Ortiz Homer in Ninth Wins for Loons

Clayton Kershaw allowed one run and struck out six in six innings but lost 2-0 to Carolina. Inland Empire received knockout pitching and dumped Visalia 3-1 for the second consecutive game. Jaime Ortiz homer in the ninth broke a tie and gave Great Lakes a 5-3 win. Las Vegas was snowed out in Salt Lake City.

Las Vegas Snowed Out-- Snow in Salt Lake cancelled the game. No makeup date has been announced.

Kershaw Don't Get No Support
For the second night in succession, Jacksonville wasted a strong pitching effort. This time it was Clayton Kershaw who came up without any run support in a 2-0 loss to the Carolina Mudcats. James McDonald has a the same thing happen to him Monday night.

The loss was the sixth in a row for the Suns (4-8) while the Mudcats (9-3) stretched their winning streak to five games.

Kershaw (0-3), a 20-year-old left-hander, allowed only one run -- the only earned run of the game -- when Carolina collected three consecutive singles in the sixth inning after he had allowed no runs and just one hit in the first five innings. He struck out six and walked two in six innings, his longest and most effective outing of the year.

"I threw OK. It's just frustrating any time you can't get a win," Kershaw told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "But I'm progressing. I went deeper in the game than I have before and got a higher pitch count. I didn't command my curveball as good as I would like, but it's a good progression so far."

Kershaw has allowed just four earned runs in 14 innings this season (2.57 ERA) but is still without a win, has recorded 18 strikeouts, good for second in the Southern League. But Jacksonville has scored just one run in the three games he has started.

"It's frustrating, obviously, when you lose this many this early, but it's a 140-game season. We'll be all right," Kershaw said. "There's good hitters in that clubhouse."

Eduardo Sierra, Yhency Brazoban and Kyle Wilson allowed one hit and an unearned run over the final three innings.

Jacksonville put its first two batters on base in the third and seventh innings and had three of its first four batters reach safely in the seventh, but only moved one runner as far as third base.

"As strange as this might sound, it doesn't seem to us that we've lost six in a row," Suns manager John Shoemaker said. "Statistically we have, but we're not playing badly. The guys are playing hard, and our pitching has been solid for the most part. We just haven't swung the bats well as a group."

Around the bases: Despite his 0-3 record, Kershaw has one of the league's best ERAs. ... Suns shortstop Ivan DeJesus Jr.'s six-game hitting streak was broken after an 0-for-3 outing. ... Suns outfielder James Tomlin was reassigned to extended spring training in Vero Beach after being hit on the elbow with a pitch during the Tennessee series. Catcher Kelly Gulledge has taken his roster spot. ... Suns LHP Marion Arias (1-1, 7.71) is scheduled to start today's game against Mudcats LHP Aaron Thompson (0-1, 1.80).
  Score by Innings
Carolina	000 001 001-2
Jacksonville	000 000 000-0
 
  Jacksonville	ab r  h  bi  ave
Godwin cf	4  0  0  0  .179
De Jesus ss	3  0  0  0  .341
Jacobs lf	4  0  1  0  .227
May c        	2  0  0  0  .343
Mitchell 3b	2  0  0  0  .297
Hoffmann rf	4  0  2  0  .184
Rivera 1b	3  0  0  0  .129
Justis 2b	3  0  1  0  .222
Kershaw p	2  0  0  0  .000
 Sierra p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Malek ph	1  0  0  0  .125
 Brazoban p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Wilson p 	0  0  0  0  .000
 Gulledge ph	1  0  0  0  .000
  Totals	29 0 4 0
  Carolina	30 2 5 2

  Error- De Jesus (1), Mitchell
(1), May (2). 2B- Justis (1). S-
Justis. LOB- Jacksonville 9,
Carolina 5. SP- Justis, De Jesus
and Rivera.

  Jacksonville	in  h  r-er bb so  era
Kershaw (0-3)	6.0  4  1-1  2  6  2.57
Sierra	        1.0  1  0-0  0  1  4.91
Brazoban 	1.0  0  0-0  0  2  0.00
Wilson	        1.0  0  1-0  1  1  1.50
  T- 2:30. Att- 2,792.
Sixers Stop Oaks 3-1 Again
Inland Empire enjoyed its first two game win streak of the young season by dropping Visalia by the score of 3-1 for the second consecutive game. Strong pitching marked the Sixers victory.

Left-hander James Adkins (1-0), making his third start of the season, worked five innings and allowed only a single run on four hits while striking out five. Jordan Pratt battled around a four-walk inning in which he didn't surrender a run and then Fernando Felix overpowered Visalia, striking out eight of the nine batters he faced over the final three innings to record the save, his first of the season.

Eduardo Perez opened the second with a walk before designated hitter Carlos Santana ripped a triple into the gap in right center for the first Sixer run. Francisco Lizarraga's ground ball scored Santana from third.

Josh Bell drew a two-out walk in the sixth, moved to third on Perez's single to right, and scored on a wild pitch.

The two clubs managed only a total of seven hits, three by Inland Empire.

The 66ers conclude their three game series with the Oaks this afternoon.
  Score by innings
Visalia	        000 100 000-1
Inland Empire	020 001 00x-3

  Inland Empire	ab r  h  bi  ave
Robinson cf	4  0  0  0  .191
Berezay lf	4  0  0  0  .204
Bell 3b	        2  1  0  0  .294
Perez 1b	2  1  1  0  .288
Santana dh	3  1  1  1  .314
Locke rf	3  0  0  0  .233
Lara ss        	0  0  0  0  .276
Pedroza 2b	2  0  0  0  .167
Lizarraga 2b-ss	3  0  1  1  .154
Gutierrez c	3  0  0  0  .154
  Totals	26 3 3 2
  Visalia	29 1 4 1

  3B- Santana. RBI- Santana (12),
Lizarraga (3). LOB- Inland Empire 2, 
Visalia 8. DP- Perez. 

  Inland Empire	in   h  r-er bb so  era
Adkins (1-0)	5.0  4  1-1  3  5  2.77
Pratt 	        1.0  0  0-0  4  1  3.68
Felix (sv,1)	3.0  0  0-0  0  8  2.13
  T- 2:19. Att- 1,854.
Longballs Blowin' in the Wind
Brad Golder/Loons.com

Jaime Ortiz hit a two-run home run to left-center field in the top of the ninth inning to break a 3-3 tie and propel Great Lakes to a 5-3 win over the Cedar Rapids Kernels.  

The blast was the first of the season for Ortiz and snapped a 1-for-17 skid for the first baseman.  With the game tied 3-3, Pedro Baez led off the inning with his second hit of the game, an opposite field single on the first pitch.  Scott Van Slyke sacrificed Baez to second setting the scene for Ortiz's heroics.  

Van Slyke put the Loons on the board in the second with a bases loaded chopper to second base.  Cedar Rapids tied the game at one with an Efren Navarro sacrifice fly.  

The Loons took a 3-1 lead in the fifth. Following a one-out triple by Preston Mattingly, Andrew Lambo homered to left for his first longball of 2008. Cedar Rapids tied the game at three with a two-run home run by Jeremy Moore in the bottom half of the fifth.  

The Loons doubled their home run output for the season with the two blasts.  Both teams were aided by a 20-30 mile per hour wind blowing out to left field.  

Both teams are now 6-6 on the season.  The five runs scored by the Loons doubled their total offensive output the previous five games.  

Bryan Morris started for the Loons and pitched the first six innings, allowing three runs (all earned), striking out five. Matt Sartor (1-1) hurled two scoreless innings for his first win of the season and Miguel Ramirez pitched the ninth for his fourth save.   

The Loons conclude their nine-game roadtrip tonight against the Kernels.  Right-hander Kyle Smit (0-1) will start for the Loons against righty Jordan Walden (1-1). 
  Score by Innings
Great Lakes	010 020 002-5
Cedar Rapids	000 120 000-3

  Great Lakes	ab r  h  bi ave
Rosario cf	5  0  1  0  .333
Mattingly 2b	5  1  1  0  .167
Mathews dh	4  0  0  0  .220
Lambo lf	4  1  1  2  .295
Garabedian c	3  1  1  0  .300
Becker ss	4  0  1  0  .212
Baez 3b        	4  1  2  0  .143
Van Slyke rf	3  0  0  1  .087
Ortiz 1b	3  1  1  2  .111
  Totals	31 5 8 5
  Cedar Rapids	31 3 6 3

  Error- Mattingly (1), Baez (5).
2B- Rosario (2). 3B- Mattingly
(1). HR- Lambo (1), Ortiz (1).
RBI- Van Slyke (1), Lambo 2 (1),
Ortiz 2 (3). S- Van Slyke. LOB-
Great Lakes 6, Cedar Rapids 6.
DP- Mattingly, Becker and Ortiz. 

  Great Lakes	in  h  r-er bb so  era
Morris	        6.0  4  3-3  2  5  5.17
Sartor (1-1)	2.0  1  0-0  1  3  2.08
Ramirez (sv 4)	1.0  1  0-0  0  1  0.00
  T- 2:39. Att- 783.

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