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Gunkel Guides Jumbo Shrimp to clutch Win over Barons

August 8, 2017 - American Association (AA) News Release

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp right-hander Joe Gunkel pitched 6 1/3 innings, holding the Birmingham Barons to one run, and right-handers Esmerling De La Rosa, Tyler Kinley and Clayton Mortensen combined to finish a 3-2 win in front of 2,437 at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville Monday night.

Gunkel (4-7) scattered six hits in the first three innings but stranded six baserunners. He worked out of a one-out, two-on jam in the second inning. In the third inning with the same situation, he threw to shortstop Chris Diaz to pick off Barons second baseman Jose Vinicio. A subsequent single put two runners on base, but he got a flyout to end the inning. The Barons (18-26 second half, 44-69 overall) took the first lead for a fourth straight game, when third baseman Trey Michalczewski hit a solo home run to the Budweiser Tiki Terrace down the left-field line for 1-0 Birmingham edge.

Barons right-hander Spencer Adams (7-12) kept Jacksonville (22-22, 52-62) scoreless until the fifth inning. Diaz and center fielder Braxton Lee had consecutive bunt singles, and Adams' balk put both runners in scoring position. Left fielder Austin Dean grounded out to second base, scoring Diaz and moving Lee to third base. Third baseman David Vidal then singled to left field, scoring Lee for a 2-1 Jacksonville lead, which Gunkel kept by retiring nine straight batters into the seventh inning.

Gunkel lasted until seventh-inning, one-out singles by designated hitter Keon Barnum and catcher Alfredo Gonzalez. De La Rosa entered to get two flyouts and end the inning. In the bottom of the seventh, Adams allowed Dean's one-out single and a two-out walk to right fielder John Norwood, before left-hander Jace Fry entered, yielding catcher Cam Maron's RBI single to make it 3-1. Kinley allowed an eighth-inning run, but Diaz's throw from the shortstop hole got sliding left fielder Courtney Hawkins at first base and kept the tying run at second. Mortensen pitched a perfect ninth inning for his fifth save.

UP NEXT: The Jumbo Shrimp conclude their series with Birmingham at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, when Jacksonville right-hander Chris Mazza (2-7) is scheduled to face Barons left-hander Tanner Banks (0-5). Gates open at 6 p.m. for Community First Credit Union Two-For-Tuesday, when tickets are 2-for-1 at the box office for Community First Credit Union members using their CFCU credit or debit card. On Coors Light $2 Tuesday, fans can purchase $1.00 12-oz. and $2.00 24-oz. Coors Light in the Craft Cave and on the first-base-side concourse. It is also Silent Movie Night, celebrating Jacksonville's legacy as a center of the silent film industry in the early 20th century. The Jumbo Shrimp and local Arlington-area Norman Studios, Jacksonville's only remaining silent film studio/museum, present the game silent-movie style, with no PA announcements or recorded sounds, live musical accompaniment (as was the style with silent films) and a black & white video board. Fans are in for something fun and different, as silence is the theme of the night!

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