Tag Archives: Kyle Skipworth

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

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

The Suns Are One-Hit, But Win 1-0

Kyle Skipworth’s RBI-single in the fourth inning was the lone hit for the Jacksonville Suns in a 1-0 win over Biscuits starter Matt Buschmann(above)at Riveralk Stadium August 27, 2012. Photo Coutesy: Montgomery Biscuits

By Steve Kolbe 

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.

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

Suns Flex Their Muscles In Win Over Biscuits

 

Kyle Jensen hit a grand slam, and the Suns rallied from a 2-0 deficit to defeat the Biscuits 6-2 at Riverwalk Stadium in Montgomery August 24, 2012. Photo Courtesy: Jacksonville Suns

By Steve Kolbe

The Jacksonville Suns rallied from a 2-0 deficit to defeat the Montgomery Biscuits 6-2 on Friday night to claim the first game of a pivotal five-game series at Riverwalk Stadium.  Jacksonville is now just two games behind Montogmery in the South Division.  After dropping nine of the first 12 games of the season against the Biscuits, the Suns have won seven straight in the season series by a combined score of 36-12.
 
The Biscuits dented the scoreboard in the third inning against Suns starter Jose Alvarez.  After Mark Thomas was hit by a pitch and Mikie Mahtook walked, Ryan Garko drove in his 38th run of the season with a single to left field with Thomas scoring to put the Biscuits in front 1-0.  Montgomery had a record of 15-4 at home when scoring the first run of the game.  Jacksonville won for just the 18th time when allowing the first run.
 
Montgomery tacked on another run in the home half of the fourth inning.  Omar Luna led off with a doubled and Michael Sheridan singled, with Luna advancing the third base.  Mark Thomas then lifted a sacrifice fly to center, with Luna crossing the plate to increase the Biscuits lead to 2-0.
 
The Suns managed just a single by Ben Lasater in the first four innings against Biscuits starting pitcher Merrill Kelly.  But once again the Suns used the long ball in the comeback.  Kyle Skipworth led off the fifth inning with a solo home run to cut the lead to 2-1.  Skipworth has 20 home runs this season, with four of them at the expense of the Biscuits pitching staff.
 
Kelly ran into trouble in the sixth inning when Alfredo Lopez was hit by a pitch, Jake Smolinski walked, and Chris Gutierrez singled to load the bases with no outs.  Montgomery made the call to the bullpen and summoned C.J. Reifenhauser, and he was able to entice Zack Cox into a force play, but the Suns still had the bases full.  Ben Lasater then delivered with a sacrifice fly to right field, with Smolinski racing in from third to even the score 2-2.  After a mound visit from Biscuits pitching coach R.C. Lichtenstein, the stage was set for the Suns to flex their muscles on the road.  Rieferhauser tried to sneak a fastball past Kyle Jensen, who cleared the bases when he smashed his 23rd home run of the season over the high left field wall to put the Suns up 6-2.  It was the Suns 100th home run of the season.  Kyle Jensen has hit a homer in five straight games, and he joined Kyle Skipworth as the only Suns players with a grad slam this season, with both coming on the road.
 
Kyle Jensen went 2-for-4 for his third straight multi-hit game and 16th of the season.  Jensen is third in the league with 75 RBI, and he’s tied for second with 23 home runs, one behind Joe Dunigan of the Jackson Generals.  Jensen has a dozen hits against the Biscuits this season, five of them have been round trippers.   Kyle Skipworth belted his 2oth home run of the season and scored two runs for the Suns.  He has 10 hits this season against the Biscuits, including three home runs.
 
Ryan Garko led the Biscuits going 3-for-4 with three singles.  Omar Luna, Michael Sheridan, and Mark Thomas each collected two hits for Montgomery in the loss. 
 
Jacksonville improved to 10-9 in the season series against Montgomery, and won for just the fourth time at Riverwalk Stadium in 11 games.  The Suns had been outscored 29-13 during a six game road losing streak.
 
The Suns are 20-14 when using the designated hitter, 10-9 against Montgomery.  The Biscuits have lost five of ther last eight games, and their magic number to claim the second half in the South Division remains at eight. 
 
Jose Alvarez (6-8) tossed 101 pitches allowing two runs on 10 hits in the win, with nine of the hits singles.  Omar Luna’s double was the only extra base hit of the game for the Biscuits.  Alvarez won for just the second time on the road this season (2-5).   He is 2-0 this season in his four starts against Montgomery.  Merrill Kelly (7-3) surrendered four runs on just three hits over five innings of work.  Two of his three losses this season have been to the Suns.
 
Game two of the series is Saturday night with the first pitch slated for 8:05 PM from Riverwalk Stadium.  RHP Matthew Neil (2-7, 4.34) will take the mound for the Suns.   LHP Kyle Lobstein (7-6, 4.02) gets the start for the Biscuits.
 

Leave a comment

Filed under Ahead Of The Curve, Southern League News

Slow Start Sinks Suns In Loss To Barons

The Barons snapped a four-game losing streak with an 11-7 win over the Jacksovnille Suns at the Baseball Grounds on August 22, 2012. Photo Courtesy: Birmingham Barons

By Steve Kolbe

The Birmingham Barons scored all of their runs in the first five innings and ended the Suns three-game winning streak, with an 11-7 victory on Wednesday at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville.

The Barons sent 10 men to the plate in the top of the first, scoring six runs on six hits against Suns starter Bryan Evans to take a 6-0 lead. It’s the most runs the Suns have allowed in the first inning of a game this season.

Ben Lasater hit a two-run home run with two outs in the bottom of the first to put the Suns on the scoreboard and make the score 6-2. It was Lasater’s first home run of the season with the Suns. After the teams traded runs in the second inning, the Suns cut the lead to 7-5 in the home half of the third when Kyle Jensen connected for his 21st home run of the season, a two-run blast to left-center. Jensen has hit a home run in three straight games.

The Barons scored twice in the fourth against Evans to increase the lead to 9-5.  Jake Oester drove in a run with a bases loaded single, and Luis Sierra lifted a sacrifice fly to center.

The long ball provided the runs for both clubs in the fifth.  Andy Wilkins hit a two-run home run for the Barons to pad the lead to 11-5. Kyle Skipworth then hit his 19th homer of the year in the bottom of the inning to make it an 11-7 contest. The final four innings of the game were scoreless.

The Barons finished with 18 hits, the most that the Suns have allowed in a game this season. Every player for the Barons had at least one hit, and every player in the game reached base at least once.

Bryan Evans (5-8) allowed nine runs on 11 hits in 3.1 innings in the loss. Leroy Hunt (2-3) pitched three scoreless innings for the Barons in the win.

The final home game of the regular season is Thursday night at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville, with the first pitch slated for 7:35 PM. LHP Brian Flynn (2-0) will take the mound for the Suns. RHP Nick McCully (1-3, 5.17) will start for the Barons.

Leave a comment

Filed under Ahead Of The Curve, Southern League News

Suns Take Two From Barons

 

Suns starter Graham Taylor (above left)threw three-hit complete game to lead Jacksonville past Birmingham 5-0 in game one. Keyle Jensen(above right)hit his 20th home run of the season in the Suns 5-3 comeback win in the night cap at the Baseball Grounds August 21, 2012. Photo Courtesy: Jacksonville Suns

By Steve Kolbe

The Jacksonville Suns swept a double-header from the Birmingham Barons, winning game one 5-0 with a dominant performance from starter Graham Taylor, and the Suns turned up the power to claim the night cap 5-3.  It’s the first time this season that the Suns have swept both games of a twin bill.
 
The Suns broke the ice in game one in the second inning against Barons starter Nestor Molina.  Kyle Jensen led off the inning with his 19th home run of the season to put the Suns in front 1-0.  The Suns improved their record to 47-22 when scoring the first run of the game.
 
The Suns were turned away by Molina after loading the bases with no outs in the fifth, but Jacksonville added some insurance in the home half of the sixth,  loading the bases for a second straight inning.   Singles by Ben Lasater and Kyle Skipworth and a walk by Kyle Jensen loaded the bases with no outs.  Jake Jefferies delivered a RBI-single with Lasater cruising home to increase the Suns lead to 2-0.  The Barons summoned Salvador Sanchez from the bullpen, and he walked Danny Pertusati on four pitches to force in Skipworth from third to make the score 3-0.  After Jensen hustled home on a wild pitch to pad the lead to 4-0, Dallas Poulk capped the scoring with a sacrifice fly plating Jefferies for the 5-0 final.
 
Kyle Skipworth and Jake Jefferies each finished 2-for-3 for the Suns.  Jacksonville has 13 shutouts this season, with 11 of them tossed at the Baseball Grounds.   The Barons were blanked for the seventh time this season.
 
Taylor (8-10) allowed just three singles for the complete game seven-inning win.  In his previous start this season against the Barons, Taylor allowed a season-high 12 hits in an 8-3 loss May 4th at Hoover, Alabama.  The win Tuesday was Taylor’s first complete game of the season.  Another Suns lefty, Jose Alvarez, is tied for the league lead with three complete games.  Nestor Molina (4-10) surrendered five runs on nine hits in the loss.   Molina won three of his first five starts this season, but has just one victory in his last 15 outings.
 
The Suns capped of the night in come-from-behind fashion, falling behind the Barons 3-0 in the second game.  James Leverton retired the first 11 batters he faced, but with two outs in the top of the fourth the Barons put together a two-out rally.  Trayce Thompson walked and scored when Andy Wilkins doubled to the gap in left center to give the Barons a 1-0 lead.  Brady Shoemaker followed with a double to right-center, with Wilkins scoring to increase the lead to 2-0.  Shoemaker added a RBI-single in the sixth inning to hand Birmingham a 3-0 cushion.
 
The Suns powered their way to the comeback in the home half of the sixth against Barons starter Spencer Arroyo, hitting three home runs.  Leadoff man Jake Smolinski smashed the first pitch he saw over the left field wall to put the Suns on the board.  Smolinski has hit all six of his homers in the second half of the season.  After Chris Gutierrez walked and Zack Cox singled, Kyle Jensen cleared the bases with his second home run of the double header to put the Suns in front to stay 4-3.  Jensen is one of only five players in the Southern League with 20 or more round trippers.  Kyle Skipworth made it back-to-back home runs in the inning, when he belted his 18th home run of the season to help the Suns claim the night cap 5-3.   Skipworth also homered against the Barons May 5th.
 
The Suns have won six of their eight games against the Barons this season.  With a record of 21-12 at home in the second half, the Suns have more wins than any team in the league on their home turf.  Jacksonville is 10-3 in the last 13 games at the Baseball Grounds, with five of the victories by shutout.  
 
Jake Smolinski went 2-for-3 for his 23rd multi-hit game of the season.  Kyle Jensen has belted six three-run home runs this season, with half of them in the month of August.   Jensen has left the yard five times in the last six games.
 
Collin Cargill (1-0) earned his first win with the Suns.  Spencer Arroyo (6-4) allowed five runs on seven hits in the loss.  Arroyo allowed three home runs in the sixth inning on Tuesday, after giving up just four all season.
 
Game four of the series is Wednesday with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 PM.  RHP Bryan Evans (5-7, 4.31) will start for the Suns.  RHP Jacob Petricka (2-2, 3.59) takes the mound for the Barons.
 
 
 
 
 

Leave a comment

Filed under Ahead Of The Curve, Southern League News

Suns Roll Past Barons 13-7

The Jacksonville Suns tied their season-high with 15 hits in a 13-7 win over the Birmingham Barons at the Baseball Grounds August 19, 2012. Photo Courtesy: Birmingham Barons

 By Steve Kolbe

The Jacksonville Suns snapped their season-high seven-game losing streak, defeating the Birmingham Barons 13-7 on Sunday night at the Baseball Grounds.  It’s the ninth time the Suns have scored 10 or more runs in a game, with six of the offensive explosions at home. 
 
The Barons took the lead in the first inning against Suns starter Matthew Neil.  Tyler Saladino led off with a double, and Carlos Sanchez followed with a double to left-center, with the speedy Saladino scoring all the way from first to put Birmingham up 1-0.  The Barons entered the game with a record of 40-20 when scoring the first run of the game.
 
The Suns broke the ice against Barons starting pitcher Andre Rienzo in the bottom of the fourth.  After retiring the first 10 batters of the game, Rienzo surrendered a single to Chris Gutierrez with one out in the fourth.  Zack Cox then got the green light on a 3-0 pitch and delivered with a double to center field, with Guiterrez scoring from first to even the score 1-1.  Cox has driven in 11 runs in 13 games with the Suns after being acquired by Miami from St. Louis.
 
Birmingham took the lead in the sixth against Neil, with the first four batters in the inning all reaching base.  Leadoff hitter Trayce Thompson jumped on the first pitch he saw and belted a solo home run to left to put the Barons up 2-1.  Since being promoted from Class-A Winston-Salem on August 13th, Thompson has nine hits including his first two Double-A  home runs.  It was the 10th round tripper that Neil has surrendered this season.  Neil walked both Andy Wilkins and Seth Loman, and a single by Brady Showemaker loaded the bases  with no outs.  Jose Martinez cashed in with a double to right field, with both Wilkins and Shoemaker racing around to score to increase the Barons lead to 4-1.
 
The Suns sent 13 men to the plate in the home half of the sixth, scoring a season-high eight runs on eight hits in the inning to take a 9-4 lead.  Barons reliever Leroy Hunt was touched for four runs on five hits and didn’t retire a batter in the inning.  With Chris Gutierrez and Zach Cox aboard, Kyle Jensen drove in the first two runs in the inning with his second triple of the season.  Gutierrez plated a pair of runs his second time at bat with his 23rd double of the year.   Jake Smolinski, Ben Lasater, Aaron Dudley, and Dallas Poulk each drove in a run.  Jacksonville batted around in an inning for the 13th time this season.
 
The Suns scored all eight of their runs in the sixth inning with two outs.  The Suns previous high for most runs in an inning was seven (April 23rd vs. Mobile; June 25th vs. Tennessee; July 31st @ Mobile).   
 
Birmingham used the long ball in the seventh against Suns reliever Grant Dayton to inch closer.  Andy Wilkins smashed a two-run home run, and Seth Loman added a solo blast to cut the Suns lead to 9-7.  The duo share the team lead with 16 home runs each. 
 
In the home half of the seventh, Zack Cox led off with a walk and scored when Kyle Skipworth just missed a home run, hitting a double off the wall in the deepest part of the ball park to pad the Suns lead to 1-7.  Jacksonville tacked on three more runs in the bottom of the eighth for the 13-7 final.  The Suns improved to 16-43 when allowing the first run of the game.
 
The Suns ended their season-high seven game losing streak, and are now just three games behind the Montgomery Biscuits in the pennant race in the South Division.  The Birmingham Barons have lost seven of their last 10 games.
 
Jacksonville tied a season-high with 15 hits in the game (August 6th vs. Montgomery).  The Suns managed a triple, three doubles, and 11 singles on the night.  Every player in the Suns lineup had at least one hit and drove in at least one run.  Kyle Jensen and Chris Gutierrez each crossed the plate three times.  Chris Gutierrez, Zack Cox, Ben Lasater, Aaron Dudley, Donnie Webb, and Dallas Poulk each collected two hits in the game.  Poulk finished with three RBI’s, with Gutierrez and Jensen each driving in a pair of runs.
 
Grant Dayton (1-0) allowed three runs on three hits over an inning and a-third to record his first win with the Suns.  Andre Rienzo (4-2) surrendered five runs on five hits in the loss.  He had allowed a total of six earned runs over 19 innings in his previous three starts.  
 
Game two of the series is Monday with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 PM from the Baseball Grounds.  LHP Graham Taylor (7-10, 4.11) will take the mound for the 24th time this season for the Suns.  RHP Nestor Molina (4-9, 4.70) will start his 19th game for the Barons.

Leave a comment

Filed under Ahead Of The Curve, Southern League News