Clay Hensley and Brad Hand combined to limit the Barons bats to one run with 11 strikeouts as the Jacksonville Suns (7-12, 44-45), outshined the Birmingham Barons (9-11, 49-41), 6-1, in front of 2,148 fans Wednesday night at Regions Park.
In the top of the second inning, the Suns took a 3-0 lead after Alex Romero reached on throwing error by first baseman Seth Loman and continued to second. Romero sprinted to third on a single to second by Kyle Skipworth before Neil Sellers lifted a sacrifice fly to left field that scored Romero and pushed Skipworth to third. Chris Gutierrez followed with a two-run double to left field that drove home Skipworth and Sellers.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Greg Paiml knocked a single to center and advanced to second on Alden Carrithers's line-drive single to left field. With Jose Martinez at bat, Paiml and Carrithers stole second and third. A groundout by Martinez plated Paiml and brought the Barons within two, 3-1.
Jacksonville added two runs in the top of the sixth inning when Jim Negrych singled to right field and rounded the bases to score on a two-run homer to left field by Luke Montz, 5-1.
Chris Coghlan singled on a line drive to right field in the top of the seventh and continued to third on Paul Gran's single to left field. A sacrifice fly to left field by Negrych knocked in Coghlan for the final run of the game, 6-1.
Hand (8-2) earned the victory for the Suns after he yielded 1 hit, 3 walks and 4 strikeouts in 4.2 scoreless IP. In his rehab start for the Florida Marlins, Hensley garnered the no-decision with one earned run on 5 hits, 1 walk and 7 strikeouts in 4.1 IP.
Starter Justin Edwards (3-3) received the loss for the Barons after he hurled 6.2 IP with six runs (three earned) on nine hits and three strikeouts.
The Barons and Suns continue game two of the series Thursday night with first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. Right-hander Charlie Shirek (2-2, 3.15) takes the mound for Birmingham while Jacksonville counters with right-handed pitcher Joseph O'Gara (7-6, 3.84).
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