Tag Archives: Ryan Patterson

Suns Rout Generals 7-0 and 9-0 Sunday


Suns center fielder Donnie Webb went 2-for-5 with a home run and two RBI in a 7-0 Game 1 win over the Jackson Generals June 10, 2012. Photo Courtesy: Jacksonville Suns

By Steve Kolbe

The Jacksonville Suns shut out the Jackson Generals twice on Sunday, scoring a combined 16 runs on 23 hits.  The Suns started the day with a 7-0 win in the completion of a game that was suspended by rain on Saturday night.  In the seven-inning night cap, the Suns again blanked the Generals, 9-0.
The Jacksonville Suns had already built a 4-0 lead over the Jackson Generals at the Baseball Grounds on Saturday night, with Donnie Webb hitting a two-run home run, and Ryan Patterson and Shawn Bowman each driving in a run.  Rain then stopped the play, and the game was suspended in the bottom of the fourth inning.  Webb has hit the Suns last two home runs.
After a rain delay of one hour and 20 minutes, the game resumed on Sunday at 4:25 p.m., with the Suns batting in the fourth.  Generals reliever Moises Hernandez took over on the mound, and the Suns picked up where they had left off the night before.  With two outs, Chris Gutierrez increased the Suns lead to 6-0 by sending a double to the gap in right-center, with Jake Jefferies and Paul Gran scoring on the play.  Gutierrez is the fifth Suns player this season with 20 or more runs batted in. 
The Suns tacked on another run in the sixth, when Jake Jefferies led off the inning with a double for his second hit of the game.  After Paul Gran grounded out, Ryan Patterson drove in Jefferies with his second double of the game to pad the lead to 7-0.
The Suns had four playres with a multi-hit game, led by Ryan Patterson who was 3-for-4 with two doubles, two RBI and a run scored.   Donnie Webb finished 2-for-5 with two RBI and scored a pair of runs.  Chris Gutierrez went 2-for-4 with two runs batted in.  Jake Jefferies also had two hits and scored twice.
Suns starting pitcher Bryan Evans was cruising along in search of his second straight win before the game was suspended the previous night.  He had retired the first seven batters he faced, and allowed just two hits over four innings.  Left hander Bobby Bramhall (1-1) was pressed into service to re-start the game on Sunday afternoon.  He allowed just three hits in his four innings of work to win his first game of the season. 
Josh Schmidt struck out two of the three batters he faced in the ninth.  Steve Garrison (3-3) allowed six runs on seven hits.  The Generals had just five singles in the game. 
In the second game, the Suns continued to batter Generals pitching on the way to a 9-0 win, with every player reaching base safely at least once.   It didn’t take long for the Suns to figure out Jackson starter Taylor Stanton.  Back in left field for the first time since his concussion, Jake Smolinski led off the first inning with a single, and scored when Chris Gutierrez doubled to the wall in left field for 1-0 lead.  Ryan Patterson then singled, with Gutierrez coasting home, and it was 2-0 Suns.  The Suns improved to 14-3 this season when scoring in the first inning.
Suns first baseman Curt Smith had the big swing in the third inning, connecting for a three-run home run and a 5-0 Jacksonville advantage.  It was Smith’s second home run of the year, and first since the fifth game of the season, when he hit a two-run homer against the Huntsville Stars in the first series. 
Jacksonville added three more runs in the fourth to pad the lead to 8-0, with Kyle Skipworth driving in two runs with his second triple of the season, and Kyle Jensen delivering with a RBI single. 
The Suns plated one more in the sixth on three straight singles, with Ryan Patterson driving in the Suns ninth run of the night.  On the play, Patterson appeared to injure his left ankle when rounding first base and trying to stop. 
Every Suns player finished with at least one hit with the exception of third baseman Shawn Bowman.  Jake Smolinski, Kyle Skipworth, Kyle Jensen, and Ryan Patterson each finished with two hits. 
By scoring at least a run in the first inning in both games, Jacksonville improved to 24-5 when crossing the plate first.  The Suns have seven shutouts this season, matching their total from the 2011 campaign.  It’s the first time this season that the Jackson Generals have been blanked in two straight games.
Suns starter Graham Taylor allowed just four hits in his five innings of work to improve his record to 4-5.  Taylor has won two of his last three starts after dropping three in a row.  A.J. Ramos and Evan Reed each pitched an inning.  Taylor Stanton( 1-2) surrendered eight runs on nine hits over four innings.  Every Suns batter reached base at least once in the game.  Jacksonville is now 9-3 in games played on Sunday.
The final game of the series is Monday at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m.  RHP Matthew Neil (1-0, 4.37) will start the Suns final home game in the first half of the season .  RHP Brandon Maurer (4-1, 3.80) is set to start his 13th game of the year for the Generals. 

Leave a comment

Filed under Ahead Of The Curve, Southern League News

Suns-Generals Game Suspended

The Suns-Generals game June 9, 2012 at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville was suspended due to heavy rain and storms. The game will be continued Sunday June 10, 2012 as part of a double header. Photo Courtesy: Jacksonville Suns

By Steve Kolbe

 The Jacksonville Suns built a 4-0 lead over the Jackson Generals at the Baseball Grounds on Saturday night, when rain stopped the play and eventually suspended the game in the bottom of the fourth inning.  Saturday’s game will be completed beginning at 3:05 p.m. Sunday afternoon, with the Suns and Generals playing their regularly scheduled game Sunday night.  Game two will be a  seven-inning contest. 

The Suns came out swinging in the first inning against Generals starter Steve Garrison.  Donnie Webb and Chris Gutierrez led off the game with singles, and with the first two batters the Suns had matched their hit total from Friday night’s 1-0 loss.  After a force out, third baseman Shawn Bowman drove in his 29th run of the season with a sacrifice fly, with Webb scoring to put the Suns in front 1-0. 

Jacksonville added three more runs in the second, all with two outs.  Paul Gran singled to start the rally, and scored on Ryan Patterson’s double to increase the lead to 2-0.  Donnie Webb then smashed a two-run home run over the left field fence to give the Suns a 4-0 advantage.  Webb has hit two round trippers in his last four games.

Suns starting pitcher Bryan Evans began the game in search of his second straight win.  He retired the first seven batters he faced, and allowed just two hits in four innings.  Generals starter Steve Garrison allowed four runs on seven hits and was on the mound in the bottom of the fourth with one out when the skies opened.

In the second game on Sunday, LHP Graham Taylor (3-5, 4.93) will start his 13th game the season for the Suns.  RHP Taylor Stanton (1-1, 7.56) takes the hill for the Generals for his third start of the year. 


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

Blue Wahoos Even Series With Suns

Blue Wahoos starter J.C. Sulbaran struck out 10 to lead Pensacola to a 9-2 win over Jacksonville June 5, 2012 at Bayfront Stadium. Photo Courtesy: Pensacola Blue Wahoos

By Steve Kolbe

After a brief weather delay, the Jacksonville Suns started slow and never recovered in a 9-2 loss to the Blue Wahoos on Tuesday night at Bayfront Stadium in Pensacola.  The two teams are once again tied for third place in the South Division with identical 27-32 records.
The Blue Wahoos went right to work against Suns starter Graham Taylor in the first inning.  For the fans who were late to their seats, they missed leadoff hitter Ryan LaMarre blast his second round-tripper of the season to put Pensacola in front 1-0.  Didi Gregorius then doubled to left, and came around to score on Brodie Greene’s RBI single to give the Blue Wahoos a 2-0 lead.  It’s the second straight game that Pensacola has scored two runs in the first inning.  
Taylor settled down for the next two innings and was helped out by the double play ball, but he ran into more trouble in the home half of the fourth.  Joel Guzman and David Vidal hit back-to-back singles to left field to start the inning.  With one out, Andrew Means drove in both runners with a single, with Vidal scoring on an error, and the Blue Wahoos had doubled their lead to 4-0. 
Pensacola catcher Chris Berset keep the rally going with another single to left to put runners on first and third with only one out.  Blue Wahoos starting pitcher J.C. Sulbaran helped his own cause with a sacrifice bunt, with Means scoring on the play to make the score 5-0.  The inning finally ended when LaMarre was thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double, but not before Berset crossed the plate to pad the lead to 6-0 in favor of Pensacola.  In the inning, the Blue Wahoos scored four runs on five singles.
Jacksonville brought in reliever Zach Neal to start the fifth inning, and he was greeted by an infield single by Didi Gregorius, who then moved to second base on a throwing error.  Brodie Green drove in his second run of the night when he tripled into the gap in left-center, with Gregorius scoring for a 7-0 advantage.  Later in the inning, David Vidal’s sacrifice fly pushed Greene across the pate and the scoreboard read 8-0.
The Suns scored their only two runs of the night in the seventh against J.C. Sulbaran.  Kyle Jensen led off the inning with a walk, and scored when Ryan Patterson drove in his 10th run of the season with a double down the left field line.  With two outs, Donnie Webb doubled for his 15th run batted in on the year, with Patterson scoring to make the score 8-2.

Pensacola tacked on another run in the eighth inning on a RBI ground out by Chris Berset, and the Blue Wahoos had a 9-2 win.  It’s the sixth time this season that the Suns have allowed eight runs or more, with the Blue Wahoos accomplishing the feat three times.  Pensacola has won consecutive games for the first time in over two weeks, last winning two contests in a row in Jacksonville May 18-19.

It’s the third time this season that the Blue Wahoos have scored nine or more runs in a game, they also had a 9-3 win over the Suns April 26th at the Baseball Grounds.  The seven run win is the second largest margin over victory that Pensacola has had in a game this season, second only to an 8-0 win over Birmingham May 12th at Bayfront Stadium.

Suns pitcher Graham Taylor had his shortest outing since his first start of the season, when he allowed six runs in four innings against Chattanooga.  Taylor surrendered six runs (5 ER) on ten hits in his four innings of work on Tuesday and fell to 3-5 on the season.  Zach Neal came out of the bullpen, allowing three runs on four hits in the final four innings of the game. 

Blue Wahoos starter J.C. Sulbaran allowed two runs on seven hits over six and a-third innings to improve his record to 4-4.  Sulbaran struck out 10 Suns batters to earn his first win over Jacksonville this season in four starts.  Relievers Wilkin De La Rose and Clayton Tanner finished the job, allowing just one hit in the final three innings.  Pensacola pitchers fanned 14 Suns batters on Tuesday, and in the series Blue Wahoos hurlers have 49 strike outs in four games.

For the Suns, Donnie Webb and Jeff Dominguez each finished with two hits, with Webb driving in his 15th run of the season.  Ryan Patterson, Curt Smith, Kyle Jensen, and Kyle Skipworth each had one hit.  The Blue Wahoos collected 14 hits.  Five players had multi-hit efforts and seven players scored at least one run for Pensacola.  David Vidal finished 3-for-3, drove in a run, and scored twice.  Andrew Means went 3-for-4 with a RBI and a run scored.  Ryan LaMarre and Brodie Greene each had two hits and two RBI.  Didi Gregorius added a pair of hits to extend his hit streak to eight games.  It’s his second streak of at least eight games this season.

The rubber match of the series is Wednesday night with the first pitch scheduled for 8:00 p.m. from Bayfront Stadium in Pensacola.  RHP Matthew Neil (0-0, 5.49) will start his fourth game of the season for the Suns.  RHP Daniel Corcino (2-3, 3.79) is set to take the mound for the Blue Wahoos.

Leave a comment

Filed under Ahead Of The Curve, Southern League News

Suns Stop BayBears 9-0

Suns catcher Kyle Skipworth hit two doubles, drove in two runs and scored twice in a 9-0 win over the Mobile BayBears May 30, 2012 at the Baseball Grounds. Photo Courtesy: Jacksonville Suns

By Steve Kolbe 

In their most lopsided win of the season, the Jacksonville Suns blanked the Mobile BayBears 9-0 on Wednesday afternoon.  The Suns had lost their first seven games against the BayBears at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville this season by a combined score of 31-6.
BayBears mistakes helped the Suns take the lead in the second inning against starter Derek Eitel.  Third baseman Matt Davidson committed two costly throwing errors in the inning, allowing both Kyle Skipworth and Ryan Patterson to reach base.   Davidson has committed a team-high 14 errors.  With one out in the second, Chris Gutierrez put the Suns in front 3-0 with his first home run of the season, a no-doubt blast over the left field wall.  The Suns improved to 20-5 when they score the game’s first run.  The BayBears have committed a league-high 61 errors.  Last season Mobile had the fewest errors in the Southern League with only 98.
In the third, Paul Gran led off the inning when he was hit by a pitch.  With two outs, Kyle Skipworth popped up in foul ground but BayBears catcher Rossmell Perez dropped the ball.  Skipworth made the most of his second chance, hitting a double to right field to put runners on second and third.  Kyle Jensen and Ryan Patterson followed with back-to-back RBI singles to increase the Suns lead to 5-0.
The Suns loaded the bases in the fourth inning when pitcher Bryan Evans singled for his first hit of the season, and BayBears pitcher Derek Eitel walked both German Duran and Paul Gran on four straight pitches.  Jake Smolinski then drove in his fourteenth run of the season with a sacrifice fly to left, with Evans scoring for a 6-0 Suns advantage.
Jacksonville added to the lead with a two-out rally in the eighth inning against reliever Yonata Ortega.  After striking out Donnie Webb and retiring German Duran on a liner, Ortega hit Paul Gran in the numbers.  Gran was hit twice in the game, and this season has been hit by the pitch a team-high 10 times.  Struggling with his command, Ortega issued four-pitch walks to both Jake Smolinski and Shawn Bowman to load the bases.  Kyle Skipworth came to the plate and smashed his second double of the game, driving in both Gran and Smolinski to increase the lead to 8-0.  Shawn Bowman completed the scoring when he came home on an Ortega balk.
Both managers were ejected from the game by home plate umpire Jay Pierce.  In the fourth inning, Suns skipper Andy Barkett was throw out of a game for the first time this season.  When Brent Clevlen hit a ball down the left field line that was ruled fair for a double, Barkett came out for an animated discussion.  BayBears manager Turner Ward also had a run-in, and was tossed in the seventh for arguing balls and strikes. 
Kyle Skipworth finished 2-for-5 for his seventh multi-hit game of the season.  He drove in two runs and scored two runs, and has now hit safely in six of his last seven games.  Chris Gutierrez was 2-for-4 with a three-run home run.  Jake Smolinski went 2-for-3 with a RBI and scored a run.  Eight Suns players had at least one hit on the day.   Mobile pitchers had held Jacksonville hitters to a .180 batting average during the seven game winning streak.
The Suns have blanked their opponents five times this season, with two of the shutouts coming against the BayBears.  Mobile has been held off the scoreboard only twice this season, both times against the Suns.  Graham Taylor and two relievers combined on a 7-0 three-hitter April 23 at Hank Aaron Stadium.
Jacksonville starter Bryan Evans (1-4) won for the first time this season.  He allowed just three hits and struck out four over his six innings of work.  In his last three starts, Evans has allowed just five runs over 15 innings.  Corey Madden pitched two innings and allowed two hits, and A.J. Ramos tossed the ninth for the Suns.
With the win the Suns improved the record to 24-29 overall, and 10-18 at the Baseball Grounds.

Leave a comment

Filed under Ahead Of The Curve, Southern League News

Suns Rally In Ninth For 5-4 Win

The Suns rallied from a 3-1 deficit to beat the Biscuits 5-4 in the series finale at Riverwalk Stadium in Montgomery, Alabama. Photo Courtesy: Jacksonville Suns

By Steve Kolbe

The Suns rallied in the ninth inning for a 5-4 win over the Biscuits on Tuesday afternoon at Riverwalk Stadium.  Jacksonville scored four times in the final two innings to overcome a 3-1 deficit.

The Suns took the lead in the top of the first inning when Ryan Patterson homered to left to put Jacksonville in front 1-0.  All three of Patterson’s home runs this season have been solo blasts.  The Suns have scored in the first inning in 11 of their 40 games this season with a 9-2 record in those games.

The Suns have scored first in three of the last four games, and improved to 16-2 when scoring the game’s first run.  Montgomery is now 6-17 when allowing the first run of the game.

Montgomery tied the game 1-1 in the fourth inning against Suns starter Omar Poveda when Tyler Bortnick hit his first home run of the season, a no-doubt shot to left field.  The Biscuits have hit 23 home runs this season.

In the sixth inning, the Biscuits took the lead when Hak-Ju Lee led off with a single, was sacrificed to second, and stole third.  The Biscuits lead the league with 54 stolen bases.  Lee scored when Omar Luna grounded out to short to put Montgomery in front 2-1.  After Kyeong Kang tripled to deep center field, Bortnick continued his big day at the plate when he singled to drive in Kang to make the score 3-1.  The Biscuits lead the league with 22 triples this season.

Both starters departed after pitching six innings.  Biscuits lefty Kyle Lobstein allowed three hits and one run.  For the Suns, Omar Poveda allowed five hits and three runs.  In the series, the Suns collected just 11 hits and scored just five runs against the Biscuits starting pitchers, but scored nine runs against the Biscuits bullpen.

The Suns started their late inning comeback in the eighth off of reliever Frank De Los Santos.  Curt Smith hit his eighth double of the season to lead off the inning, and scored on Jake Smolinski’s single to right field to cut the lead to 3-2.  Smolinski is 9-for-21 this season with runners in scoring position.

In the top of the ninth inning, the Suns completed the comeback with catcher Jake Jefferies coming through against his former team.  With relief pitcher Kirby Yates trying to protect the lead, Russell Mitchell drew a one out walk and Jeff Dominguez singled behind him.  That set the stage for Jefferies, who hit a towering three-run home run to right field to put the Suns in front 5-3.  Jefferies is 2-for-6 with three RBI and three runs scored since returning to Jacksonville from New Orleans.

Kyeong Kang led off the bottom of the ninth with a double off of Suns reliever A.J. Ramos, and scored for the the second time in the game when Michael Sheridan singled to center field to cut the Suns lead to 5-4.  With a runner on first, David Wendt’s blast to left was hauled in by Jake Smolinski on the warning track for the second out of the inning.  Ramos then struck out Brad Coon on a 3-2 pitch to end the game.

Jeff Dominguez finsihed the day 2-for-4 and scored a run.  Seven different Suns players had at least one hit in the game.  Ryan Patterson and Jake Jefferies hit the long ball.  After going 13 games without a home run, the Suns have hit four in the last four games. 

Tyler Bortnick entered the game with just three hits in his last 28 plate appearances.  He led the Biscuits on Tuesday going 3-for-4 with two singles and his first home run of the season.  Kyeong Kang was 2-for-4 with a double and a triple.  Kang has 26 hits on the season, with 18 of them for extra bases (eight home runs, eight doubles, two triples).

A.J. Ramos pitched the eighth and ninth, allowing three hits and a run to improve to 2-0 on the season.  Ramos has allowed only two runs this season in his 16 appearances.

The Suns are now 9-7 in one-run games this season and won for the first time when trailing after the seventh inning (1-16).  Jacksonville opens a five game series against Pensacola on Thursday night at the Baseball Grounds with Jose Alvarez (1-1, 3.90) taking the hill for his seventh start of the season.  The first pitch is scheduled for 7:35PM ET.

Leave a comment

Filed under Ahead Of The Curve, Southern League News

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Ahead Of The Curve, Southern League News

11 Singles Power Blue Wahoos To 9-3 Win

The Blue Wahoos collected a dozen hits in route to a win over the Suns at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville. Photo Courtesy: Jacksonville Suns


Steve Kolbe

The Pensacola Blue Wahoos topped the Jacksonville Suns 9-3 on Thursday night at the Baseball Grounds.  The win snapped the Suns five-game winning streak over the Wahoos. 

Pensacola jumped out to a lead in the first inning when Ryan LaMarre and Henry Rodriguez both singled, and with one out Joel Guzman doubled to left to drive in the first run.  A batter later it was 2-0 when Rodriguez scored on Brodie Greene’s ground out.  It was a tough first inning for Suns starter Bryan Evans.  He allowed three hits, two runs, and walked a batter. 

In the bottom of the inning Jacksonville cut the lead in half when Ryan Patterson singled, stole second, and scored on a throwing error by Pensacola catcher Mark Fleury.  The Suns took the lead in the third inning when Patterson and Kyle Skipworth both walked and came around to score when Russell Mitchell doubled into left to give Jacksonville a 3-2 advantage.  Patterson has scored four runs in the last two games. 

That Blue Wahoos scored the next seven runs in the game.  Pensacola sent nine men to the plate in the fourth and scored three runs to take a 5-3 lead.  Josh Fellhauer, Mark Fleury, and Mark Serrano all walked and scored in the inning.  In the game, the Wahoos drew eight walks and five of them came around to score. 

Pensacola scored two more in the sixth and seventh innings to build a 9-3 lead.  Joel Guzman finished 4-for-5 and drove in three runs.  Henry Rodriguez went 4-for-5, scored two runs and drove in another.  11 of the Blue Wahoos 12 hits in the game were singles. 

The Suns were held to four hits in the game.  Russell Mitchell drove in two of Jacksonville’s three runs, the other was unearned.  The Suns dropped to 1-9 this season when allowing the game’s first run. 

Bryan Evans dropped to 0-2.  He pitched three and two-thirds innings, allowing five hits and five runs but only two were earned.  Evans walked five and struck out two.  The winning pitcher was Mark Serrano.  He tossed three scoreless innings to improve to 2-0.

Game three of the series is Friday night with Zach Neal (2-1, 1.42) taking the mound for the Suns.  The Blue Wahoos counter with Daniel Corcino (0-1, 4.12). 

Leave a comment

Filed under Ahead Of The Curve, Southern League News

Suns Reel In Wahoos With Walk-Off Win


Dallas Poulk singled in the bottom of the ninth inning to drive in Donnie Webb and give the Suns a walk-off win over the Blue Wahoos. Photo Courtesy: Jacksonville Suns

By Steve Kolbe

The Suns returned to Jacksonville after winning seven games on their 10-game road trip and picked up right where they left off, downing Pensacola 6-5 at the Baseball Grounds.

Kyle Skipworth put the Suns in front 1-0 in the second inning with a solo home run off of Blue Wahoos starter Pedro Villarreal.  Skipworth has hit three of his four round-trippers this season against Pensacola.  Curt Smith walked later in the inning and scored when Ryan Patterson doubled to left field to increase the lead to 2-0.  On a wild play, Jose Alvarez hit a ball back to the pitcher with Donnie Webb on first.  It bounced off of Villarreal, and started a double play in which Webb and Alvarez were both tagged out on a base running miscue.  Patterson scored from second on the play to make it 3-0.   

In the fourth inning, Kyle Jensen singled with one out and scored on Patterson’s second double of the night for a 4-0 Suns lead.  A batter later it was 5-0 when Donnie Webb hit his second triple of the season to drive in Patterson.  It was Webb’s third run batted in of the season.  Patterson has now driven in six runs on the year.

Suns starting pitcher Jose Alvarez was cruising along into the sixth inning.  He had retired 15 straight Pensacola batters after Ryan LaMarre doubled to lead off the game.  But in the sixth, the Blue Wahoos were able to get to Alvarez when Brian Peacock led off with a single, and that was followed by a double by Yordanys Perez.  A sacrifice fly by LaMarre plated the first of four runs in the inning for the Blue Wahoos and what was a comfortable Suns lead was gone with the score 5-4.  Didi Gregorius had a single to drive in a run in the inning, and Henry Rodriguez drove in his 12th run of the season with a double.  Gregorius has hit safely in 11 of his last 12 games.

After Garrett Parcell pitched the eighth inning for the Suns, Evan Reed took over in the ninth inning for Jacksonville looking to secure the win for his sixth save of the season.  The leadoff man in the inning Cody Puckett popped up into shallow right field and second baseman Dallas Poulk dropped the ball and Puckett ended up on second.  It was the Suns third error of the game and a costly one.  Two batters later Brian Peacock drove in the game-tying run with a single to even the score 5-5.  

In the home half of the ninth, Donnie Webb led off against relief pitcher Justin Freeman with his second triple of the night.  After an intentional walk to pinch hitter Paul Gran, Pensacola manager Jim Riggleman brought his center fielder into the infield to give the Blue Wahoos five players in the infield with the game-winning run at third for the Suns with no outs.

What happened next was a moment that could have been taken right from a Hollywood script.  Dallas Poulk, who had committed that error earlier, came to the plate with a chance to give the Suns the win.  He didn’t disappoint.  After falling behind in the count no balls and two strikes, Poulk launched a single into center field to give Jacksonville the walk-off win 6-5.  It was one of those moments that can be frozen in time for a player in just his third game with his new team.  It was just the third run that the Suns have scored in the ninth inning in 21 games this season.

Jose Alvarez pitched five-and-a-third innings, allowing four runs on five hits and didn’t figure in the decision.  He struck out six and didn’t walk a batter.  Evan Reed allowed one hit and one unearned run in the ninth to earn his first win of the season.  The losing pitcher was Justin Freeman.  He entered the game having allowed only two runs this season, but he allowed the game winning run on two hits on Wednesday to fall to 2-2 on the season. 

Donnie Webb had a perfect night going 3-for-3 with two triples, a run batted in, and a run scored.  Overall this year, the Suns have hit five triples, and Webb has hit all three of his against Pensacola.  Ryan Patterson also had a big night at the plate going 2-for-4 with two doubles, two runs batted in, and two runs scored.  Kyle Jensen finished 2-for-4 and scored a run.

The Suns have won five straight over the Blue Wahoos after dropping the first-ever meeting against their new in-state rival.  Five of the first six meetings this season between the two teams have been decided by a single run, with Jacksonville winning four of them.  Jacksonville improved to 10-1 when scoring the game’s first run.  The Suns have won eight of their last 11 games, while the Blue Wahoos have just three wins in their last 11 contests. 

The win, combined with Mobile’s 8-7 loss to Chattanooga in 12 innings, leaves the Suns alone atop the Southern League South Division.   With 12 wins in the month, Jacksonville already has more wins in April then in the 2011, when they finished 11-12 in the first month of the season.  Game two of the series against Pensacola is Thursday at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville.  In a matchup of right-handers, Bryan Evans takes the mound for the Suns looking for his first win of the season.  Tim Gustafson gets the call for the Blue Wahoos.          

Leave a comment

Filed under Ahead Of The Curve, Southern League News

The Suns Win A Close Affair; Share First Place

Jacksonville back on track with a 4-3 victory at Hank Aaron Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Photo Courtesy: Mobile BayBears

By Steve Kolbe

A day after the Suns had their five-game winning streak come to an end, a fast start on Sunday afternoon propelled Jacksonville to a 4-3 win in Mobile.  The Suns and BayBears are once again tied for first place in the South Division of the Southern League with identical 10-8 records.
Paul Gran tripled off of starting pitcher Derek Eitel to start the game.   It was the second triple of the season for the Suns.  After Ryan Patterson walked, Curt Smith drove in the first run of the game when BayBears third baseman Matt Davidson committed an error allowing Gran to score for a 1-0 Suns lead, with Patterson advancing to third on the miscue.  Kyle Jensen followed with a sacrifice fly to right for his eighth RBI of the season, and Jacksonville led 2-0.  Mobile has been outscored in the first inning this season 14-3. 
The BayBears have committed five errors in the series and 23 total in the season’s first 18 games.  During the 2012 season, Mobile had the fewest errors in the league with only 98.
Mobile cut the lead in half in the second inning against Suns starter Zach Neal when they loaded the bases with no outs.  BayBears catcher Rossmel Perez grounded into a double play with Brent Clevlen scoring from third to make it 2-1.  It could have been worse, but Neal was able to limit the damage and avoid the big inning. 
Jacksonville scored in the third inning, when Curt Smith made it to first safely to avoid hitting into a double play.  Jensen then drove in his second run of the game with a double to left field to increase the Suns lead to 3-1.
Mobile cut the lead to 3-2 in the bottom of the fourth when Marc Krauss walked to start the inning, and scored when Archie Gilbert doubled into left-center to drive in his first run of the season.  Krauss reached base in all four of his trips to the plate during the afternoon, finishing with a single and three walks.
The Suns scored the eventual game-winning run in the sixth when Jake Jefferies and Chris Gutierrez singled, and Donnie Webb reached base on an error.  With the bases loaded and no outs, pitcher Zach Neal grounded into a double play, with Jefferies scoring to make the score 4-2 Jacksonville.
Reliever Josh Schmidt took over for Neal and pitched the seventh.  The BayBears scored their final run of the game in the inning when Gilbert singled, and then stole both second and third.  He now has six stolen bases this season after swiping 26 last year.  Gilbert scored from third on a ground out by Raoul Torrez and Mobile trailed 4-3, but that’s as close as they would get. 
Evan Reed pitched the last two innings to earn his fifth save of the season.  He allowed one hit and struck out two.  Mobile did get the tying run aboard in the bottom of the ninth, when Archie Gilbert singled for his third hit of the game.  Knowing that Gilbert already had two stolen bases and that he wanted to get in scoring position, Reed tossed numerous times over to first in an attempt to keep the speedster close.  Reed finally caught Gilbert leaning the wrong way, and picked him off to end the game and give the Suns the 4-3 win.  It was the third base runner that Suns hurlers have picked off on the road trip.  Omar Poveda and Wade Korpi each had a pick off against Pensacola, with Korpi’s coming in the bottom of the twelfth in a game the Suns won in the very next inning.
Zach Neal improved his record to 2-1, pitching six innings and allowing six hits and two runs.  He’s allowed only three runs in his first three starts of the season.  Schmidt pitched the seventh, allowing a hit and a run.  Since letting a ninth inning lead slip away in a loss to Huntsville, Reed has now converted his last four save opportunities.
Paul Gran finished 1-for-3, scored a run, and stole a base.  Chris Gutierrez went 2-for-4 with a pair of singles.  Curt Smith drove in his sixth run of the season.  The Suns are now 8-1 when they score the first run of the game, the BayBears are 0-5 when they give up the game’s first run.
The Suns have won six of the first eight games on the season’s first road trip, and five of those wins have been by a single run.  Game four of the series in Mobile is Monday night at 7:05PM with Graham Taylor scheduled to make his fourth start of the season.  The BayBears counter with Chase Anderson, who will be making just his second start at the double-A level.

Leave a comment

Filed under CSNWashington.com Blogs, Southern League News