JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – On a night based with solid starting pitching, it came down to the bullpens and a couple timely knocks from Cyle Hankerd to blast the BayBears past the Jacksonville Suns 2-1 on Thursday night at the Baseball Grounds.
Matt Torra and Jarrett Santos went pitch-for-pitch through the first six innings with Jacksonville (12-9) breaking through first in the bottom of the sixth. Torra walked Scott Cousins with one out and allowed him to advance to second on a wild pitch. With two away, Matt Craig lined a single to left,
allowing Cousins to slide past James Skelton for the first tally of the night.
Torra was splendid through six as he surrendered just four hits while fanning seven. Santos was also strong as he made it through six without giving up a run, coughing up just two singles.
When Santos left, Jay Buente had some trouble holding the Suns’ lead. Ricardo Sosa started the seventh with a single and swiped second base. That set up Hankerd, who brought the BayBears (14-7) back to even with an RBI single to left.
Carlos Vasquez (0-1) bailed Buente out of an eighth inning jam and fanned the first hitter he faced in the ninth, but he couldn’t get his fastball by Hankerd, who ripped a majestic blast for his first home run of the season, giving the BayBears their only lead.
Jason Urquidez (1-0) tossed two hitless innings while Scott Maine (S, 2) allowed a pair of two-out singles in the bottom of the ninth but struck out Lorenzo Scott looking to end the night.
* Hankerd is now 7-for-his-last-12 (.583 BA)
* Pedro Ciriaco went 0-for-4 to prolong a month-long slump. He is now
hitless in his last 13 at-bats and batting just .147 on the season
* Urquidez still has not allowed a run in seven appearances, spanning 11.1
* Torra has gone at least five innings in each of his five starts, and hasn't
allowed more than four earned runs in any of them
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