JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp first baseman Taylor Ard hit two of his team's four home runs - tying a season high - and left fielder Austin Dean had a game-high four hits in a 12-6 win over the Birmingham Barons with 2,813 on hand for Southpaw's birthday and Baptist Health Sunday Family FUNday at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville.
For a third straight game, the Barons (18-25 second half, 44-67 overall) took a 2-0 lead. Against Jumbo Shrimp left-hander Dillon Peters (3-2), second baseman Jose Vinicio hit a first-inning leadoff double to left field, went to third base when shortstop Danny Mendick grounded out, and scored on Peters' wild pitch. Designated hitter Nick Basto hit a one-out double to left field and scored on center fielder Hunter Jones' single to center field. After that, Peters went on to complete five innings, allowing three earned runs on seven hits and three walks with two strikeouts in his first home start since April 12.
Jacksonville (21-22, 51-62) started its comeback in the second inning against Barons left-hander Jordan Guerrero (7-10). Second baseman KC Serna hit a one-out double to left field and scored on shortstop Chris Diaz's groundout. In the third inning, Guerrero walked Dean and third baseman David Vidal. Right fielder John Norwood singled to left field, where Courtney Hawkins misplayed the ball, allowing Dean and Vidal to score for a 3-2 Jumbo Shrimp advantage.
In the fourth inning, Guerrero walked two batters, and Dean hit a one-out, two-run triple to the right-field corner. Left-hander Kyle Kubat entered, and right fielder John Norwood hit his team-high 16th home run to right field, making it 7-2. Guerrero allowed six runs - five earned - in 3 1/3 innings. Kubat allowed Ard's first home run in the fifth inning, before right-hander Thaddius Lowry surrendered designated hitter Dustin Geiger's two-run home run in the sixth inning and Ard's solo home run in the seventh. The lead was enough for right-hander Andy Beltre's two scoreless innings with five strikeouts and left-hander Jose Quijada's three-run eighth and scoreless ninth inning to finish the win.
UP NEXT: The Jumbo Shrimp continue their series with Birmingham at 7:05 p.m. Monday, when Jacksonville right-hander Joe Gunkel (3-7) is scheduled to face Barons right-hander Spencer Adams (7-11). Gates open at 6 p.m. for VyStar Credit Union Charity Begins at Home with City Year Jacksonville (cityyear.org/jacksonville) raising funds through ticket sales and the Launch-A-Ball promotion. VyStar Credit Union members can get a buy-3-get-1 free ticket special by showing their VyStar credit or debit card at the box office. The Jumbo Shrimp and Bold City Brewery are releasing the Shrimp & Grit Cerveza! A special $20 ticket package - including a general admission ticket, two Shrimp and Grit Cervezas plus a Jumbo Shrimp / Bold City Brewery pint glass - is available at tinyurl.com/JaxShrimpPortal (password "cerveza"). The game is also presented by First Coast News.
ABOUT THE JUMBO SHRIMP: The Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp are beginning a new era of affordable family fun with the 2017 season presented by Community First Credit Union at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville. With a new lineup of ticket and group options, there is a reason for everyone to get part of the action by calling the Jumbo Shrimp at (904) 358-2846 or visiting www.jaxshrimp.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.