Tag Archives: Regions Park

Suns Finish Road Trip With 11-7 Win

The Suns won 11-7 in their final visit to Regions Park in Birmingham. Jacksonville improved to 10-5 on the road and tied Mobile for first place in the South Division. Photo Courtesy: Jacksonville Suns

By Steve Kolbe

The Jacksonville Suns collected 11 hits to win the series finale over Birmingham 11-7 on Saturday at Regions Park. 

The Suns scored six times in the first inning against Barons starter Cameron Bayne to jump out to a 6-0 lead.  The big hit in the inning was a base-clearing triple by Curt Smith.  Smith was 1-for-4 in the game with three RBI’s.  Kyle Jensen, Chris Gutierrez, and Russell Mitchell also drove in a run apiece in the first.
In the fourth the Suns exploded for five more runs and an 11-0 lead.  Kyle Skipworth hit his fifth home run of the season, a three-run blast to right field.  It was the Suns first home run in nine games.   Chris Gutierrez and Shawn Bowman also drove in runs in the inning.
The Barons scored three runs on four hits in the fourth to cut the lead to 11-3.  In the fifth inning Birmingham scored four more on four straight hits to make it 11-7.
Omar Poveda pitched five innings, allowing 10 hits and seven runs and earned the win to improve to 3-1.  The losing pitcher was Cameron Bayne.  He pitched three and two-thirds allowing 11 hits and 11 runs.  The Suns have won five of their first six series this season.
The Suns are tied with Mobile for first place in the South Division setting up a five-game series against the BayBears starting Sunday night at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville.  The first pitch is scheduled for 6:05PM with Jose Alvarez on the mound for the Suns.

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Barons Collect 16 Hits In 8-3 Win Over The Suns

Catcher Damaso Espino had three of the Barons season-high 16 hits against the Suns. Espino was 3-for-4 with two runs batted in and scored three times. Photo Courtesy: Birmingham Barons

By Steve Kolbe

The Birmingham Barons handed the Suns their second straight lose on the road trip with an 8-3 win on Friday night. 
In the second inning, the Barons jumped in front when Corey Smith led off the inning with a double off Suns starter Graham Taylor.  Seth Loman, who was a late addition to the starting lineup, then hit a long single off the wall in right field with Smith scoring for a 1-0 lead.  Birmingham improved to 11-7 when scoring the first runs, while the Suns fell to 3-12 when they allow the game’s first run.
Birmingham added another fun in the fourth to increase the lead to 2-0.  With two outs, Damaso Espino singled and came all the way around from first base to score when Justin Greene double down the left field line.  Greene finished the night going 3-for-4 with two runs batted in.  Espino went 3-for-4 with three singles, two RBI’s, and scored a pair of runs.  Espino has driven in four runs in the last two games.
The Barons took command of the game in the fifth inning when they sent 10 men to the plate, and scored five runs on six hits against Taylor.  Damaso Espino and Jared Mitchell each drove in two runs with a double, and Justin Greene dove in the fifth run of the inning with a single.  Loman had three singles on the night, drove in a run and also scored.  By the end of the inning, Birmingham had built a 7-0 lead. 
Seth Loman, Damaso Espiso, and Justin Greene finished with three hits each.  Greene’s hitting streak has reached six games.The Barons tied their season-high with 16 hits.  It’s the second time this season that Birmingham has had 16 hits in a game.  They also reached the mark April 20th in a 10-0 win over Mississippi at Regions Park.  The Barons improved to 10-0 this season when they have at least 10 hits in a game.

The Suns were held hitless by Barons starter Simon Castro until the fifth inning, when Curt Smith singled to center.  It wasn’t until the sixth inning that Jacksonville scored against the hard-throwing Castro.  Donnie Webb hit his fourth triple of the season and Jake Smolinski drove him in with a single to make the score 7-1.

Birmingham added a run in the seventh against releiver Garrett Parcell, when Espino sparked another two out rally with a single up the middle.  Greene singled and Tyler Saladino was hit by a pitch to load the bases.  Drew Garcia drew a walk to force in Espino for an 8-1 lead.  Garcia went 2-for-4 to increase his hitting streak to eight games.

Jake Smolinski and Donnie Webb each drove in a run in the Suns half of the eighth, but Jacksonville fell short 8-3.  Smolinski extended his hitting streak to five games going 2-for-4 and driving in two runs.  Smolinski has four straight multi-hit games.  Webb finished the night 2-for-3 with a run batted in and a run scored.

The Suns hit into five double plays in the game, and the Barons finished one shy of the Southern League record for most double plays in a game.  It was the most double plays for a Barons team since September 6, 2009.  Donnie Webb, Ryan Patterson, and Curt Smith each hit into a double play, and Dallas Poulk hit into two. 

The winning pitcher was Simon Castro.  He improved to 2-1 on the season by pitching seven innings allowing six hits and three runs.  His fastball reached 99 miles per hour in the game, and he threw in the mid-90’s throughout the night.  Graham Taylor lost his second straight start to drop to 2-2 on the year.  It’s the first time this season that the Suns have lost back-to -back road games.

The series finale in Saturday with the first pitch scheduled for 7:35 PM EST.  Omar Poveda (2-1, 4.34) makes his fifth start of the season for Jacksonville.  Cameron Bayne (3-0, 2.70) will take the mound for Birmingham.

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Barons 5-2 Win Ends Suns Winning Streak

Right fielder Justin Greene drove in two runs and scored another in the Barons 5-2 win over the Suns. Photo Courtesy: Birmingham Barons

By Steve Kolbe
The Jacksonville Suns four game winning streak came to an end with a 5-2 loss in Birmingham on Thursday night.
The Barons took the lead in the third against Suns starter Zach Neal.  Damaso Espino led off the inning with a single and Justin Green followed with a ground-rule double.  Espino scored the first run of the night when Tyler Saladino lifted a sacrifice fly to center for a 1-0 Barons lead, and Drew Garcia then tripled to dive in his fifth run of the series and it was 2-0.  The final run of the inning crossed the plate when Garcia scored from third on a ground out to give Birmingham a 3-0 advantage.  The Suns fell to 3-11 when allowing the first run of the game.  Garcia’s triple was his third of the season and 17th for the Barons this season.  Birmingham has hit the most triples in Minor League Baseball.
Birmingham scored two more runs in the fourth inning, when Greene smashed his second double in as many innings to expand the Barons lead to 5-0.  Green finished the game 2-for-3 with two runs batted in and also scored a run.
The Suns scored their two runs in the eighth inning to avoid being shutout for the second time this season. Jake Smolinski and Shawn Bowman singled off Barons starter Pedro Hernandez, who would give way to reliever Ryan Kussmaul after throwing 99 pitches.  Russell Michell doubled to left off of Kussmaul to cut the lead to 5-2, but that was as close as the Suns would get.
Jake Smolinski and Russell Mitchell finished 2-for-4.  Smolinski has hit safely in four straight games since returning from an injury.  He has three straight multi-hit games.   Mitchell drove in Jacksonville’s only two runs, and in his eight games with the Suns he has seven RBI’s. 
Birmingham pitcher Pedro Hernandez won his third straight game to improve his record to 3-1.  Hernandez threw 99 pitches over seven and a-third innings of work, allowing eight hits and two runs.  Zach Neal lost his second straight start.  He pitched four innings, allowing seven hits and five runs.  Bobby Bramhall and Chris Squires combined to pitch four innings and allowed two hits.  The Suns are now 9-4 on the road, and over their last 17 games have a record of 12-5.

The Suns look to get back on track on Friday with Graham Taylor (2-1, 3.86) on the mound.  Taylor has won his last two starts allowing just two runs on eight hits over 13 innings against Mobile and Pensacola.  The Barons counter with Simon Castro (1-1, 4.65).  He’s given up 35 hits and 16 runs in his 31 innings of work in his five starts.  The first pitch is scheduled for 8:05EST from Regions Park in Birmingham.

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Suns Work Extra For Win Over Barons

Suns left fielder Jake Smolinski slides in safely for one of his three doubles at Regions Park against the Barons. Smolinski finished the day 4-for-6 with an RBI and two runs scored. Photo Courtesy: Birmingham Barons

By Steve Kolbe

The Jacksonville Suns won their second straight game over the Barons with an 8-6 victory in 12 innings on Wednesday afternoon.  The Suns are a season-high five games over .500 with a record of 16-11, and have sole possession of first place in the South Division.  

Birmingham scored the first run of the day in the third inning, when Tyler Saladino walked and scored on a single by Drew Garcia to give the Barons a 1-0 lead.  Garcia increased his hitting streak to six games and at that point had driven in all four Birmingham runs in the series.
Before back-to-back losses to the Suns, the Barons had won five straight after their series sweep over Montgomery.  The Barons outscored the Biscuits 39-17 in the process.  Birmingham lost for just the second time this season when scoring at least six runs in a game.  The Suns won for just the third time when allowing the game’s first run.
Birmingham starter Nestor Molina entered the game in search of his fourth straight win, and pitched into the fifth before the Suns were able to get to him.  Three straight singles by Donnie Webb, Jake Smolinski, and Dallas Poulk put Jacksonville on the scoreboard in the fifth.  Poulk’s base hit to center field drove in Webb to tie the game 1-1.  Poulk and Smolinski would later score when Kyle Jensen doubled to left.  Jensen now has 15 runs batted in for the season.
The Barons sent eight batters to the plate and scored three times in the sixth inning, when Suns starting pitcher Bryan Evans was a little wild.  Saladino walked, went to second on a wild pitch, and crossed the plate later in the inning on a wild pitch to cut the Suns lead to 3-2.  Wade Korpi entered the game in relief, and with the bases loaded Jose Martinez came through with a single to left field driving in two runs and giving the Barons in front 4-3.  Martinez now has a five-game hitting streak.
No lead was safe throughout the day, and in the seventh inning the Suns tied the game 4-4 off of Barons reliever  Nevin Griffith.  Jake Smolinski drew a leadoff walk and scored on Shawn Bowman’s single to right.  Bowman has 14 runs batted in this season.  Jacksonville took a 5-4 lead in the eighth when Kyle Jensen singled to center to lead off the inning.  Ryan Patterson entered the game as a pinch runner and went to second on a wild pitch, advanced to third on a ground out, and scored when Curt Smith sent a fly ball to center.  Smith has driven in six runs in the last three games.
A.J. Ramos entered the game in the eighth inning, but couldn’t hold the one-run lead.  Andy Wilkins hit a solo home run to right field to tie the game 5-5.  It was his fourth round-tripper of the season.  Ramos had given up just one single to the first 40 batters that he had faced this season.  He allowed two hits and one run in his two innings of work on Wednesday against Birmingham.

In the 12th inning, Ryan Patterson led off with a walk.  Curt Smith then drove in his second run of the day with a double to center with Patterson scoring to give the Suns a 6-5 advantage.  Donnie Webb drove in a run with a sacrifice bunt to increase the lead to 7-5, and Jake Smolinski plated a run in the inning with his third double of the game.  The Suns improved to 2-0 in extra inning games this season.  During the 2011 campaign, the Suns led the Southern League with 10 extra inning wins.

Overall, seven of Jacksonville’s 13 hits were doubles.  Jake Smolinksi finsihed 4-for-6 with three doubles, two runs scored, and a run batted in.  Dallas Poulk wednt 3-for-7 with two doubles and scored a run.  Kyle Jensen and Curt Smith each had two hits and two runs batted in.  It’s the second time this season that Smolinski has had three doubles in a game to come within one of tying the Southern League record for most doubles in a single game.  He had three doubles against Huntsville April 7th.

Suns starter Bryan Evans pitched five-and-a-third innings, allowing two hits and three runs(two earned).  Kyle Kaminska was the winning pitcher to improve his record to 4-1.  He tossed two innings, allowing just two hits and struck out two.   Evan Reed pitched the 12th inning to notch his league-leading eighth save of the season.  Six Suns pitchers combined to strike out a season-high 17 Birmingham hitters. 

The Suns will look to continue their winning ways on Thursday night with RHP Zach Neal (2-2, 2.16) on the mound.  Neal’s 2.16 ERA has him among the league leaders.   LHP Pedro Hernandez (2-1, 3.24) is scheduled to start for the Barons.

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Suns Back On Top After 4-3 Win In Birmingham



The Suns rallied for a 4-3 win over the Barons at Regions Park. The win snapped the Barons five game winning streak and moved Jacksonville into first place in the South Division. Photo Courtesy: Birmingham Barons

By Steve Kolbe

The Jacksonville Suns improved to 8-3 on the road this season with a 4-3 win over Birmingham at Regions Park on Monday night. 

The Suns took a 1-0 lead in the third when Jose Duarte led off the inning by walking on four pitches, and Jake Smolinski tripled to center to drive him in.  The Suns now have seven triples this season.  In the home half of the inning, Jared Mitchell and Damaso Espino both walked to start the inning against Jacksonville starter Jose Alvarez.  That set the table for Drew Garcia, who drove in two runs with a double down the left field line to put the Barons in front 2-1.  

Birmingham increased the lead to 3-1 in the bottom of the fifth when Justin Greene singled and later scored of a sacrifice fly by Garcia, who drove in all three runs for the Barons in the game to increase his RBI total to 20 for the year. 

The Suns tied the game in the sixth when Paul Gran doubled and Shawn Bowman singled before there was an out in the inning.  Russel Mitchell then singled up the middle to drive in Gran and cut the Barons lead to 3-2.  Later in the sixth, Curt Smith’s sacrifice fly tied the game 3-3.  Mitchell now has five runs batted in with the Suns, and Smith has driven in four runs in the last two games.  With Birmingham a Chicago White Sox affiliate, Monday’s game was the first of the season for Jacksonville with the designated hitter and Smith came through. 

In the seventh inning, the Suns completed the comeback when Smolinski hit his second triple of the night and came in to score on a Shawn Bowman sacrifice fly to give Jacksonville a 4-3 lead.  Bowman leads the team with 14 runs batted in.  Smolinski is now five-for-eight in his last two games since returning from an injury. 

Jose Alvarez pitched six innings allowing seven hits and three runs to earn his first win of the season.  Once again the Suns bullpen was flawless, tossing three innings without allowing a hit.  Garrett Parcell pitched the seventh, Josh Schmidt the eighth, and Evan Reed locked down his seventh save by retiring the Barons in order in the ninth.  Reed leads the Southern League in saves.  Barons starter Jose Quintana pitched six innings and allowed five hits and three runs and didn’t figure in the decision.  The losing pitcher was Santos Rodriguez.  He dropped to 0-1 as the Barons five game winning streak came to an end. 

The Suns improved to 14-1 when they score the first run.  It was also the fifth come-from-behind win for Jacksonville this season.  

Game two of the series is Tuesday morning at 11:00AM with Bryan Evans (0-2, 5.75) scheduled to make the start for the Suns.  Nestor Molina (3-1, 3.56) will take the mound for Birmingham.



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