Suns Split Doubleheader, Kershaw Optioned to Jacksonville
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Jacksonville Suns (40-45, 7-8) used a late comeback for a 4-3 victory over the Carolina Mudcats (46-39, 8-7) in game one of a Wednesday doubleheader, while Carolina scored in the extra inning during game two for a 3-2 victory, splitting the twinbill in front of 4,359 at the Baseball Grounds.
Prior to the Dodgers-Astros Wednesday night game in Houston, Dodgers left-handed pitcher Clayton Kershaw was optioned back to Jacksonville to make room for Hiroki Kuroda's Wednesday night start. Kershaw is expected to rejoin the Suns during the upcoming road trip to Mobile. Kershaw was 0-2 with a 4.42 ERA in eight starts with the Dodgers, including a no-decision Tuesday night, when the Los Angeles bullpen lost a five-run lead. The 20-year-old was 0-3 with a 2.28 ERA over 10 outings and nine starts with Jacksonville before his promotion to Los Angeles.
Game one started with a bang for the Suns as James Tomlin doubled home Ivan DeJesus, Jr. two batters into the game for a 1-0 lead against Carolina starter Chris Volstad. After two batters were out, Lucas May grounded a ball to third that Lee Mitchell fumbled to allow Tomlin to score for a 2-0 lead.
Carolina gained the lead in the third inning on a Chris Coghlan fielder's choice, Gaby Sanchez single and Lee Mitchell sacrifice fly for a 3-2 advantage against Suns starter B.J. LaMura.
Jacksonville tied the game in the fifth inning as Jamie Hoffmann's sacrifice fly scored Shane Justis for a 3-3 score. The Suns took the lead in the sixth inning on an Adolfo Gonzalez fielder's choice that scored Russell Mitchell for a 4-3 lead.
Carolina put two men on base in the seventh inning, and with two out Suns right fielder Jamie Hoffmann caught a Gaby Sanchez fly ball at the wall for the final out.
B.J. LaMura (3-2) picked up the win for the Suns while Chris Volstad (4-4) fell in the loss for Carolina. Brent Leach (5) saved the game for the Suns.
The Suns took a first inning lead in game two of the doubleheader, as Mark Bellhorn's single scored Adam Godwin against Mudcats starter Tim Corcoran for a 1-0 lead.
Carolina tied the game in the third inning on a sacrifice fly from John Raynor to score Grant Psomas against Suns starter Scott Elbert for a 1-1 score. The Mudcats gained the lead in the fourth inning when an Andy Jenkins infield single scored Chris Coghlan for a 2-1 Carolina lead.
Jacksonville tied the game in the bottom of the seventh inning on a James Tomlin single to plate Jamie Hoffmann for a 2-2 score. With the winning run at third base and one out, a strikeout and pop out ended Jacksonville's chance to win.
Carolina took the lead for good in the extra frame when Cameron Maybin singled with one out to score Brett Hayes against reliever Zach Hammes for a 3-2 lead.
Todd Doolittle (2-1) blew the save, but picked up the relief win for Carolina while Zach Hammes (2-5) picked up the loss for the Suns. Jeff Gogal (1) saved the game for the Mudcats.
The Mudcats lead the current series two games to one, while leading the season series 15 games to eight.
Suns RH Jesus Rodriguez will face Mudcats RH Brett Sinkbeil Thursday at 7:05 p.m. ET. The Suns Independence Day fireworks celebration will follow the game. The Suns will also celebrate owner and chairman Peter D. Bragan, Sr.'s 85th birthday. Tickets are available through the Suns box office at (904) 358-2846 or by visiting jaxsuns.com.
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