Ruggiano's Slam Gives Suns 12th Straight

Jacksonville won their 12th in a row, stopping Mississippi 9-4 on Justin Ruggiano's grand slam in the ninth. LHP Scott Elbert allowed one hit (a bunt) and struck out 12 in five to give Columbus a 4-1 win and a split with the Braves after losing the opener 10-6. A two-run homer in the last of the 10th sunk Las Vegas 5-2 despite three hits by Willie Aybar. Matt Kemp had three hits but Daytona rolled over Vero 11-4. The Coasties lost 8-6 to the Marlins on two unearned runs and Ogden were open.

TACOMA, Washington-- Tacoma defeated Las Vegas 5-3, in 10 innings with a two-run, walk-off home run. The 51s recorded 10 hits and built a 3-0 lead after 4.2 innings. The Raniers scored two in the fifth and one in the seventh to tie the game. Third baseman Willy Aybar was 3-for-5, RBI and second baseman Delwyn Young was 1-for-3 with a double. Catcher Mike Rose and left fielder Henri Stanley each collected a run batted in. Right-hander T.J. Nall pitched 6 innings, allowed 9 hits, 2 runs, issued no walks and struck out 5 but got only a no decision. Alfredo Gonzalez pitched 1 inning and allowed the tying run. Right-hander Pat Mahomes (8-9) worked the final 2.1 innings, allowed 2 hits and 2 runs, and took the loss. Game three of the four-game series is tonight.

PEARL, Mississippi-- Justin Ruggiano hit the first grand slam in Trustmark Park history, capping a five-run ninth inning in the Suns' 9-4 victory over the Mississippi Braves. James Loney's fly ball bounced beside the Braves left fielder with two outs in the ninth, allowing Todd Donovan to score, padding the Suns' lead to 5-3. Ruggiano's following blast gave the Suns the cushion they needed to complete their 12th consecutive victory, the longest in recorded team history. Sergio Garcia lined a two-run, two-out single in the eighth inning, breaking a 2-2 tie and giving the Suns their first lead. Andy LaRoche his a game-tying, two-out, two-run single in the sixth inning. Both made errors that led to the Braves' first three runs. Starter William Juarez gave up two unearned runs over six innings. Beltran Perez (1-0) pitched a scoreless seventh and earned the victory. Luis Gonzalez closed the game and earned his sixth save. Joel Hanrahan (8-7, 4.93 ERA) is scheduled to start against Mississippi tonight. Sun Spots: The Suns' 12-game winning streak, which is the longest in recorded team history and four wins shy of the Southern League record, is also the longest current winning streak in professional baseball. …2B Tony Abreu (sprained ankle) will be re-evaluated today and is likely to miss 2-3 weeks. …Suns starting pitchers have allowed seven earned runs over the last 70 innings. --Joe Block

DAYTONA, Florida-- The Cubs broke a 3-3 tie with four runs in the fourth inning, then added four more in the sixth to coast in with an 11-4 win. The Dodgers banged out an even dozen hits and were helped by four Daytona errors but left 11 on base. Matt Kemp had a double and two singles, good for a pair of RBI and Anthony Raglani, Brice Cole and Jamie Hoffman each added a pair of hits. Julio Pimentel (8-8) was tagged for seven hits, including a pair of home runs, and seven runs. Pimentel and three relievers allowed 16 hits and even three double plays couldn't help them. The series concludes tonight.

COLUMBUS, Georgia-- LHP Scott Elbert struck out a season-best 12 batters tonight in the second game of a doubleheader, leading the Catfish to a 4-1 Catfish win after they lost 10-6 to the Rome Braves in the opener.
Rome took a 4-0 lead in the top of the first inning of the first-game off RHP Steve Nelson. 3B Blake DeWitt hit a solo home run, his 11th of the season but Rome tacked on two runs in the second and two more in the fourth and held a 10-2 lead in the seventh. Justin Crist and DeWitt had RBI singles to make it 10-6 but the Fish got no closer.
Elbert gave up only a bunt single on the first pitch of the second game while shutting down the Braves on 73 pitches over five innings. DH Brandon Carter had a bases-clearing double to give the Catfish a cushion and a 4-1 win. Elbert struck out 12 of the 18 batters he faced, fanning the side twice in the game, including his final outs in the fifth. In the bottom of the fourth, two walks and a hit batter loaded the bases and set up DH Brandon Carter's three-run double. RHP Albenis Castillo allowed one run in the sixth but nailed down the win. RHP Jarod Plummer (3-1, 3.54 ERA) takes the mound against the Braves tonight.

OGDEN, Utah-- The Raptors had an open date.

VERO BEACH, Florida-- The Marlins and Dodgers traded the lead trough six innings before single runs in the seventh and eighth dumped the Coasties 8-6. After the Marlins scored three in the first inning off starter Gary Paris, the Dodgers tied the game in the second on RBI doubles by Adolfo Gonzalez and Jeremy Brown. Trailing 6-3 in the sixth, the Dodgers again scored three times to tie, as Gutierrez and Kenley Jansen singled. A fielder's choice scored one, Brown walked to force in another and Jesus Mora's sacrifice fly knotted things at six. But the Marlins tapped Eduardo Quintana (1-1) for a pair of unearned runs to earn the win.

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