Tag Archives: Kyle Kaminska

Suns Top Smokies; Win Third Straight Series

 

The Suns defeated the Smokies 8-5 at the Baseball Grounds to take three of five games in the series. Jacksonville won all three series against Tennessee during the season. Photo Courtesy: Tennessee Smokies

By Steve Kolbe

After losing the first two games against Tennessee, the Suns won their third straight over the Smokies 8-5 on Saturday night at the Baseball Grounds.  The Suns took eight of the 13 games against the Smokies during the season, and won all three series.
 
The Suns took the lead in the first when Jake Smolinski led off with a double and Chris Gutierrez singled behind him to put runners on first and third before Smokies starter Nick Struck could record an out.  Paul Gran then lifted a sacrifice fly to right scoring Smolinski to put the Suns up 1-0.  Jacksonville improved to 23-9 when scoring a run in the first inning.
 
Gutierrez and Gran each drove in a run in the third to increase the Suns lead to 3-0, and in the fourth Alfredo Lopez hit a RBI-single to make the score 4-0.  It was the second straight game that the Suns jumped out to a 4-0 advantage.
 
Smokies first baseman Justin Bour drove in a run in the fifth against Suns starter Graham Taylor with a single to cut the lead to 4-1.  But the Suns scored three more times in the sixth inning against reliever Trey McNutt to pad the lead to 7-1.
 
In the top of the seventh, Bour smashed the Smokies first grand slam of the season off of Suns reliever Kyle Kaminska to edge Tennessee closer at 7-5.  Bour drove in all five of the Smokies runs in the game.  The Suns added a run in the home half of the seventh for the 8-5 final.
 
Graham Taylor (6-8) allowed one run on five hits in six innings for the win.  James Leverton pitched the ninth for his first save of the season.
 
Jake Smolinski went 3-for-5 with two RBI’s and scored three runs.  It’s the third time this season that Smolinski has hit three doubles in a game.  Chris Gutierrez and Donnie Webb each collected three hits.  The first three batters in the Suns lineup combined to drive in six of the Suns eight runs on the night.
 
The Suns open a five-game series against the Mobile BayBears at Hank Aaron Stadium on Sunday with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

Leave a comment

Filed under Ahead Of The Curve, Southern League News

Suns Slip Past Braves In Ninth

 

Catcher Kyle Skipworth(left)and second baseman Paul Gran each collected three hits in the Suns 8-7 walk-off win over the Mississippi Braves July 19, 2012 at the Baseball Grounds. Photo Courtesy: Jacksonville Suns

By Steve Kolbe

New faces help the Jacksonville Suns come back to win a walk-off thriller 8-7 over the Mississippi Braves on Thursday night at the Baseball Grounds.  The Suns won for just the second time this season when trailing going into the ninth inning (2-43).  Jacksonville also came back to beat Montgomery 5-4 on May 15 when Jake Jefferies hit a three-run home run in the top of the ninth at Riverwalk Stadium.
 
The Braves used the long ball to take the lead against Suns starter James Leverton, who hadn’t surrendered a home run in his previous 10 appearances.  Tim Smith and Christian Marrero each hit solo home runs in the second inning to put the Braves up 2-0.  For Smith it was just his second of the season, for Morrero it was his first home run of the year but he made it count.  Morrero’s blast cleared the right field stands and headed toward the street.   In the third inning, Christian Bethancourth hit his first home run of the year to extend the lead to 3-0. 
 
The Suns broke through in the home half of the third against Mississippi starting pitcher David Hale.  With one out, Chris Gutierrez doubled to the wall in left field to extend his hitting streak to 14 games.  Paul Gran then drove in his 21st run of the season with a single to center, with Gutierrez motoring around from second to cut the Braves lead to 3-1.  With two outs, Kyle Skipworth smashed a two-run home run to tie the game 3-3.  Skipworth has hit four round trippers in the last three games, and his 11 home runs this season match his total last year’s campaign.
 
In the fifth inning, Phil Gosselin led off with his second triple of the season and scored on Jason Christian’s RBI-single to center to give the Braves a 4-3 edge.  In the seesaw affair, the Suns stormed back in the bottom of the fifth.  Chris Gutierrez walked to lead off the inning, but Hale retired both Paul Gran and Kyle Jensen on fly balls.  With two outs, Kyle Skipworth doubled to drive in Gutierrez to tie the game 4-4.  Ben Lasater then followed with a double for his first RBI of the season, with Skipworth rumbling home to vault the Suns back into the lead 5-4. 
 
The Braves jumped ahead in the sixth against Suns reliever Mike Ojala.  Joe Terdoslavich led off with a double into the left field corner, and scored when Joe Leonard singled to knot the game 5-5.  After a single by Marrero put runners on the corners, Phil Gosselin hit a sacrifice fly to center with Leonard tagging from third for a 6-5 Mississippi advantage.
 
The Suns used three singles in the seventh inning to tie the score 6-6.  Paul Gran led off the inning with a base knock, and scored on Shawn Bowman’s two-out RBI-single.  In a game where no lead was safe, the Braves went back in front in the eighth inning against Kyle Kaminska.  After Joe Leonard doubled and Christian Marrero singled, pinch hitter Alden Carrithers swung at the first pitch he saw and sent a fly ball into center field, with Marrero scoring on the sacrifice to give the Braves a 7-6 lead going into the ninth.
 
Mississippi turned to their closer Mark Lamm, who entered the night with 10 saves.  Paul Gran led off the ninth inning with a single to left field to start the rally.  After Kyle Jensen went down on strikes, Kyle Skipwroth and Ben Lasater each walked to load the bases with one out.  Lamm then retired Shawn Bowman with one pitch on a foul pop to the catcher.  With two outs, center fielder Danny Pertusati took center stage and stole the spotlight in his first Double-A game.  Pertusati singled to right field past the diving second baseman, with both Gran and pinch runner Donnie Webb scoring to give the Suns the walk-off win 8-7.  Pertusati was mobbed in the infield by his new teammates to celebrate the win.  The Suns scored seven of their eight runs in the game after there were two outs in an inning.
 
Kyle Skipworth and Paul Gran each had three hits.  Skipworth finished 3-for-4 with three RBI’s and two runs scored.  He has hit four home runs and driven in seven over the last three games.  Gran collected three singles, drove in a run, and scored three of the Suns eight runs.  Chris Gutierrez extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a double in the third inning.  It’s his second streak this season of at least 14 games.  The last time that Gutierrez was held without a hit was July 1st against Pensacola. 
 
Suns starter James Leverton allowed four runs on five hits in five innings of work, including three home runs.  He struck out a season-high seven batters.  After being acquired by the Marlins on July 9, Jon Link pitched the ninth to earn the win in his first game with Jacksonville.  Suns pitchers did not issue a walk for the eleventh time this season.  Braves closer Mark Lamm took the loss to drop to 0-4 this season.
 
The Suns have won three straight games for the first time since April 28 to May 2 when they won four in a row.  Overall, Jacksonville has won five of the last six games..  This season 35 of the Suns 97 games have been decided by a single run (17-18).  The Braves have dropped six of their last seven games, and have been outscored 49-29 in those games.  Mississippi lost for just the second time this season when taking a lead into the ninth (29-2). 
 
Game two of the series is Friday with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m.  RHP Bryan Evans (3-6, 3.97) will take the mound for the Suns.  Evans allowed just one run in five and a-third innings and earned the victory as the Suns topped the Blue Wahoos 6-1 in Pensacola last week.  LHP Brent Leach (0-2, 1.59) is set to start his second game of the season for the Braves. 
 

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

Stars Hit Six Home Runs In 10-5 Win Over Suns

Stars first baseman Hunter Morris(above)hits one of his two solo home runs in 10-5 win over the Jacksonville Suns at Joe Davis Stadium. Photo Courtesy: Huntsville Stars

By Steve Kolbe

 
The Jacksonville Suns surrendered a season-high six home runs to the Huntsville Stars in a 10-5 loss on Sunday afternoon at Joe Davis Stadium.  The Stars have hit a total 47 home runs this season, with seven of them coming in the last two games against Suns pitching.
 
After a 10 minute delay due to rain, Huntsville got right to work in the bottom of the first by sending eight men to the plate against Suns starter Bryan Evans.  The first two batters reached base, when Lee Haydel led off with a single and Josh Prince walked.  With one out, Hunter Morris blistered a triple to right field with both runners scoring to put the Stars in front 2-0.  Morris drove in three runs and scored twice in the Stars win in game one of the series, and he would be a factor again throughout the day.  Hainley Statia added a run when he jumped on the first pitch that he saw from Evans, hitting a double to right field, with Morris cruising home to make the score 3-0. 
 
The Suns scored their first run of the game in the second inning against Stars pitcher Johnnie Lowe. Curt Smith hit the first of his three singles on the day, and moved to second base on a fielders choice.  After a Shawn Bowman walk put runners on first and second, Jose Duarte drove in his fifth run of the season with a single to right field, with Smith scoring from second to cut the lead to 3-1.  Duarte had gone without an RBI since April 20 (72 games).
 
In the third inning, Paul Gran and Chris Gutierrez both singled against Lowe to start a rally, and with two outs Curt Smith singled to drive in two runs to even the score 3-3.  The Suns scored all five of their runs in the game after there were two outs in an inning.
 
In the home half of the third, leadoff man T.J. Mittelstaedt hit his first Double-A home run off of Evans to put the Stars back in front 4-3.  It was also Mittelstaedt’s first Double-A RBI, and it gave Huntsville a lead they wouldn’t give up.
 
In the sixth inning the Stars sent eight men to the plate for the second time in the game.  Hunter Morris led off the inning with a solo home run to increase the lead to 5-3.  Morris has homered and tripled in two straight games, and his day was far from over.  After an infield single by Hainley Statia, Kentrail Davis added his name to the long ball list by smashing a two-run home run deep to right field to pad the Stars advantage to 7-3.  It was the third home run that Bryan Evans allowed in the game.
 
The Suns summoned Kyle Kaminska from the bullpen, and he was given a rude reception when pinch hitter Domnit Bolivar hit his first home run of the season to pad the lead at 8-3.  The Stars hit three home runs in the sixth inning.
 
In the seventh, Kyle Jensen crushed a two-run home run to the deepest part of Joe Davis Stadium to get the Suns to within two runs at 8-5.  Jensen leads the Suns with 11 home runs this season, and he’s tied for the team lead with 41 RBI’s with Shawn Bowman.
 
Huntsville belted two more home runs in the seventh inning off of Kaminska.  The first two batters of the inning, T.J Mittelstaedt and Hunter Morris, hit back-to-back solo home runs and the Stars led 10-5.  It’s the first time this season that a team has hit back-to-back home runs against the Suns.  Jacksonville has allowed double-digit runs against four times this season.
 
The Stars hit six home runs in the game, one shy of tying the Southern League record for the most home runs in a single game.  Seven is the record, set by six different teams over a 31 year span from 1961 through 1997.  Knoxville hit seven against Jacksonville July 28, 1997, and Huntsville hit seven against Chattanooga July 18, 1997.  Six round trippers are the most that the Suns have allowed in a game this season, and the most that the Stars have hit in a single game this year.  Three of the home runs in Sunday’s game were hit by the leadoff man in an inning.
 
Curt Smith went 3-for-5 with three singles, and he’s now 8-for-14 this season against Huntsville.  Smith had a hand in four of the Suns five runs, with two RBI’s and two runs scored.  Shawn Bowman had a multi-hit game, going 2-for-3.  Hunter Morris, Hainley Statia, and Kentrail Davis each collected three hits for the Stars.  Morris had a hand in seven of the 10 runs, with 4 RBI and three runs scored.  In the series, Morris has had a hand in 12 of the Stars 17 runs (7 RBI and 5 runs scored).  Lee Haydel and T.J. Mittelstaedt finished with two hits each.  Eight of the Stars 15 hits in the game went for extra-bases.  Seven different Stars players scored at least one run.
 
Bryan Evans (2-6) pitched five and a-third innings allowing seven runs on nine hits, both season highs.  Evans has allowed seven home runs in his last four starts, after giving up just two in his first 13 starts of the season.  Kyle Kaminska pitched an inning and two-thirds giving up three runs on six hits.  Kaminska was tagged for three home runs in the game.  He had allowed two home runs total in his previous 24 outings.  Stars starting pitcher Johnnie Lowe allowed three runs on six hits over his four innings of work and didn’t figure in the decision.  Dan Merklinger (2-7) pitched two innings of hitless baseball to earn the win.
 
The series finale is Monday night from Joe Davis Stadium with the first pitch scheduled for 6:43 p.m. local time.  RHP Zach Neal (4-6, 4.26) will start his tenth game of the season for the Suns.  Neal earned the win last week at Tennessee after getting the start when Rob Rasmussen was traded to the Houston Astros just prior to the game July 4 at Smokies Park.  RHP Hiram Burgos (4-1, 2.05) will take the mound for the eleventh time this season for the Huntsville Stars.   The Suns have not been swept in a series this season.
 
 
 

Leave a comment

Filed under Ahead Of The Curve, Southern League News

Suns Win On Independence Day

Suns starter Zack Neal(4-6)allowed two runs on seven hits over seven innings. The only runs he allowed were on a two-run home run by Greg Rohan(above)in the first inning. Photo Courtesy: Tennessee Smokies

By Steve Kolbe

 
The Jacksonville Suns took a two-run lead into the ninth inning and hung on for a 4-3 win over the Tennessee Smokies on Wednesday night at Smokies Park.  The Suns improved to 31-1 when leading going into the ninth.
 
The Suns provided the fireworks in the first inning against Smokies starter Dallas Beeler.  Chris Gutierrez hit a solo home run to left to put the Suns in front 1-0.  With the blast, Gutierrez established a new career high with four home runs on the year.  It’s the first time since 2008 that he’s had more than two in a season.  With two outs, Kyle Skipworth reached on an error when Beeler dropped a throw at first base.  Jeff Dominguez then drove in Skipworth with a single to left to increase the lead to 2-0.  The Suns have scored at least one run in the first inning 29 times this season, with a record of 19-9 when they cross the plate in the first.
 
Tennessee drew even in the home half of the first against Suns starter Zach Neal.  After Jim Adduci singled, Greg Rohen belted his first Double-A home run, a two-run blast to left field to tie the game 2-2.  Rohen had hit a career-best 12 home runs for the Daytona Cubs of the Florida State League before he was promoted to the Smokies on July 2. 
 
In the fourth inning, Jeff Dominguez doubled to the left field corner, and scored when Shawn Bowman drove in his 40th run of the season with a single to center to give the Suns the edge 3-2.  Bowman is the first Suns player this season to reach the 40 RBI mark.
 
Jacksonville tacked on another run in the fifth inning.  Gutierrez led off with an infield single, and Skipworth singled to put runners on the corners with one out.  Jeff Dominguez hit a ground ball to short, with Gutierrez racing home with an important run to give the Suns a 4-2 advantage.   
 
After collecting five hits in the first two innings, the Smokies were held to just two hits from the third until the ninth inning against Suns pitchers Zach Neal and Kyle Kaminska.  In the ninth, Jae-Hoon Ha led off with a single, and stole second base.  Kaminska then struck out Jim Adduci, and enticed Greg Rohen into a ground out, but couldn’t get the final out.   
 
With two away, the Southern League’s top RBI man Justin Bour added to his total by driving in Ha with a single to left to cut the Suns lead to 4-3.  Bour now has 61 runs batted in this season.  Jacksonville summoned closer A.J. Ramos from the bullpen, and he issued just his eighth walk of the season when he put pinch hitter Jaun Apodaca on base.  With runners on first and second, Ramos denied the Smokies the game-tying run when he struck out Mike Brenly to end the game.
 
The Suns have won three straight over the Smokies.  Tennessee manager Buddy Bailey has 1,599 career wins over 24 seasons as a minor league manager.  His next win will make him one of just four active managers with at least 1,600 victories.
 
Left handed pitcher Rob Rasmussen was scheduled to start for the Suns, but the Marlins traded him along with third baseman Matt Dominguez to the Houston Astros in exchange for 36-year-old slugger Carlos Lee.  Rasmussen, the Marlins second round pick in the 2010 draft,  was 4-7 with a 3.90 ERA in 16 starts for Class A Jupiter this season.  Dominguez was batting .234 with seven home runs and 46 RBI’s with Tiple-A New Orleans.  He was the Marlins first round draft pick in 2007.
 
Zach Neal (4-6) was pressed into service and started his ninth game of the season.  Neal allowed two runs on seven hits over seven innings, six singles and a home run.  A.J. Ramos recorded the final out for his seventh save.  Smokies starter Dallas Beeler (3-6) allowed four runs on nine hits in four and a-third innings of work, and lost for the first time in five weeks.
 
Chris Gutierrez finished 3-for-4 with two runs scored.  Jeff Dominguez went 2-for-4 with two RBI’s.  Justin Bour was the only Smokies player with more than one hit.  Eight of Tennessee’s nine hits were singles.  The Suns have had 31 of their 84 games this season decided by a single run, with a 14-17 record.
 
Game two of the series is Thursday night from Smokies Park with the first pitch scheduled for 7:15 p.m.  RHP Matthew Neil (1-3, 5.53) will start his eighth game of the season for the Suns.  He’s lost his last three decisions.  LHP Eric Jokisch (3-1, 3.25) will take the mound for Tennessee.  He suffered his first loss of the season June 25 at Jacksonville, when he allowed 10 runs on nine hits in a relief appearance in the Suns 11-3 win.
 
 
 

Leave a comment

Filed under Ahead Of The Curve, Southern League News

Suns Reel In Blue Wahoos

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

By Steve Kolbe

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Ahead Of The Curve, Southern League News

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

Suns Win Series Against Smokies

 

The Suns take two from the Tennessee Smokies, 11-3 and 10-3, on a stormy day June 25, 2012 at the Baseball Grounds. Photo Courtesy: Jacksonville Suns

By Steve Kolbe

The Jacksonville Suns won both games against the Tennessee Smokies on Monday at the Baseball Grounds to take three of the five games in the series.  Jacksonville claimed the first game 11-3, and then won the regularly scheduled game 10-3. 
 
When the rain suspended game four of the series Sunday, the Suns were trailing 2-1 in the third inning.  When play resumed on Monday morning at 11:00 a.m., Suns reliever Zach Neal took over on the mound for Graham Taylor.  Taylor allowed two runs on five hits over two and a-third innings before the game was suspended.
 
The Suns took the lead in the bottom of the third.  Jake Smolinski led off with a walk, and came around to score on Paul Gran’s second triple of the season to tie the game 2-2.  Kyle Skipworth then hit a ground ball to shortstop Junior Lake, who committed the first of his two errors in the inning, with Gran crossing the plate to put the Suns in front 3-2.
 
With Alan Oaks on the mound for the Suns, Tennessee tied the game in the sixth inning.  Jim Adduci beat out an infield single, and Mike Burgess drove him in with a double to tie the game at 3-3.
 
The Suns took the lead for good in the sixth inning against Smokies pitcher Eric Jokisch.  Jeff Dominguez led off with a double down the third base line, and Jose Duarte singled to right to put runners on the corners.  After a sacrifice bunt by Zach Neal moved Duarte over to second, Donnie Webb drove in two runs with a single to give the Suns a 5-3 lead.
 
In the seventh inning, Kyle Skipworth was awarded first base on catchers interference, and Curt Smith then walked.  With two outs, Jeff Dominguez smashed his third home run of the season to increase the Suns lead to 8-3.  Dominguez has hit two three-run home runs this season, both at the Baseball Grounds.
 
The Suns padded the lead in the eighth inning with a two out rally.  Jake Smolinski was hit by a pitch, Paul Gran singled, and Kyle Skipworth walked to load the bases.  Shawn Bowman then cleared the bases with a double to left-center field to make the score 11-3.  Bowman is 3-for-6 with nine RBI this season with the bases loaded. 
 
Paul Gran went 3-for-5 with a RBI and scored two runs.  Donnie Webb, Shawn Bowman, and Jeff Dominguez each had two hits in the first game.  Bowman leads the Suns with 36 RBI.
 
Pitcher Alan Oaks arrived at the ballpark on Monday morning after being transferred from Jupiter of the Florida State League to Jacksonville.  He earned the win, allowing a run on three hits.  Smokies pitcher Eric Jokisch (3-1) allowed 10 runs on eight hits and lost for the first time this season.
 
In the regularly scheduled game, Suns starter Matthew Neil retired the first nine batters that he faced before running into trouble in the fourth.  Jim Adduci walked to lead off the inning, but was erased when Jae-Hoon Ha grounded into a double play.  With two outs, the Smokies collected four straight hits to start the scoring.  Junior Lake singled and scored when Justin Bour doubled to right field to give Tennessee a 1-0 advantage.  Bour leads the Southern League with 55 runs batted in.  Nelson Perez followed by hitting his first triple of the season, with Bour scoring to build a 2-0 lead.  Nate Samson made it 3-0 when he singled up the middle, with Perez cruising across the plate.
 
The Suns began the comeback in the home half of the fourth against Smokies starter Dallas Beeler.  Kyle Jensen doubled with one out, and scored when Aaron Dudley collected his first hit and first RBI with the Suns to cut the lead to 3-1.  Jacksonville drew even in the fifth, with Jake Smolinski and Kyle Jensen each driving in a run to tie the score 3-3. 
 
The Suns broke the game open in the sixth when they batted around, and tied their season-high for runs in a inning by scoring seven times, all with two outs.  Paul Gran led off with a double, and Jeff Dominguez walked with one out to put runners on first and second.  After pinch hitter Kyle Skipworth struck out, Donnie Webb drew a walk to load the bases with two away.  Chris Gutierrez snapped an 0-for-6 stretch with a clutch single to drive in two runs and put the Suns ahead 5-3.  After Jake Smolinski was hit by a pitch, the bases were full of Suns again.  Kyle Jensen delivered with a single to center, with Webb and Gutierrez scoring on the play to make the score 7-3.  Jensen is 3-for-6 with nine RBI with the bases loaded this season.
 
Already with a hit and RBI, Suns first baseman Aaron Dudley cleared the bases with one swing of the bat when he blasted a home run into the right field seats and the Suns had a 10-3 lead.  The Suns scored seven runs in an inning for the second time this season.  In a 7-0 win in Mobile on April 23rd, the Suns scored all seven of their runs in the eighth inning.
 
Kyle Jensen finished 3-for-3, drove in three runs and scored twice.  He is second on the team with 35 RBI.  Aaron Dudley went 2-for-4 with four RBI.  Donnie Webb, Jake Smolinski, and Kyle Jensen each scored twice.
 
Kyle Kaminska (5-3) pitched a scoreless sixth inning for the win.  His last victory was May 2nd at Birmingham.  Kevin Rhoderick (1-3) allowed five runs on five hits.  
 
The Suns hit seven home runs against the Smokies, with Donnie Webb hitting two of the long balls.  It’s the first time this season that Jacksonville has hit a home run in every game of a series.   Jacksonville has now scored 10 or more runs in a game four times this season.
 
The Suns begin a five game series in Montgomery on Tuesday night with the first pitch scheduled for 8:05 p.m. EST.  The Biscuits took three of five from the Suns at Riverwalk Stadium May 11-15.

Leave a comment

Filed under Ahead Of The Curve, Southern League News

Evans Leads Suns Past Braves

By Steve Kolbe

A day after allowing a season-high 13 runs, the Jacksonville Suns rebounded for a 6-1 win over the Braves at Trustmark Park in Pearl, Mississippi on Friday night. 

The Suns broke the ice in the first inning against Braves starter Luis Avilan.  Donnie Webb led off the inning with a walk, and Jake Smolinski reached on a throwing error by third baseman Joe Terdoslavich, with Webb advancing to third on the play.  Avilan then threw his fourth wild pitch of the season, with Webb scoring to give the Suns a 1-0 advantage.  The Suns have scored at least one run in the first inning in 18 games this season, and are 15-3 in those games.  Jacksonville is now 26-6 when crossing the plate first. 

In the third inning, Webb found himself in the middle of the offense again when he led off with a single and scored on a sacrifice fly by Shawn Bowman to increase the Suns lead to 2-0.   

Suns starter Bryan Evans baffled the Braves throughout the night, and after allowing a single in the first inning he retired the next 16 batters he faced until the seventh inning.  In the seventh, Keenan Wiley led off with a bunt single and went to second on a sacrifice bunt.  With two outs, Tim Smith put the Braves on the board with a RBI single, with Wiley scoring to cut the Suns lead to 2-1.  Kyle Kaminska took over for Evans to record the final out of the inning. 

In the eighth inning, the Suns scored four runs against reliever Brett Cammons, all with two outs.  Jake Smolinksi walked and scored when Shawn Bowman hit his team-leading 16th double of the season, and the lead was 3-1.  Kyle Jensen extended the inning when he reached base on an infield single, with Smolinski moving around to third to put runners on the corners.  Curt Smith delivered the big hit in the inning, with a towering three-run home run to left field to pad the Suns lead to 6-1.  After going without a round tripper since the first series of the year, Smith has now hit two home runs in his last four games. 

The Suns have won seven of their last 10 road games, and improved to 19-14 away from home this season.  Jacksonville has scored at least five runs in six of their last seven road wins.  The Suns won for just the second time this season on Friday (2-9).  The Braves have lost six of their last eight games overall.  Mississippi has won two games in a row only once in the last 22 games. 

Suns shortstop Chris Gutierrez extended his hit streak to 14 games with a single in the third inning.  He hasn’t gone hitless since May 30th.  Mississippi center fielder Todd Cunningham also increased his hit streak to 14 consecutive games with a single in the first.  Shawn Bowman drove in two runs for the Suns, and now leads the team with 32 runs batted in.  Curt Smith has hit two three-run home runs in the last week, and he now has 27 runs batted in this season. 

Bryan Evans entered the game among the top five pitchers in the league in lowest batting average against.  He had a dominant performance, pitching six and two-thirds innings and allowing one run on three hits to improve his record to 2-4.  He has won his last two decisions.  Evans struck out a season-high eight batters, including striking out the side in the second inning and retiring the side in the third on just nine pitches.  Evans retired 16 Braves in a row after allowing a single in the first inning.  Kyle Kaminska and A.J. Ramos combined to pitch the final two and a-third innings. 

Braves starter Luis Avilan pitched a season-high six innings, allowing just two hits and one earned run, but saw his record fall to 1-5 on the season.

Leave a comment

Filed under Ahead Of The Curve, Southern League News

Suns Stop Generals 4-2

Omar Poveda struck out a season-high eight batters in the Suns 4-2 win over the Jackson Generals June 7, 2012 at the Baseball Grounds. Photo Courtesy: Jacksonville Suns

By Steve Kolbe 

After a 42 minute rain delay, the Jacksonville Suns won their first meeting of the season against the Jackson Generals 4-2 at the Baseball Grounds on Thursday night.  Jackson entered the game winners of eight of their last 10 games, and the Generals 37 victories are the most in the Southern League.  

The Generals broke the ice in the top of the first inning against Suns starter Omar Poveda.  After a lead off single by Denny Almonte and a force out that left Nick Franklin on first base, catcher Jesus Sucre put  Jackson on top 1-0 with a RBI single to center field. 

The lead lasted for just an inning, with the Suns getting to Generals starting pitcher Taijuan Walker in the home half of the second.  After Kyle Skipworth and Paul Gran were retired, Ryan Patterson started a two-out rally with a single.  Jose Duarte singled behind him, with Patterson moving to third base and Duarte advancing to second on a throwing error.  Designated hitter Curt Smith drove in both base runners with the third straight single in the inning to put the Suns ahead 2-1. 

Jacksonville tacked on two more in the third inning against Walker.  Chris Gutierrez and Shawn Bowman singled, and Paul Gran walked to load the bases.  This season the Suns had been 3-for-9 as a team with the bases loaded, and Ryan Patterson alone was 0-for-5.  With two outs, Patterson wasn’t denied this time, driving a single to center field with Gutierrez and Bowman scoring to increase the lead to 4-1. 

The Generals scored their final run of the night in the sixth inning, a lead off home run by Joe Dunigan against Poveda to cut the lead to 4-2, but that would be the final run of the night.  Dunigan’s solo blast to left field tied him with Denny Almonte for the Generals team lead with nine round trippers.  Jackson leads the Southern League with 46 home runs.

The Suns improved their record to 12-19 at the Baseball Grounds, while the Generals are now 17-14 on the road.  Jacksonville is 7-27 when allowing the first run of the game, and Jackson is now  27-7 when crossing the plate first. 

The bottom third of the Suns batting order accounted for all the offense in the win, going 7-for-10 with four runs batted in and two runs scored.  Ryan Patterson went 3-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored.  Curt Smith and Jose Duarte each finished 2-for-3.  Smith drove in two and now has 20 runs batted in this season.  Duarte recorded his first multi-hit game of the year.  The Suns collected nine hits, all singles. 

Suns starter Omar Poveda pitched a season-high seven innings to improve his record to 5-2.  He allowed two runs on five hits, and struck out a season-high eight batters.  Poveda has won two straight decisions for the first time since April, when he started the season 2-0.  Kyle Kaminska and A.J. Ramos combined to pitch two innings of scoreless baseball, with Ramos closing the door in the ninth for his third save of the season. 

Generals starter Taijuan Walker was hit in his throwing arm when Donnie Webb, the Suns first batter of the game, sent a hard ground ball back up the middle in the first inning.  While that may or may not have factored in the 19-year-old’s early struggles, he tossed his his second-shortest outing of the season, allowing four runs on six hits in just three innings of work.  Walker had allowed a total of 16 runs this season, and Thursday’s loss to the Suns was the first time in his 11 starts that he surrendered more than two runs in a game.   

Game two of the series is Friday at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05PM.  In a match up of left handers, Jose Alvarez (1-2, 4.64) will start for the 11th time this season for the Suns.  Danny Hultzen (6-3, 1.44) will take the mound for his 12th start of the season.  Hultzen ranks first in the league in ERA at 1.44, and he ranks second in strikeouts with 67.

Leave a comment

Filed under Ahead Of The Curve, Southern League News