI total to eight.  Skipworth drove in a pair of runs and now has 59 RBI’s this season.  Ty Morrison went 3-for-3 and scored two runs for the Biscuits.  Ryan Garko and Mikie Mahtook each drove in a pair of runs for Montgomery. 

The Suns have won six of their last seven games, outscoring opponents 50-33.  Jacksonville improved to 21-14 when using the designated hitter.  After dropping nine of the first 12 games in the season series to the Biscuits, the Suns have won eight straight over their division rival by a combined score of 44-18 with three shutouts.  The Suns are a win away from claiming a series for the first time in three trips to Riverwalk Stadium this season. 

Suns starter Matthew Neil allowed and Biscuits starter Shane Dyer did not figure in the decision.  Neil allowed six earned runs on eight hits in just 1.2 innings, his shortest outing of the season.  Dyer surrendered six runs on eight hits in 2.2 innings of work. 

The Suns bullpen combined to pitch 7.1 scoreless innings.  Edgar Olmos allowed just two singles in 3.1 innings after taking over for Neil in the second inning.  Grant Dayton (2-0) tossed three hitless innings for the Suns in the win.  Chris Rearick (2-1) allowed three runs on five hits over two innings in the loss.  A.J. Ramos pitched the ninth to earn his 20th save of the season.

Leave a comment

Filed under Ahead Of The Curve, Southern League News

Skipworth Powers Suns Past Smokies

 

Kyle Skipworth(above)collected three extra-base hits, including his 12th home run of the season, in the Suns 6-4 victory over the Tennessee Smokies. Photo Courtesy: Jacksonville Suns

By Steve Kolbe

In a seesaw affair at the Baseball Grounds, the Suns snapped the Tennessee Smokies three game winning streak with a 6-4 victory on Thursday night.  Jacksonville is now four games behind South-leading Montgomery.
 
Tennessee collected three hits against Suns starter Brian Flynn to take the lead in the first inning for the second straight game.  Junior Lake began the game with a single to right field, and Jae-Hoon Ha hit a base knock to put runners on first and third.  With one out, Justin Bour drove in his 77th run of the season with a single, with Lake cruising home to put the Smokies in front 1-0.  The Smokies entered the game with a record of 32-20 when scoring the first run, the Suns just 12-38 when falling behind.  
 
The Suns scored the equalizer in the home half of the first against Smokies starter Dallas Beeler.  Danny Pertusati and Jeff Dominguez both singled to center to put runners on the corners with one out.  Kyle Jensen then singled to drive in Pertusati to even the score at 1-1.  Each team had a carbon copy first inning, scoring a run on three singles. 
 The Suns have scored 56 runs this season in the first, the most runs they have plated in any inning.
 
Tennessee edged in front in the third inning, when Dustin Harrington led off with his first triple of the season, and he scored when Junior Lake doubled down the third base line to make the score 2-1.  Lake had a hand in nine straight Smokies runs over two games up to that point, with five RBI’s and four runs scored. 
 
The long ball took center stage in the fourth inning, with both teams trading home runs.  Justin Bour belted his 10th home run of the season to increase the Smokies lead to 3-1.  With the RBI, Bour took over the Southern League lead with 78 runs batted in.  The Smokies have hit eight home runs against seven different Suns pitchers in the first three games of the series.
 
Kyle Skipworth answered in the home half of the fourth when he muscled a solo home run, a blast to right-center that barely cleared the high wall to bring the Suns within a run.  Skipworth has hit five round trippers in his last seven games, and is tied with Kyle Jensen for the team lead with 12 homers on the season.  The Suns catcher has surpassed his total from the 2011 campaign, when he finished with 11 home runs in 106 games.
 
Jacksonville took the lead for the first time in the game in the bottom of the fifth.  Jeff Dominguez singled and went to second on a throwing error by Smokies first baseman Justin Bour.  Dominguez then scored from second base to even the score 3-3, when Kyle Jensen singled to left and Greg Rohan over ran the ball.  Skipworth continued his torrid pace when he put the Suns ahead 4-3 with a double to right-center, with Jensen rumbling around to score.
 
After the Smokies tied the game 4-4 on a solo home run by Greg Rohan in the top of the sixth, the Suns once again had an answer in the home half of the inning.  Donnie Webb led off with his eighth triple of the season against relief pitcher Tony Zych.  Jose Duarte came through with a pinch-hit single to put runners on first and third.  Webb scored the go-ahead run when Zych threw a wild pitch all the way to the backstop, and the Suns were up 5-4.  With two outs in the inning, Jeff Dominguez hit his third single of the night to drive in Duarte from second to pad the Suns lead to 6-4.
 
Kyle Skipwoth went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and a home run, drove in two runs and scored another.  Jeff Dominguez finished 3-for-5 with three base hits.  Every Suns batter, including pitcher Brian Flynn reached base at least once in the game.  For the Smokies, Junior Lake went 3-for-5 for his fifth straight multi-hit game.  Nate Samson also had three singles for Tennessee.  The two teams combined for 25 hits on Thursday, and in the series the Smokies have had at least 11 hits in every game.   
 
In an unfortunate incident in the bottom of the fourth inning, Kyle Jensen hit a fly ball down the right field line with  Smokies right fielder Jae-Hoon Ha giving chase.  The ball landed in the stands, but Ha collided with the wall hitting his chin with his head snapping back before he fell to the warning track.   Ha was given medical attention on the field by trainers from both teams as well as medical personnel on site.  An ambulance was summoned and Ha was taken to Shands Hospital.  
 
Lefty Brian Flynn made his first appearance with the Suns after being acquired by the Marlins from Detroit in a deal that sent Omar Infante and Anibal Sanchez to the Tigers.  He allowed four runs on 11 hits over 5.2 innings of work.  James Leverton (2-0) entered the game in the top of the sixth with two on and two outs.  He retired Junior Lake on a grounder to short, and with the out would earn his second win of the season.  A.J. Ramos pitched the ninth and locked down his 14th save of the season.  Smokies starter Dallas Beeler allowed four runs on eight hits over his five innings and didn’t figure in the decision.  He struck out a season-high eight batters.  Tony Zych (0-1) surrendered two runs on five hits in the loss.
 
Game four of the series is Friday with the first pitch slated for 7:05 p.m. from the Baseball Grounds.  LHP Jose Alvarez (3-5, 3.91) is set to start his 18th game of the season for the Suns.   
 

Leave a comment

Filed under Ahead Of The Curve, Southern League News

Smokies Slug Three Home Runs To Down Suns

Tennessee shortstop Junior Lake hit a pair of two-run home runs in the Smokies 7-5 win over the Jacksonville Suns July 25, 2012 at the Baseball Grounds. Photo Courtesy: Tennessee Smokies

 By Steve Kolbe

The Tennessee Smokies powered past the Suns by hitting three home runs for the second straight game in a 7-5 victory Wednesday afternoon.  The Suns have given up 10 home runs in their last six games at the Baseball Grounds.
 
Suns starter Bryan Evans struggled with his control in the first inning, walking the first three batters of the game to load the bases.  Justin Bour drove in the first run of the day with a sacrifice fly to right field, with Junior Lake scoring to put the Smokies in front 1-0.  Bour leads the Southern League with 76 RBI’s. 
 
In the second inning Junior Lake connected for a two-run homer off of Evans to increase the Smokies lead to 3-0.  Lake has hit three of his six home runs this season against Suns pitching.
 
The Suns closed the gap in the home half of the second against Tennessee starter Dae-Eun Rhee.  With one out, Shawn Bowman reached on an error by first baseman Justin Bour.  Curt Smith then singled to center, and when center fielder Jae-Hoon Ha ran past the ball, Bowman went to third and Smith advanced to second.  Jake Jefferies knocked in both base runners with a single to center to cut the Smokies lead to 3-2. 
 
Jacksonville tied the game 3-3 in the fifth inning when Danny Pertusati reached base on an infield single, and scored when pinch hitter Jose Duarte double into the left field corner.  After a single by Jake Smolinski put runners on the corners, Duarte hustled home on a ground out by Chris Gutierrez to put the Suns in front for the first time 4-3. 
 
Junior Lake hit his second two-run homer of the day off Suns reliever Jordan Conley in the top of the sixth, and the Smokies were on top 5-4.  Lake had a hand in all seven runs for the Smokies, driving in four of the  seven runs in the game, and scoring three others..  Nelson Perez added some insurance in the ninth inning when he belted the Smokies third two-run home run of the game to pad the lead to 7-4.  Danny Pertusati drove in a run in the Suns half of the ninth to make the final score 7-5.
 
The Smokies had at least one base runner in every inning on Wednesday.  In the series Tennessee has scored 16 runs on 23 hits.  The Smokies went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position and left a dozen men on base, including the bases loaded twice.
 
Suns starter Bryan Evans allowed three runs on three hits, and walked six batters in a season-low two and two-thirds innings.  Evans had walked a total of six batters in his previous four starts.  Jordan Conley (1-2) surrendered two runs on five hits in the loss.  Smokies starter Dae-Eun Rhee (7-5) allowed four runs on nine hits in the win.  Frank Batista pitched the final two innings to tie for the league lead in saves with 18.
 
Game three of the series is Thursday night with the first pitch scheduled for 7:35 p.m.  LHP Brian Flynn is expected to make his first start for the Suns.  RHP Dallas Beeler (4-6, 4.11) will take the mound for Tennessee.

Leave a comment

Filed under Ahead Of The Curve, Southern League News

Suns Down Biscuits

 

Suns left fielder Jake Smolinski(above)went 3-for-4 with two RBI’s in 4-2 win over the Montgomery Biscuits. Photo Courtesy: Jacksonville Suns

By Steve Kolbe

The Suns avoided a sweep with a 4-2 win over the Montgomery Biscuits on Friday night at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville.  The win snapped the Suns four-game home losing streak.
 
The Suns scored four unearned runs in the second inning against Biscuits starter Kyle Lobstein.  After Curt Smith and Kyle Jensen singled, second baseman Tyler Bortnick misplayed a ground ball by Jeff Dominguez with Smith scoring all the way from second base on the error to put the Suns ahead 1-0.  Jose Duarte followed with a double down into the right field corner, with Jensen scoring on the play to increase the lead to 2-0.  Duarte has two RBI’s in his last four games in the starting lineup.  Jake Smolinski added to the lead when he singled up the middle for two RBI’s to give the Suns a 4-0 advantage.
 
The Biscuits scored a run in the third when Ty Morrison grounded out with the bases loaded to make the score 4-1.  Montgomery added another run on a solo home run from catcher Mayo Acosta in the seventh inning.
 
Jake Smolinski went 3-for-4 with two RBI’s to lead the Suns at the plate.  Hak-Ju Lee was the only Biscuits player with more than one hit.  With his two singles, Lee has now reached base safely in 27 straight games.
The Suns had 19 hits in the three game series, 16 singles and three doubles. 
 
Jacksonville manager Andy Barkett was ejected in the first inning for after Biscuits center fielder Ty Morrison appeared to trap a ball hit by Chris Gutierrez, who was initially called safe at second base.  After a discussion between the three umpires, the call was reversed and they ruled Gutierrez out, with Barkett erupting.  After he was ejected, Barkett went to home plate and covered it with dirt.  It’s the fourth time this season that Barkett has been thrown out.
 
James Leverton (1-0) allowed one run on four hits in five and a-third innings for his first win with the Suns.  A.J. Ramos pitched the final two innings to earn his tenth save of the season.  Ramos has a save in each of the Suns last four victories.  Kyle Lobstein (4-5) allowed eight hits and no earned runs in the loss.
 
The Suns begin a four game set in Pensacola on Saturday night with the first pitch slated for 7:30 p.m.  It’s the final meeting of the season between the two teams, with the Suns needing one win to clinch the season series.  The Suns are 13-10 against the Blue Wahoos.

Leave a comment

Filed under Ahead Of The Curve, Southern League News