Tag Archives: Shawn Bowman

Blue Wahoos Defeat Suns

 

Blue Wahoos second baseman Brodie Greene(above)reached base three times and drove in a run in a 7-5 win over the Jacksonville Suns July 3, 2012 at the Baseball Grounds. Photo Courtesy: Pensacola Blue Wahoos

By Steve Kolbe

Pensacola shortstop Didi Gregorius hit a home run and drove in four to lead the Blue Wahoos past the Jacksonville Suns 7-5 Tuesday night in Jacksonville.  The crowd of 11,392 was the largest at the Baseball Grounds since the 2008 season.
 
Pensacola jumped out to a lead in the first inning against Suns starter Bryan Evans when Gregorius hit a two-run home run deep to right field.  It was his first home run of the season. 
 
The Suns answered in the home half of the first inning scoring three runs on four hits.  Jacksonville finished with seven hits in the game.  Kyle Skipworth drove in two runs with a single, and Shawn Bowman knocked in another to give the Suns a 3-2 lead.
 
Both teams scored twice in the fourth.  Beau Mills his his fourth home run of the season and David Vidal drove in another to put Pensacola up 4-3.  Shawn Bowman smashed his seventh home run, and Jeff Dominguez drove in a run to put the Suns back in front 5-4.
 
The Blue Wahoos took the lead for good in the sixth inning, sending eight men to the plate and scoring three runs to take the lead back at 7-5.  
 
Suns pitcher Mike Ojala (0-1) suffered the loss.  Blue Wahoos reliever Mark Serrano (5-1) pitched and inning to earn the win.  Curtis Partch picked up his fifth save of the season.
 
The Suns open a three game set in Tennessee against the Smokies on Wednesday night with the first pitch scheduled for 7:15 p.m.

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Suns Power Past The Biscuits In 10 Innings

 

Curt Smith and Kyle Jensen each hit home runs, and the Suns scored three runs in the tenth inning for a 5-2 win over the Montgomery Biscuits at Riverwalk Stadium June 27, 2012. Photo Courtesy: Jacksonville Suns

 By Steve Kolbe

The Jacksonville Suns hit two home runs to power past the Montgomery Biscuits 5-2 in 10 innings at Riverwalk Stadium on Wednesday night. 
 
The Suns once again jumped on the scoreboard early, when Kyle Jensen led off the second inning blasting his ninth home run of the season to put Jacksonville in front 1-0.   Jensen has hit safely in his last three games.  The Suns offense has started quickly over the last week, scoring in the second inning or earlier in five of the last six games.
 
The Biscuits evened the score 1-1 in the bottom half of the second, when Tyler Bortnick hit his fourth home run of the season off Suns starter Jose Alvarez.  It was just the fourth home run that Alvarez has surrendered in nearly 79 innings of work this season.
 
In the third inning, Jeff Dominguez led off with his eleventh double of the season and scored on Jake Smolinski’s sacrifice fly to left, and the Suns took a 2-1 lead.  With 20 RBI, Smolinski is one of seven Suns players with at least 20 runs batted in this season.
 
Montgomery tied the game in the sixth inning against Suns reliever Kyle Kaminska.  Greg Sexton hit a one out single to left, and Brad Coon doubled to put runners on the corners.   Mayo Acosta then grounded to third, with Sexton beating Shawn Bowman’s throw to the plate to even the score 2-2.
 
The teams combined to leave 21 runners on base in the game, with the Suns stranding nine.  The Suns left the bases loaded twice, and the Biscuits left the bases full three times.  Each team loaded the bases in the ninth inning and failed to score. 
 
Jake Smolinski led off the tenth inning with a walk against Biscuits reliever Kirby Yates.  After Yates retired the next two batters, Shawn Bowman doubled off the wall in left field, with Smolinski scoring to give the Suns a 3-2 edge.   After falling behind in the count 0-2, Curt Smith added some insurance for the Suns by blasting his fifth home run of the season to increase the lead to 5-2. 
 
The win snapped the Suns three-game road losing streak.  Jacksonville improved to 3-2 in extra innings, with all five games played on the road.  The Suns are 3-0 against Montgomery this season when they hit a home run in a game, and 0-4 when they don’t.
 
Shawn Bowman and Jeff Dominguez each had two hits for the Suns.  Curt Smith connected for his fifth home run of the year.  After going without a home run since the first series of the season, Smith has belted four in his last 11 games. 
 
For the Biscuits, Hak-Ju Lee finished 3-for-5 with three singles.  His stolen base in the second inning was the 100th stolen base of the season by Montgomery base runners.  Greg Sexton and Brad Coon each had multi-hit games.
 
Jose Alvarez allowed only one run on seven hits over five innings.  Kyle Kaminska tossed three and two-thirds innings in long relief and allowed a run on four hits.  Suns reliever Corey Madden (2-1) entered the game in the ninth inning with the bases loaded, and struck out Tyler Bortnick to dash the Biscuits hopes.  Madden faced just the one batter in the game to earn his second win of the season.  A.J. Ramos retired the Biscuits in order in the tenth inning for his sixth save of the season.
 
Biscuits starter Kyle Lobstein allowed two runs on two hits in his five innings of work.  Kirby Yates (0-2) allowed two hits in each of his two innings after the Suns had only two hits in the first eight innings of the game.  Yates has two losses this season, both against the Suns.
 
Game three of the series is Thursday night with the first pitch slated for 8:05 p.m. EST.  RHP Bryan Evans (2-5, 3.48) is scheduled to start for the Suns.  RHP Jake Thompson (4-5, 5.26) gets the call for the Biscuits.

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Suns Win Series Against Smokies

 

The Suns take two from the Tennessee Smokies, 11-3 and 10-3, on a stormy day June 25, 2012 at the Baseball Grounds. Photo Courtesy: Jacksonville Suns

By Steve Kolbe

The Jacksonville Suns won both games against the Tennessee Smokies on Monday at the Baseball Grounds to take three of the five games in the series.  Jacksonville claimed the first game 11-3, and then won the regularly scheduled game 10-3. 
 
When the rain suspended game four of the series Sunday, the Suns were trailing 2-1 in the third inning.  When play resumed on Monday morning at 11:00 a.m., Suns reliever Zach Neal took over on the mound for Graham Taylor.  Taylor allowed two runs on five hits over two and a-third innings before the game was suspended.
 
The Suns took the lead in the bottom of the third.  Jake Smolinski led off with a walk, and came around to score on Paul Gran’s second triple of the season to tie the game 2-2.  Kyle Skipworth then hit a ground ball to shortstop Junior Lake, who committed the first of his two errors in the inning, with Gran crossing the plate to put the Suns in front 3-2.
 
With Alan Oaks on the mound for the Suns, Tennessee tied the game in the sixth inning.  Jim Adduci beat out an infield single, and Mike Burgess drove him in with a double to tie the game at 3-3.
 
The Suns took the lead for good in the sixth inning against Smokies pitcher Eric Jokisch.  Jeff Dominguez led off with a double down the third base line, and Jose Duarte singled to right to put runners on the corners.  After a sacrifice bunt by Zach Neal moved Duarte over to second, Donnie Webb drove in two runs with a single to give the Suns a 5-3 lead.
 
In the seventh inning, Kyle Skipworth was awarded first base on catchers interference, and Curt Smith then walked.  With two outs, Jeff Dominguez smashed his third home run of the season to increase the Suns lead to 8-3.  Dominguez has hit two three-run home runs this season, both at the Baseball Grounds.
 
The Suns padded the lead in the eighth inning with a two out rally.  Jake Smolinski was hit by a pitch, Paul Gran singled, and Kyle Skipworth walked to load the bases.  Shawn Bowman then cleared the bases with a double to left-center field to make the score 11-3.  Bowman is 3-for-6 with nine RBI this season with the bases loaded. 
 
Paul Gran went 3-for-5 with a RBI and scored two runs.  Donnie Webb, Shawn Bowman, and Jeff Dominguez each had two hits in the first game.  Bowman leads the Suns with 36 RBI.
 
Pitcher Alan Oaks arrived at the ballpark on Monday morning after being transferred from Jupiter of the Florida State League to Jacksonville.  He earned the win, allowing a run on three hits.  Smokies pitcher Eric Jokisch (3-1) allowed 10 runs on eight hits and lost for the first time this season.
 
In the regularly scheduled game, Suns starter Matthew Neil retired the first nine batters that he faced before running into trouble in the fourth.  Jim Adduci walked to lead off the inning, but was erased when Jae-Hoon Ha grounded into a double play.  With two outs, the Smokies collected four straight hits to start the scoring.  Junior Lake singled and scored when Justin Bour doubled to right field to give Tennessee a 1-0 advantage.  Bour leads the Southern League with 55 runs batted in.  Nelson Perez followed by hitting his first triple of the season, with Bour scoring to build a 2-0 lead.  Nate Samson made it 3-0 when he singled up the middle, with Perez cruising across the plate.
 
The Suns began the comeback in the home half of the fourth against Smokies starter Dallas Beeler.  Kyle Jensen doubled with one out, and scored when Aaron Dudley collected his first hit and first RBI with the Suns to cut the lead to 3-1.  Jacksonville drew even in the fifth, with Jake Smolinski and Kyle Jensen each driving in a run to tie the score 3-3. 
 
The Suns broke the game open in the sixth when they batted around, and tied their season-high for runs in a inning by scoring seven times, all with two outs.  Paul Gran led off with a double, and Jeff Dominguez walked with one out to put runners on first and second.  After pinch hitter Kyle Skipworth struck out, Donnie Webb drew a walk to load the bases with two away.  Chris Gutierrez snapped an 0-for-6 stretch with a clutch single to drive in two runs and put the Suns ahead 5-3.  After Jake Smolinski was hit by a pitch, the bases were full of Suns again.  Kyle Jensen delivered with a single to center, with Webb and Gutierrez scoring on the play to make the score 7-3.  Jensen is 3-for-6 with nine RBI with the bases loaded this season.
 
Already with a hit and RBI, Suns first baseman Aaron Dudley cleared the bases with one swing of the bat when he blasted a home run into the right field seats and the Suns had a 10-3 lead.  The Suns scored seven runs in an inning for the second time this season.  In a 7-0 win in Mobile on April 23rd, the Suns scored all seven of their runs in the eighth inning.
 
Kyle Jensen finished 3-for-3, drove in three runs and scored twice.  He is second on the team with 35 RBI.  Aaron Dudley went 2-for-4 with four RBI.  Donnie Webb, Jake Smolinski, and Kyle Jensen each scored twice.
 
Kyle Kaminska (5-3) pitched a scoreless sixth inning for the win.  His last victory was May 2nd at Birmingham.  Kevin Rhoderick (1-3) allowed five runs on five hits.  
 
The Suns hit seven home runs against the Smokies, with Donnie Webb hitting two of the long balls.  It’s the first time this season that Jacksonville has hit a home run in every game of a series.   Jacksonville has now scored 10 or more runs in a game four times this season.
 
The Suns begin a five game series in Montgomery on Tuesday night with the first pitch scheduled for 8:05 p.m. EST.  The Biscuits took three of five from the Suns at Riverwalk Stadium May 11-15.

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Smokies Down Suns To Start Second Half

Suns left fielder Jake Smolinski provided the only offense for the Suns when he hit hit his first home run of the season in the first inning against the Tennessee Smokies June 21, 2012 at the Baseball Grounds. Photo Courtesy: Jacksonville Suns

 By Steve Kolbe

The Jacksonville Suns finished the first half of the season 14-21 at home, and began the second half of the season falling to the Tennessee Smokies 3-1 on Thursday night at the Baseball Grounds.
 
The Suns scored their only run of the night in the first inning, when Jake Smolinski hit his first home run of the season off Smokies starter Nick Struck to put Jacksonville in front 1-0.  The Suns have scored at least one run in the first inning 19 times this season, and now have a record of 15-4 when crossing the plate in the first. 
 
The Smokies grabbed the lead in the third inning against Suns starter Omar Poveda.  Logan Watkins led off with a single, and Junior Lake singled behind him.  With one out, Justin Bour singled to right field with Watkins scoring to tie the game 1-1.  Bour leads the Southern League with 53 runs batted in.  Nelson Perez then put the Smokies in front with a sacrifice fly to center field, with Lake cruising home to give the Smokies a 2-1 edge.
 
Tennessee added another run in the fourth inning when Matthew Cerda led off with a single, and later scored on a Logan Watkins RBI single to increase the advantage to 3-1.
 
For the Suns, shortstop Chris Gutierrez went 0-for-4 and his hit streak came to an end at 16 games.  It’s the first time since May 30th that Gutierrez has been held without a hit.  For the Smokies, Junior Lake went 4-for-5 with three singles and a double.  It was his first four-hit game of the season. 
 
Suns starter Omar Poveda (6-3) pitched six innings, allowing three runs on nine hits.  The Smokies had at least one in every inning in the game except the sixth.  Nick Struck (8-6) tossed six innings in the win, and is one of just three Souther League pitchers this season with eight victories.  He allowed just two hits, a single and the solo home run to Smolinski.  Marcus Hatley earned his third save of the season.
 
Game two of the series is set for Friday with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m.  LHP Jose Alvarez (1-4, 4.66) takes the mound for the Suns.  RHP Dae-Eun Rhee (4-2, 5.29) will get the start for the Smokies.
 

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Evans Leads Suns Past Braves

By Steve Kolbe

A day after allowing a season-high 13 runs, the Jacksonville Suns rebounded for a 6-1 win over the Braves at Trustmark Park in Pearl, Mississippi on Friday night. 

The Suns broke the ice in the first inning against Braves starter Luis Avilan.  Donnie Webb led off the inning with a walk, and Jake Smolinski reached on a throwing error by third baseman Joe Terdoslavich, with Webb advancing to third on the play.  Avilan then threw his fourth wild pitch of the season, with Webb scoring to give the Suns a 1-0 advantage.  The Suns have scored at least one run in the first inning in 18 games this season, and are 15-3 in those games.  Jacksonville is now 26-6 when crossing the plate first. 

In the third inning, Webb found himself in the middle of the offense again when he led off with a single and scored on a sacrifice fly by Shawn Bowman to increase the Suns lead to 2-0.   

Suns starter Bryan Evans baffled the Braves throughout the night, and after allowing a single in the first inning he retired the next 16 batters he faced until the seventh inning.  In the seventh, Keenan Wiley led off with a bunt single and went to second on a sacrifice bunt.  With two outs, Tim Smith put the Braves on the board with a RBI single, with Wiley scoring to cut the Suns lead to 2-1.  Kyle Kaminska took over for Evans to record the final out of the inning. 

In the eighth inning, the Suns scored four runs against reliever Brett Cammons, all with two outs.  Jake Smolinksi walked and scored when Shawn Bowman hit his team-leading 16th double of the season, and the lead was 3-1.  Kyle Jensen extended the inning when he reached base on an infield single, with Smolinski moving around to third to put runners on the corners.  Curt Smith delivered the big hit in the inning, with a towering three-run home run to left field to pad the Suns lead to 6-1.  After going without a round tripper since the first series of the year, Smith has now hit two home runs in his last four games. 

The Suns have won seven of their last 10 road games, and improved to 19-14 away from home this season.  Jacksonville has scored at least five runs in six of their last seven road wins.  The Suns won for just the second time this season on Friday (2-9).  The Braves have lost six of their last eight games overall.  Mississippi has won two games in a row only once in the last 22 games. 

Suns shortstop Chris Gutierrez extended his hit streak to 14 games with a single in the third inning.  He hasn’t gone hitless since May 30th.  Mississippi center fielder Todd Cunningham also increased his hit streak to 14 consecutive games with a single in the first.  Shawn Bowman drove in two runs for the Suns, and now leads the team with 32 runs batted in.  Curt Smith has hit two three-run home runs in the last week, and he now has 27 runs batted in this season. 

Bryan Evans entered the game among the top five pitchers in the league in lowest batting average against.  He had a dominant performance, pitching six and two-thirds innings and allowing one run on three hits to improve his record to 2-4.  He has won his last two decisions.  Evans struck out a season-high eight batters, including striking out the side in the second inning and retiring the side in the third on just nine pitches.  Evans retired 16 Braves in a row after allowing a single in the first inning.  Kyle Kaminska and A.J. Ramos combined to pitch the final two and a-third innings. 

Braves starter Luis Avilan pitched a season-high six innings, allowing just two hits and one earned run, but saw his record fall to 1-5 on the 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 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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Suns Late Inning Rally Stuns Blue Wahoos

The Jacksonville Suns scored seven unanswered runs in the final three innings to rally for a 9-6 win over the Blue Wahoos June 2, 2012 at Bayfront Stadium. Photo Courtesy: Pensacola Blue Whaoos

By Steve Kolbe

The Jacksonville Suns hammered out a season-high 14 hits, and used a late inning rally for a 9-6 win over the Blue Wahoos in Pensacola on Saturday night.  The Suns took sole possession of third place in the South Division with the victory. 

The Suns took the lead in the first inning against Blue Wahoos starter Tim Crabbe.  Chris Gutierrez walked to start the game for the second straight night, and German Duran doubled off the left field wall to put runners on second and third with no outs.  Kyle Jensen then gave the Suns a 1-0 lead with a ground ball to the right side of the infield for his 30th RBI of the season.  The Suns improved to 21-5 when scoring the first run of the game.  The Blue Wahoos fell to 4-19 when they allow the first run. 

German Duran increased the Suns lead in the third inning with his second home run of the season, a solo blast to left field for a 2-0 advantage.  Duran finished the game 3-for-5 and a triple shy of the cycle.  He drove in two runs and scored three times. 

Suns starter Omar Poveda allowed just three hits in the first four innings, but struggled in the fifth with the first five Pensacola batters in the inning reaching base.  Pensacola sent 10 men to the plate in the inning and scored six times.  Pinch hitter Stephen Hunt singled and Ryan LaMarre walked to start the rally.  Didi Gregorius hit a ball sharply to first that went under the glove of German Duran and into right field, with Hunt scoring on the error to put the Blue Wahoos on the board.  Brodie Greene gave Pensacola a 3-2 lead when he drove in two runs with a single to center, with LaMarre and Gregorius crossing the plate.  David Vidal drove in a run with a single to increase the lead to 4-2.  The Blue Wahoos used the suicide squeeze with Josh Fellhauer racing home from third, and a sacrifice fly by Mark Fleury to make the score 6-2.  The Suns have allowed six runs in an inning three times this season. 

The Suns started their comeback in the seventh when Donnie Webb doubled to lead off the inning.  With two outs, German Duran singled to right to drive in his second run of the night to cut the lead to 6-3.  Shawn Bowman followed with double, with Duran scrambling all the way from first and it was 6-4 Blue Wahoos.  

In the eighth, the Suns put together the big inning against reliever Justin Freeman sending eight men to the plate and scoring four runs on five hits.  Bowman drove in two runs with his third double of the game.  Webb and Gutierrez each had RBI singles and the Suns grabbed an 8-6 lead. 

Jacksonville tacked on one more in the ninth when Jeff Dominguez doubled and scored on Webb’s sacrifice fly.  German Duran, Shawn Bowman, and Jake Jefferies each finished with three hits.   Bowman’s three doubles tied Jake Smolinski and Paul Gran for the most in a game this season. 

The Suns improved to 10-6 against the Blue Wahoos this season. Jacksonville has won five of the six games played at Bay Front Stadium.  The Suns have won three of their last four games while the Blue Wahoos have lost three straight  and nine of the last 13 games. 

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Jensen’s Home Run Hits Scoreboard; Suns Top BayBears

Suns right fielder Kyle Jensen smashed a three-run home run that hit the scoreboard at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville May 31, 2012 in 5-3 win over the Mobile BayBears. Photo Courtesy: Jacksonville Suns

By Steve Kolbe

A towering three-run home run by Kyle Jensen helped the Jacksonville Suns to a 5-3 win over the Mobile BayBears on Thursday night at the Baseball Grounds. After losing both games of a double header on Tuesday, the Suns have now won two straight to even the series and more importantly gain ground on the BayBears in the South Division. 

Mobile took the lead in the third against Suns starter Graham Taylor when Wladimir Sutil led off the inning with his seventh double of the season.  After a sacrifice bunt by the pitcher Gaby Hernandez pushed Sutil to third, Alfredo Marte drove him in with a sacrifice fly to put Mobile on top 1-0.  Marte is tied for third in the Southern League with 33 RBI. 

The Suns drew even in the fifth, when Kyle Skipworth was hit by BayBears pitcher Gaby Hernandez to lead off the inning.  Kyle Jensen then hit a ground ball to third baseman Matt Davidson, but instead of starting a double play, the ball rolled under his glove and into left field with Skipworth going all the way to third and Jensen to second.  It was the third error committed by Davidson in the last two games.  Jeff Dominguez stepped in and sent a sacrifice fly to center for his tenth RBI of the season, with Skipworth scoring to tie the game 1-1. 

In the sixth, the Suns broke the game open scoring four runs on four hits against Hernandez.  Chris Gutierrez led off with a walk, and was sacrificed to second by Paul Gran.  Jake Smolinski scratched out an infield single to put runners on the corners with one out.  Shawn Bowman delivered with his 25th RBI of the season, a line drive single to center field with Gutierrez scoring to put the Suns in front 2-1.  Kyle Jensen cleared the bases with a manager’s best friend, the three-run home run.  Jensen turned on a Hernandez pitch and smashed a mammoth blast that hit the scoreboard in left field to make the score 5-1.  Jensen leads the Suns with seven home runs.  

Brent Clevlen hit a solo home run off of Taylor in the seventh to cut the Suns lead to 5-2, and Alfredo Marte hit a solo home run off of Evan Reed in the eighth to edge the BayBears closer but that would be all for the Mobile offense.  Reed struck out the side in the eighth.  The home run by Marte is the first round tripper that Reed has given up this season.  Mobile tied the Jackson Generals for the most home runs in the league with 40.  The Generals are at the Baseball Grounds next week for a five game series. 

Five different players had one hit for the Suns, with Jensen hitting Jacksonville’s second three-run home run in as many days against Mobile.  For the BayBears, Matt Davidson finished 2-for-4 with a single and a double.  Alfredo Marte hit his 11th home run of the season and drove in two of the BayBears three runs.  Marte and Davidson are now tied for the league lead with 11 homers each.  

The BayBears have been held to three runs or fewer in seven straight games and eight of their last 10, but have managed to win six times.  The Suns have scored at least five runs in two straight games for the first time in 13 games. 

After snapping their eight-game losing streak to the BayBears with a 9-0 victory on Wednesday, the Suns have won two straight over Mobile for just second time this season.  Jacksonville is now 5-24 when allowing their opponent to score first, while the BayBears fell to 23-8 when taking the lead. 

Suns starting pitcher Graham Taylor won for the first time in over a month (April 28th vs. Pensacola) and improved his record to 3-4 with two of the wins against Mobile.  He allowed two runs on six hits over his seven innings of work, throwing 77 pitches, 55 for strikes.  Against Mobile this season Taylor has allowed just three earned runs on 11 hits over 20.2 innings pitched. Taylor has allowed two earned runs or fewer in six of his 11 starts.  Evan Reed fanned three batters in the eighth inning.  A.J. Ramos was overpowering in the ninth, striking out the side for his second save of the season.  BayBears starter Gaby Hernandez allowed five runs on five hits, and has now lost his first two starts with the BayBears after signing with the Arizona Diamondbacks two weeks ago.  

The series is up for grabs on Friday at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05p.m.  RHP Matthew Neil (0-0, 8.38) will start his third game for the Suns.  LHP Tyler Skaggs (3-3, 2.72) is set to start his tenth game of the season for Mobile.

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BayBears Sweep Double Header From Suns

 By Steve Kolbe
 
The Mobile BayBears swept both games of a double header against the Jacksonville Suns on Tuesday at the Baseball Grounds.  The BayBears edged the Suns 3-2 in game one, and claimed game two with a 3-1 win.
 
In the first game of the night, the Suns took an early lead in the first inning against Mobile starter Brett Lorin.  Shortstop Danny Black drew a lead off walk, and German Duran reached on an error by the pitcher to put runners on first and second with no outs.  Duran was reinstated from the 7-day disabled list prior to the game.  With one out, Shawn Bowman drove in his 24th run of the season with a double to right field with Black scoring to give the Suns a 1-0 advantage.  The Suns scored a run in the first inning for the 14th time this season, and lost for just the third time when crossing the plate in the first (11-3).
 
The BayBears gained the edge in the top of the second against Jose Alvarez.  With one out, Alfredo Marte started the rally with a double to center.  Brent Clevlen followed by jumping on the first pitch and doubled to left field, with Marte scoring to tie the game 1-1.  Mobile took the lead 2-1 when Wladimir Sutil hit a two-out single to drive in Clevlen.
 
Jacksonville used another walk to tie the game in the third.  Jake Smolinski was issued a free pass by Brett Lorin on a 3-2 pitch.  A single by Bowman put runners on the corners for the Suns, and Kyle Skipworth delivered with a single with Smolinski racing home to even the score 2-2.  Skipworth has hit safely in five of his last six games.  Smolinski leads the Suns with 26 runs scored.
 
In the top of the seventh, the last inning of the game, Ed Easley led off with a single to left against reliever Kyle Kaminska.  Pinch hitter Yazy Arbelo then drew a one out walk to put runners on first and second.  Mobile center fielder Evan Frey was 0-for-3 on the night, but in the seventh he drove the ball into left-center field where Suns center fielder Donnie Webb tried to make a diving catch but came up short.  Easley scored from second base to give the BayBears a 3-2 lead, and that’s the way the game would end.
 
The Suns went 10-5 in the month of April against opponents from the South Division.  In May, Jacksonville is 4-12 against division foes with seven of the loses against the BayBears.
 
Kyle Skipworth and Shawn Bowman each finished with two hits and drove in a run.  Danny Black and Jake Smolinski both walked and scored.  Seven different players for the BayBears had a hit, with five of them doubles.  Evan Frey drove in the game-winning run with a double in the seventh.     
 
Suns starter Jose Alvarez allowed two runs on fours hits in five innings of work.  Three of his last five starts have been no decisions.  Kyle Kaminska suffered the loss, allowing  a run on three hits and is 4-3 on the season.  BayBears starter Brett Lorin allowed two runs on five hits in four innings and wasn’t around for a decision.  Mobile reliever Kevin Munson allowed just one hit in his two innings to improve to 2-3 on the year.  Matt Gorgen pitched the seveth to earn his fifth save of the season.
 
In game two BayBears starting pitcher Mike Bolsinger stole the show, pitching five and a-third innings of no-hit ball.
 
Mobile took a 1-0 lead in the third against Suns starter Zach Neal, when Evan Frey and David Nick hit back-to-back doubles with Frey scoring the first run of the game.  The BayBears improved to 23-7 when they score the first run. 
 
Suns reliever Wade Korpi took over In the fifth inning, and  Dan Kaczrowski led off with a single.  With two outs, David Nick singled and Matt Davidson drew a walk to load the bases.  Marc Krauss then doubled to right field, with Nick and Davidson crossing the plate to increase the lead to 3-0.
 
Jake Smolinski broke up Bolsinger’s no-hit bid in the sixth inning with an infield single.  Curt Smith followed with a triple to straight-away center, with Smolinski scoring the Suns lone run of game two.   
 
The Suns have lost seven straight home games to the BayBears, and have been outscored 31-6 in those contests.  Mobile now leads Jacksonville by eight games in the standings.  The BayBears and Jackson Generals are tied for the most wins in the league with 31, and the Generals come to Jacksonville next week.   
 
David Nick went 3-for-4 with a RBI and a run scored.  Four of Mobile’s eight hits were doubles.  In the two games of the double header, the BayBears had nine doubles.  Jake Smolinski and Curt Smith were the only two Suns with a hit.  Smolinski scored two of the Suns three runs on the night.
 
Mike Bolsinger (2-1) allowed one run on two hits in six innings.  Evan Marshall pitched a perfect ninth for his 11th save of the season.  Four of his 11 saves this season have come against the Suns at the Baseball Grounds.  Suns starter Zach Neal (3-6) pitched four innings allowing one run on four hits. 
 
Game three of the series is Wednesday afternoon at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville, with the first pitch scheduled for 1:05 p.m.
 

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