Stanton Hits 19th and 20th Home Runs, Suns Remain in Control of First Place
Jacksonville, Fla. - Michael Stanton hit a pair of solo homeruns, his 19th and 20th of the season, leading the Jacksonville Suns (32-19) to a 5-4 victory over the Carolina Mudcats (23-29) in front of 3,517 Tuesday night at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville.
Suns starter Tom Koehler (6-0) picked up the winning decision, allowing four runs, three earned, and four hits over a five inning battle. Mudcats starter Alexander Smit (1-4) fell in the losing decision, giving up all five Suns runs with eight hits over six innings. Matt Peterson (11) saved the game with a perfect ninth inning.
Stanton opened the Suns scoring in the first inning, with a two-out, solo homerun into the right field bleachers, opening a 1-0 score.
Carolina tied the game with an unearned run in the top of the second inning. Devin Mesoraco walked and moved to third base on a Koehler throwing error during a sacrifice. Mesoraco scored on a Phipps groundout for a 1-1 score.
The Suns took the lead again in the bottom of the second, scoring three runs off Smit. Matt Dominguez and Tim Torres singled and later scored on a Chris Hatcher double, opening a 3-1 lead. Hatcher scored on a Ryan Curry single for a 4-1 score.
Carolina chipped away at the lead in the fourth inning when Mike Costanzo tripled and scored on a sacrifice fly for a 4-2 score.
In the fifth inning, the Mudcats tied the game for a second time when Kristopher Negron hit a two-run homerun into the front row of the right field seats for a 4-4 score.
The Suns took the lead for good in the bottom of the inning when Stanton hit his second two-out, solo homerun of the game, a high drive over the left field lawn for a 5-4 lead. The homerun was Stanton's 20th of the season, still the best in all of Minor League Baseball, and his Southern League-leading 50th RBI.
Suns LH Andrew Miller will face Mudcats RH Scott Carroll in game three of the series Wednesday at 1:05 p.m. ET. Wednesday is the Businessperson's Special, and tickets are available through the Suns box office at 358-2846 or by visiting jaxsuns.com.
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