Jacksonville (35-25) jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first as they smacked around BayBears (32-27) starter Pat McAnaney, who helped open the gates with an error on an Ozzie Martinez sac bunt. Two hitters later, Martinez and Ryan Curry scored on a single by Lee Mitchell. Mitchell touched the dish after a two-run jack by Matt Dominguez.
It didn't appear that the Suns would need much more support for Elih Villanueva, who was very sharp over six innings. Villanueva's only mistake came in the second when he uncorked a home run to Konrad Schmidt.
In the bottom of the fourth, Jacksonville picked up that run back thanks to three straight two-out singles. Chris Hatcher looped a base hit to right and moved to third on a single by Villanueva. Curry's base knock brought home Hatcher to put the Suns in front by four.
Villanueva exited prior to the seventh in favor of Garrett Parcell, but he surrendered consecutive infield singles to Jake Elmore and Ollie Linton. Cyle Hankerd was pulled from the bench to bat for McAnaney and drilled the BayBears' first three-run homer this season to pull the visitors within one. It was also the BayBears' first pinch-hit blast since August 15, 2008.
After Evan Frey walked and Collin Cowgill singled, Konrad Schmidt produced a game-tying RBI single to center, bringing home Frey and drawing a 5-5 tie.
From there, the BayBears' bullpen pitched wonderfully, tossing seven scoreless innings between Reid Mahon, Josh Ellis, Roque Mercedes (W,1-2), and Abe Woody (S, 5). Jacksonville's pen matched the BayBears
until the 13th when Todd Doolittle allowed Elmore to reach on a lead-off single.
Elmore took second on a wild pitch and attempted to advance to third on Ollie Linton's groundout to third. Once Dominguez fired the ball to first to retire Linton, Elmore broke for the hot corner and ended up scoring as Jason Delaney's throw back to third was too high.
The loss fell to Express starter Polin Trinidad (2-2), who surrendered eight earned runs on 12 hits over 4.1 innings of work.
- Schmidt finished the game with four hits and leads all Southern League
catchers with a .310 batting average
- Ellis has now gone eight innings without allowing a run in Double-A
- Woody's fifth save was his first in more than a month (May 5)
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