Tag Archives: Seattle Mariners

Suns End Season In Win Column To Finish .500

Suns-GeneralsBy Steve Kolbe

The Jacksonville Suns ended the 2012 season with a 3-2 win over the Generals on Monday afternoon at Pringles Park in Jackson, Tennessee. The Suns won the final two games of the series to finish the season 70-70.

The Generals dented the scoreboard in the fourth inning against Suns starter Brian Flynn. After singles by Jesus Sucre and Chih-Hsien Chiang and two stolen bases, Joe Dunigan delivered with a two-out single to put Jackson up 2-0. The team scoring the first run of the game in all five games in the series failed to win.

The Suns took the lead in the top of the fifth with a two-out rally against Generals starter Steve Garrison. Danny Pertusati doubled and scored when Kyle Jensen singled to center to cut the Generals lead to 2-1. Ben Lasater then jumped on the first pitch he saw from Garrison, and smashed a two-run home run over the right field wall to give the Suns a 3-2 advantage. Lasater finished the season with three home runs for the Suns, all in the last 12 games.

Kyle Jensen and Ben Lasater each finished 3-for-4. Jensen drove in his 84th run of the season. The Suns hit a total of 108 home runs during the season, with 69 of them in the second half.

Brian Flynn (3-0) allowed two runs on six hits and struck out five over six innings of work. Jose Alvarez, Grant Dayton, and Sandy Rosario each tossed a scoreless inning. Dayton and Rosario both struck out the side. Suns pitchers combined to strike out 11 batters in the game.

Thank you to all Suns fans for a fantastic season of Jacksonville Suns baseball, and we look forward to seeing you again next year when we will once again hear those magic words…Play Ball!

 

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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.

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Suns Eliminated From Playoff Contention

 

Graham Taylor(above)allowed six hits in his final start of the season in the Suns 3-2 rain-shortened six inning loss to the Generals.

Graham Taylor(above)allowed six hits in his final start of the season.  Jacksonville fell 3-2 to the Jackson Generals in six innings at Pringles Park.

By Steve Kolbe

The Jacksonville Suns quest for a playoff birth in the second half of the season came to an end on Saturday night, with a 3-2 loss to the Jackson Generals in a six inning rain-shortened game at Pringles Park.  The loss, combined with the Biscuits 11-4 win over the Stars, eliminated the Suns from playoff contention and vaulted Montgomery to the South Division title in the second half.
 
After waiting through a 23 minute rain delay prior to the first pitch, the Suns jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the second inning when Paul Gran hit his fifth home run of the season, a solo blast to left field off of Generals starting pitcher Anthony Fernandez.  It was Gran’s first home run since July 7th.  The Suns have scored the first run in all three games in the series, but have lost all three to fall to 51-25 when crossing the plate first.
 
The Generals used the long ball to even the score in the home half of the second inning against Suns lefty Graham Taylor.  Kalian Sams belted his 11th round tripper of the season, a solo shot to left field to tie the game 1-1.  
 
Jackson took the lead for good in the bottom of the third inning when Brad Miller doubled to right field, and Stefen Romero followed with a two-run blast to left-center to make the score 3-1.  Taylor has allowed 18 home runs this season, tied for the most in the Southern League.  The Generals lead the league with 114 home runs, and have had 13 multi-homer games in their last 45 contests. 

In the fifth inning Jake Smolinski led off the inning with his league-leading 78th walk, and Chris Gutierrez singled to put runners on the corners with no outs.  The Generals then summoned Moises Hernandez from the bullpen.  With one out, Kyle Jensen lifted a sacrifice fly to center with Smolinski cruising home to cut the Generals lead to 3-2.

The teams continued to play knowing that severe weather was on the way.  Play was then stopped after Taylor struck out Leury Bonilla to end the sixth inning, and after a delay of 1 hour and 22 minutes due to heavy rain, lightning, and strong wind, the game was ruled complete with Jackson declared the winner.

The Suns have just four wins in their last 14 road games, and fell to 13-20 away from home in the second half.  The Generals continued to improve on the best home record in the league at 44-24, and Jackson has won six straight and 11 of their last 13 games at Pringles Park.

Jose Duarte finished 2-for-2 with a pair of singles for his fifth multi-hit game of the season for the Suns.  Jacksonville left eight runners on base over six innings.  Mike Zunino and Stefen Romero each finished with two hits for the Generals.  Zunino has hit safely in 10 of his first 13 games with Jackson.  Romero has hit safely in 19 of his last 20 games, with eight multi-hit games and six home runs.  He has belted a two-run home run in each of the last two games against the Suns.

Graham Taylor (9-11) allowed three runs on six hits and struck out five over six innings of work.  Taylor finished the season 6-5 at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville, and 3-6 on the road.  Moises Hernandez (5-2) tossed two hitless innings for the victory.  He’s the older brother of Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez.

The Suns will send RHP Bryan Evans (6-8, 4.59) to the mound for game four of the series on Sunday afternoon at Pringles Park, with the first pitch slated for 3:05 PM.  RHP Taijuan Walker (7-9, 4.31) will start for the Generals.  The Suns finished with a record of 70-70 during the 2011 campaign, and will need to win their final two games to finish at .500 this season.

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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.

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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.

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Suns Fall To Generals 8-0

 

The Jackson Generals clinched their first division championship since 2008 with an 8-0 win over the Jacksonville Suns June 11, 2012. Photo Courtesy: Jackson Generals

By Steve Kolbe

Playing for the final time at the Baseball Grounds in the first half, the Suns were shutout by the Jackson Generals 8-0 on Monday night.  The Suns finished the first half of the season with a home record of 14-21.  With the win, the Generals clinched their first division championship since 2008 with five games remaining. 

Suns starter Matthew Neil retired nine of the first 10 batters he faced in the game, but the Generals took the lead in the fourth inning.  Nick Franklin led off with a single, and came around to score on a single by Jesus Sucre and an error by Jake Smolinski to give Jackson a 1-0 lead.  Designated hitter Joe Dunigan then belted a two-run home run to increase the lead to 3-0.  Dunigan leads the Generals with 10 round trippers this season.  With the loss, the Suns fell to 7-29 when allowing the first fun of the game.

In the seventh, the Generals scored a run on an error and another on a two-out double by Chris Pettit to increase the lead to 5-0.  The Suns committed three errors on the night, one shy of their season high of four May 13th against Montgomery.  It’s the eighth time this season that the Suns have committed three or more errors in a contest.

Jackson against rallied with two outs in the eighth when Chih-Hsien Chiang drove in the sixth run of the game with a single, with Joe Dunigan scoring on the play.

In the ninth inning, Jesus Sucre and Denny Almonte delivered with RBI singles to pad the lead to 8-0.  Six different Generals players finished the game with two hits, and seven different players scored at least one run.  Jackson has scored at least five runs in a game 23 times this season.

For the Generals, both Chris Pettit and Joe Dunigan drove in two runs and scored twice.  For the Suns, Jake Smolinski went 3-for-4 with three singles.  Chris Gutierrez doubled in the eighth inning to increase his hit streak to 11 games.  He hasn’t gone hitless in a game since May 29th against Mobile. 

The Suns were shut down twice in the series by the South League’s top pitching staff.  The Generals have a 3.07 ERA and eight shutouts this season.  Jackson is the only team in the league that will finish with 20 wins both at home and on the road.

Jacksonville claimed the series by taking three of the five games.  The last four games between the two teams were shutouts, with each team winning twice.  The Generals have only lost three of their 13 series this season, and two of the losses have been on the road against teams from the South Division.

After earning his first Double-A win in his last start at Pensacola, Matthew Neil (1-1) allowed three runs on three hits in the loss for the Suns.  Brandon Maurer (5-1) pitched seven and a-third innings and struck out seven in the win for the Generals.  Maurer has won all three of his June starts with a 1.80 ERA, allowing just three runs over 22 innings of work.  He also stayed perfect on the road with a record of 3-0 this season. 

The Suns begin their final series of the first half on Wednesday night in Mississippi with the first pitch scheduled for 8:00 p.m.  The Suns will send RHP Omar Poveda (5-2, 4.34) to the mound for his 12th start of the season.  The Braves counter with RHP Zeke Spruill (5-5, 3.74).  Jacksonville is 17-13 away from home this season, with nine of the wins by a single run.  The Suns have won four of six road series this season.

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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. 

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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. 

 

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Danny Hultzen Dominates Suns With Two-Hitter

 

Seattle Mariners 2011 First Round draft pick Danny Hutlzen tosses a two-hitter in a season-high eight innings of work in 1-0 win over the Jacksonville Suns June 8, 2012. Photo Courtesy: Jackson Generals

By Steve Kolbe

The pitchers stole the spotlight at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville on Friday night, with Generals starter Danny Hultzen and a reliever combining on a two-hitter against the Suns in a 1-0 win.  The loss dropped the Suns record on Friday nights this season to 1-9. 

The Generals scored the only run of the game in the first inning against Jose Alvarez.  Nick Franklin singled and scored when Denny Almonte doubled down the left field line to put Jackson in front 1-0.  Three of the Generals five hits in the game were in first innng by the first four hitter of the night.  The Generals have seven shutouts this season, with five of them on the road.

For the Generals, First Round draft pick Danny Hultzen entered the game with the lowest ERA in the Southern League.  He won his fifth straight game to improve to 7-3 on the season, and increased his scoreless inning streak to 22.2 innings.  An All-Star selection for the North team, Hultzen pitched eight innings for the first time this season, allowing just two singles and three base runners total.  For the Suns, Jose Alvarez had his best start of the season pitching eight innings and allowing just one run.  Alvarez gave up just one hit after the first inning, but suffered the loss and dropped to 1-3 on the season.

The Suns have been shutout five times this season, with four of them coming at home.  The Generals earned their seventh shutout of the year, and just their second on the road. 

Chris Gutierrez and Paul Gran had the only hits for the Suns in the game, and Kyle Skipworth drew a walk.  This season, 25 of Jacksonville’s 62 games have decided by one run with the Suns 13-13 in those contests.

With just five wins in their last 17 home games, the Suns dropped to 12-20 at the Baseball Grounds in the first half of the season with three games left to play.  During the 2011 campaign, Jacksonville finished with an 18-17 record at home in the first half.

Game three of the series is Saturday with the first pitch scheduled for 6:05PM at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville.  The Suns will send LHP Graham Taylor (3-5, 4.93) to the mound for his 13th start of the season.  For the Generals, RHP Taylor Stanton (1-1, 7.56) will take the hill for his 3rd time this season.

 

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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.

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