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Jacksonville Suns done in by Pensacola Blue Wahoos' homers

Posted: August 20, 2014 - 12:02am

There was no late-inning magic for the Jacksonville Suns Tuesday night.

After scoring the winning run in either the eighth or ninth inning twice in the last three nights, Jacksonville had its three-game winning streak come to an end in an 8-4 loss to the Pensacola Blue Wahoos at the Baseball Grounds.

The Suns battled back from a 5-2 deficit after five innings, scoring single runs in the sixth and eighth innings, but a three-run ninth inning by Pensacola put the game out of reach. It was only the Suns’ ninth loss to the Wahoos in 28 games this season.

Pensacola used the long ball to secure just their third win in 13 games at the Baseball Grounds this season. The Wahoos hit a franchise-record for home runs to account for seven of their eight runs. Kyle Waldrop led the way with his fifth and sixth of the season. Yorman Rodriguez blasted his second in as many nights. Four of his seven homers this year have come against Suns pitching. Wahoos starting pitcher Ben Lively also homered homer.

“Just too many home runs by them tonight,” Suns manager Andy Barkett bemoaned. “We had our chances. We put guys in scoring position but we just couldn’t get that big hit when we needed it most.”

It was a tough night for Suns pitchers, starting with starter Chipper Smith, who allowed Waldrop’s first home run, a two-run shot in the first inning. Smith was removed from the game due to what Barkett called “a hamstring strain or tightness, I’m not sure.” Smith was on the DL earlier in the month with a similar hamstring strain.

Pitcher Dustin Moseley will be placed on the DL on Wednesday with a right shoulder strain. Justin Nicolino and Jose Urena are also nearing their season-limits on innings pitched.

The Suns will also be without Barkett for the rest of the Pensacola series and the trip to Tennessee. He will be gone for about a week attending to a family matter in Orlando.

Viosergy Rosa and Terrance Day each had three hits to pace the Suns 11-hit attack.

The Suns narrowly missed jumping to a 5-3 lead in the fourth inning when Pensacola outfielder Bryson Smith robbed the Suns Isaac Galloway of a three-run homer.

The teams meet Wednesday (6:05 p.m.) with Nicolino (11-4, league-best 2.85 ERA) going against Wahoos’ right-hander Robert Stephenson (6-8, 4.48).

Southern League

Blue Wahoos 8

Suns 4