By Steve Kolbe
Tag Archives: Kirby Yates
The Jacksonville Suns were held to just one single and had just three base runners, but blanked the Montgomery Biscuits 1-0 on Monday night at Riverwalk Stadium to take sole possession of first place in the South Division with six games remaining in the regular season.
After dropping nine of the first 12 games against the Biscuits, the Suns have now won 10 straight games over Montgomery, outscoring the Biscuits 52-21. It’s the Suns longest winning streak against any opponent this season.
In a pitchers duel, the Suns plated the lone run of the night in the top of the fourth against Biscuits starter Matt Buschmann. Jake Smolinski drew a leadoff walk, and Zack Cox walked with one out to put runners on first and second. Smolinski has walked 73 times this season, tied for second-most in the league. With two outs, Kyle Skipworth hit ground ball on an 0-2 pitch, past the outstretched glove of second baseman Derek Dietrich, and into right field for the RBI-single to give the Suns a 1-0 lead. Skipworth has just five hits with runners in scoring position and two outs this season (5-for-47 with six RBI). He has driven in five runs in the series.
Fun Fact: Kyle Skipworth has had the Suns only single in two one-hitters this season. One win and one loss. Jacksonville was shutout 1-0 on a one-hitter April 12th by the Chattanooga Lookouts at the Baseball Grounds, with Skipworth collecting a single in the second inning for the only hit of the game against Aaron Miller, Red Patterson, and Shawn Tolleson.
The Suns have won five straight, and eight of the last nine games after a season-high seven game losing streak. The Biscuits have dropped five in a row, and have just three wins in their last 11 outings.
The Suns had their steak of scoring at least five runs in a game snapped at eight. The Biscuits collected seven hits in the game, with six singles and a triple. The Biscuits had at least one runner on base in every inning except the second, but had more than one base runner in an inning only once. Omar Luna finished 3-for-4 and has the third-best batting average in the league this season.
The Suns have 14 shutouts during the 2012 campaign, doubling their total of seven from last season. The Suns have held the Biscuits off the scoreboard four times during their 10-game winning streak against Montgomery:
*Graham Taylor and A.J. Ramos combined on a 1-0 win over the Biscuits August 3rd.
*Four Suns pitchers combined on a two-hitter against Montgomery August 4th.
*Jose Alvarez tossed a complete-game two-hitter in a 4-0 win over the Biscuits August 7th.
Bryan Evans (6-8) put together one of his strongest outings of the season. He threw 92 pitches, 60 for strikes, and allowed four singles and a triple in his seven innings for the victory. Evans has won four of his last six decisions, with two of the wins coming at the expense of the Biscuits.
Matt Buschmann (6-8) surrendered a lone RBI-single to Kyle Skipworth in the loss. Buschmann enticed the Suns into 16 ground outs, and allowed just three base runners in the game, all in the fouth inning. Kirby Yates pitched the ninth for the Biscuits to combine with Buschmann on the one-hitter.
The Suns bullpen slammed the door on the Biscuits. James Leverton allowed a single in the eighth, and A.J. Ramos pitched the ninth to earn his second save of the series and 21st of the season. Ramos has the second-most saves in the Southern League.
The win didn’t come without some late-inning drama. Omar Luna led off the home half of the ninth with a single, went to second on a sacrifice bunt, and took third on a wild pitch by Ramos to increase the tension. Ramos then retired Kyeong Kang on a fly ball to right field to end the game. Suns relievers have allowed just nine singles in 18.2 scoreless innings over the last five games.
Jacksonville has won the first four games of the series by a combined score of 23-11. The Suns will look to complete the sweep in the series finale Tuesday night from Riverwalk Stadium, with the first pitch scheduled for 8:05 PM. RHP Brian Flynn (2-0, 3.41) will step on the mound for the Suns. RHP Jake Thomspson (7-10, 5.30) gets the call for the Biscuits.
By Steve Kolbe
The Suns were held to just four singles in a 2-1 loss to the Montgomery Biscuits on Thursday night at the Baseball Grounds. Montgomery has outscored the Suns 8-3 in the first two games of the series. The Biscuits moved ahead of the Blue Wahoos into sole possession of first place in the South Division.
The starting pitchers, Matthew Neil for the Suns and Alex Colome for the Biscuits, combined to allow just four singles in the first four innings of the game. Jacksonville failed to take advantage of some control issues by Colome. He walked a season-high six batters in his six innings of work, but didn’t surrender a run.
Montgomery took the lead in the fifth inning against Neil. Michael Sheridan hit a high fly ball to left field that fell in fair territory between the trio of Jose Duarte, Chris Gutierrez, and Curt Smith. Sheridan ended up on second, and scored when Brett Nommensen singled up the middle to put the Biscuits up 1-0. The Suns are 10-36 when allowing the first run of the game.
Biscuits shortstop Hak-Ju Lee helped generate a run in the sixth inning when he led off with a walk, stole second base, and went to third on Neil’s second wild pitch of the night. With one out, Omar Luna hit a sacrifice fly to center, with Lee beating the throw to the plate to increase the lead to 2-0.
The Suns scored their only run of the game in the seventh inning against reliever Shane Dyer. Jose Duarte walked, Jake Jefferies singled, and Donnie Webb walked to load the bases with no outs. Chris Gutierrez then grounded into a double play, with Duarte scoring to make the score 2-1.
The Biscuits have won five straight games against the Suns, and improved to 9-3 overall in the season series. Jacksonville is 9-13 in games this season with the designated hitter.
The Suns fell to 14-18 in one-run games this season, and Jacksonville is now 3-32 when scoring fewer than three runs in a game.
Omar Luna was the only player to collect two hits in the game. The Suns have 10 hits in the series against the Biscuits, but only one for exrtra bases.
Suns starter Matthew Neil (1-5) allowed two runs on five hits in five and two-thirds innings, and has lost his last five decisions. Alex Colome (5-3) allowed just three singles over his six innings of work. He stuck out nine, one shy of his season high. Colome allowed six runs on eight hits in just three innings the last time he faced the Suns June 26 at Riverwalk Stadium. Kirby Yates pitched two innings of hitless ball to earn his eighth save of the season. The Biscuits are the only team in the Southern League to have two pitchers with eight saves of more (Adame Liberatore-8; Kirby Yates-8).
The Suns will look to salvage the final game of the series Friday night, with the first pitch slated for 7:05 p.m. from the Baseball Grounds. LHP James Leverton (0-0, 2.25) will start his third game of the season for the Suns. LHP Kyle Lobsein (4-4, 4.47) takes the mound for the Biscuits.
The Jacksonville Suns scored three runs in the first two innings, but fell to the Montgomery Biscuits 6-5 on Saturday night at Riverwalk Stadium. The Biscuits scored 31 runs in the series and won four of the five games. Montgomery stayed atop the South with a record of 7-3 in the second half, while the Suns fell to 4-6.
The Suns took a 2-0 lead in the first inning on three straight hits. Aaron Dudley drove in a run with a single, with Chris Gutierrez scoring and Curt Smith scored on an error. Jacksonville added another run in the second when Kyle Skipworth crossed the plate on Jake Smolinski’s ground out to make the score 3-0. The Suns scored first in every game of the series, but lost four times.
For the second straight game the Biscuits responded. Michael Sheridan drove in two runs in the home half of the second, and Ryan Garko drove in a run in the third to even the score 3-3.
In the fifth inning, the Biscuits scored three runs to take the lead with Omar Luna leading the way with a two-run home run and the Suns trailed for the first time in the game 6-3.
Jacksonville scored twice in the seventh against reliever Merrill Kelly to cut the lead to 6-5 when Dudley drove in his second run of the night and Smith scored on a wild pitch. The Suns have had 30 of their games this season decided by one run (13-17).
The Suns loaded the bases in the ninth on two singles and a walk, but Kirby Yates wiggled out of the jam when Skipworth grounded out to first to end the game. The Suns stranded 11 runners on base on the night.
Matthew Neil (1-3) allowed six runs on 10 hits and lost his third straight decision. Merrill Kelly (5-1) pitched three and a-third innings for the win. Kirby Yates earned his sixth save of the season.
The Suns begin a three game series against the Pensacola Blue Wahoos on Sunday night at the Baseball Grounds with the first pitch scheduled for 6:05 p.m.
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.