07/05/06 — Suns blank Mudcats

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Suns blank Mudcats

By Steve Roush
Published in Sports on July 5, 2006 2:09 PM

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- T.J. Nall won his eighth-straight start, two-hitting Carolina during a Jacksonville 2-0 Independence Day victory at the Baseball Grounds.

Nall (8-2), who fanned 10 Mudcats and permitted one hit over seven innings in a win 10 days ago, bettered that impressive outing.

Nall tossed his first complete game of the season, striking out a career-best 12 hitters. He was perfect through 51/3 innings before Jonathan Aceves sank the Mudcats' first hit of the game in front of diving left fielder Sergio Garcia. Carolina's only other baserunner reached in the sixth on an infield single by Edgar Gonzalez.

Manu Olivera (3-5) pitched exceptionally but was stuck with the loss. Olivera gave up consecutive doubles with one out in the first, then a seventh inning run on a grounder by A.J. Ellis, but absorbed the defeat, Carolina's fifth shutout during nine second half losses.

The Mudcats (7-9) continue their 13-day, 10-game road trip tonight at 7:05 with Paul Mildren (6-7, 3.67) starting against Ben Kozlowski (0-0, 1.93).


Tennessee 5, Carolina 3

ZEBULON -- Tennessee scored three times in the ninth rally for a 5-3 win over Carolina before 8,284 fans at Five County Stadium.

The Smokies touched reliever Kevin Cave (0-2) for its first victory of the season when trailing after eight innings. Tennessee was 0-for-35 prior to Monday night. The ninth started with a pair of walks, then gained steam when Alberto Gonzalez faked a bunt, then took a full swing for a hit down the left field line to tie the game 3-3.

A wild pitch scored the leading run and the Smokies pushed one more across to seal the series win. Carolina squandered three one-run leads, taking a 1-0 edge in the first on a single by Ryan Bear. After Tennessee tied the game in the top of the third, Lee Mitchell doubled home Edgar Gonzalez from first for a 2-1 advantage.

The Smokies tied the game again in the fifth before Kevin Randel dropped a single to right in the bottom half to bring Gonzalez home again for a 3-2 lead. Adam Bostick allowed two runs over six innings in a no-decision. Scott Tyler pitched two shutout innings before Cave entered to begin the ninth inning.

The Smokies put the first batter aboard in six of the nine innings.