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.