Hoover, AL - Brandon Short and Tyler Kuhn each collected four hits as the Birmingham Barons (21-19) dimmed the Jacksonville Suns (21-20), 10-9, in eleven innings Thursday night at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville.
Tied in the top of the eleventh inning, Short reached on an infield single, raced to second on Christian Marrero's sacrifice bunt and reached third base on a ground out by Josh Phegley. A wild pitch uncorked by Jacksonville reliever Sandy Rosario allowed Short to score the eventual game-winning run, 10-9.
Obviously the nine hour bus ride to Jacksonville didn't hamper the Barons offense as Birmingham jumped to an early 7-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Short continued his season-high 12-game hitting streak with a one-out single to center field stole second base and scored on Marrero's triple down the right field line for the first run of the game. Following a sacrifice fly by Phegley that delivered Marrero, back-to-back-to-back singles were struck by Kuhn, Greg Paiml and Kyle Shelton. The bases were reloaded when Jared Price was hit by a pitch before Justin Greene smacked a two-run double that plated Paiml and Shelton while Price advanced to third base. Batting for the second time in the inning, Kenny Williams, Jr. laced a two-run single up the middle that scored Price and Greene for the stanza's final runs.
Luke Montz collected a single to left field to leadoff the second inning and dashed to third on Jim Negrych's single to right field. Jorge Padilla added an infield single that drove home Montz while Negrych reached third base. With runners on the corners, Ben Lasater singled to right that plated Negrych as Padilla dashed to second. Following a walk to Paul Gran that loaded the bases, Kevin Mattison knocked in Padilla and reached on a lined groundball to Barons pitcher Nevin Griffith. The eighth batter of the inning, Tim Torres, lifted a fly out to center field that Justin Greene threw to the plate that was dropped by catcher Jared Price, allowing the fourth run of the inning to score, 7-4.
Jacksonville knotted the game at 7-7 in the bottom of third inning when Montz and Negrych walked before Lasater rocketed a three-run home run over the left-field wall.
Birmingham reclaimed the lead in the fourth inning when Phegley singled, advanced to third on Kuhn's single and scored on a groundout, 8-7.
In the top of the fifth inning, Greene hammered a solo home run over the left field wall as the Barons extended their advantage to two, 9-7.
The Suns narrowed the gap to one run in the sixth inning when Mattison reached on a bunt single, stole second base and scored on Tim Torres' single to center field, 9-8.
Lasater cracked his fourth home run of the season, a solo blast over the left field wall that tied the game at 9-9 in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Barons' reliever Johnnie Lowe (1-1) earned the victory when he tossed 2.0 IP with one earned run on four hits and two strikeouts. Brian Omogrosso (S, 1) received the save when the right-hander tossed 1.0 hitless IP with one walk and two strikeouts. Starter Nevin Griffith was handed a no-decision after he allowed seven runs (six earned) on 6 hits, 5 walks and 4 strikeouts in 5.0 IP.
Rosario (1-2) was handed the defeat when he was charged with one earned run on two hits and two walks in 2.1 IP. Darin Downs took home a no-decision after the southpaw yielded seven earned runs on six hits in 0.2 IP in the start for Jacksonville.
The Barons continue their five-game set with the Suns Friday night at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville with first pitch set for 6:05 p.m. (CDT). Birmingham hands the ball to right-hander Dylan Axelrod (2-2, 3.77) as Jacksonville sends righty Omar Proveda (1-3, 5.53) to the bump.
Birmingham Barons tickets are currently available on the web, over the phone or by visiting the Regions Park Box Office. For ticket information, game schedule, or promotions calendar, call (205) 988-3200 or visit www.barons.com, www.facebook.com/birminghambarons or on Twitter: @bhambarons.