Surging Suns Wins Sixth in a Row

James McDonald and a 15-hit attack sparked Las Vegas to a 9-3 win over Fresno. Jacksonville scored two in the last of the 10th with two out and topped Birmingham 5-4 for their sixth win in a row. Inland Empire lost 10-4 to Lake Elsinore in Petco Park in San Diego and Great Lakes was tagged with a 5-2 loss by West Michigan.

McDonald Tops Fresno 9-3
There were a number of familiar names in action as the 51s battered Fresno 9-3. James McDonald pitched five innings and allowed a single earned run to collect the win; Andruw Jones popped a two-run homer; Delwyn Young had four hits, missing the cycle for lack of a triple and former Dodger standout Travis Denker singled and doubled for the Grizzlies.

Las Vegas banged out 15 hits and built a 7-1 lead by the end of the sixth inning.

McDonald, who will certainly be called up to The Show went rosters are expanded, allowed only four hits while winning his second game against a single loss for Las Vegas. Uncharacteristically, he struck out only a single batter.

Jones, playing first base to protect his aching knees, homered in the fourth inning. Jason Repko banged his 11th homer in the third and missed a cycle himself by a double, and Young hit his first home run in the eighth.

Terry Tiffee, back from a successful tour with the US Olympic Team in China, took up just where he left off, smacking a double and a single to boost his average to .375.

Fernando Felix followed McDonald on the mound and allowed a pair of runs in his three innings and Mike Koplove crafted a scoreless ninth.

Former 51s Andy LaRoche, who was traded to Pittsburgh recently, has been in a brutal 0-for-27 slump, hitting .119 in 21 games overall.

  Score by Innings
Fresno 	        001 000 200-3
Las Vegas	004 003 11x-9

  Las Vegas	ab r  h  bi ave
Maza 2b        	4  0  0  0  .369
Young rf	5  2  4  1  .281
Tiffee 3b	5  1  2  0  .375
AJones 1b	3  1  1  2  .385
Lindsey lf-1b	4  1  2  1  .309
Repko cf	4  2  3  2  .275
Ellis c	        3  1  1  1  .313
Hu ss        	3  1  1  1  .294
McDonald p	2  0  0  0  .000
 Felix p	1  0  0  1  .000
 Koplove p	0  0  0  0  .250
  Totals	35 9 15 8
  Fresno	35 3  7 3

  Errors- Tiffee (17). 2B- Tiffee
(38), Ellis (16), Young (4). 3B-
Repko (7), Ruan (5). HR- Repko (11),
AJones (4), Young (1). RBI- AJones 2
(11). Lindsey (95), Repko 2 (47),
Ellis (58), Hu (13), Felix (1), Young
(2). SF- AJones; Felix. LOB- Las
Vegas 8, Fresno 8. 

  Las Vegas	 in  h  r-er bb so  era
McDonald (2-1)	5.0  4  1-1  2  1  3.63
Felix        	3.0  3  2-2  2  3  5.79
Koplove	        1.0  0  0-0  0  1  3.42
  HBP- by McDonald T- 2:42. Att- 5,425.
Gulledge Does It Again
The Suns scored twice in the last of the 10th to sweep Birmingham, the Southern League's South Division first-half champion, who had taken a 4-3 lead in the top half of the 10th.

Ivan DeJesus tied the score for the Suns with a two-out solo home run (#6). DeJesus had three hits, stretching his hitting streak to a league-best 20 games and raising his batting average to .322.

Then they loaded the bases on a pair of walks and a strikeout on a wild pitch. Kelley Gulledge, who has made a name for himself over the last two weeks, again came up with the game-winning hit, lining a sharp single into left field to drive home Shane Justis with the winning run.

Both teams scored three in the first inning, Birmingham tapping Cody White for three hits, including a home run.

Andrew Lambo, in his third outstanding game for the Suns, smacked a bases-loaded single in the bottom of the inning and Adolfo Gonzalez ground ball tied the game.

White added five shutout innings before Anthony Tomey worked two perfect innings, handing the ball and the game to Travis Schlichting (6-4), who allowed the Barons to take the lead in the 10th but earned the win after the improbably rally.

It was the sixth win in a row for the Suns (31-34 in the second half, 64-71 overall), who improved to 16-9 in August - the best mark in the Southern League.

The Suns also pulled within one-half game of the Barons (31-33, 71-63) for third place in the South and now have their sights set on the second-place Montgomery Biscuits (34-30), with whom Jacksonville opens a five-game series starting tonight.

Eight of the Suns' 12 position players are 24 years old or younger, and many could return to Jacksonville next year.

The Suns again led the league in attendance with an average of 5,438 (364,365 fans in 67 games) and finish the season at home against Montgomery August 30-September 3.

RHP Josh Lindblom is scheduled to make his Suns debut in tonight series opener at Montgomery.

  Score by Innings	
Birmingham	300 000 000 1-4
Jacksonville	300 000 000 2-5

  Jacksonville	ab r  h  bi  ave
Rogowski rf	3  1  0  0  .216
De Jesus ss	5  2  3  1  .322
Justis 2b	3  1  1  0  .266
Mitchell 1b	4  1  0  0  .264
Lambo lf	4  0  1  1  .231
Gulledge dh	3  0  1  2  .264
AGonzalez 3b	3  0  0  1  .300
Gutierrez c	4  0  0  0  .266
Godwin cf	4  0  0  0  .258
  Totals	33 5 8 5
  Birmingham	34 4 7 4

  HR- De Jesus (6). RBI- Lambo (5)
 Gulledge 2 (11), Gonzalez (19),
De Jesus (56). LOB- Jacksonville 8, 
Birmingham 6. SB- Justis (9). 
DP- De Jesus, Justis and Mitchell;
Tomey, De Jesus and Mitchell.

  Jacksonville	   in  h  r-er bb so  era
White        	  6.0  5  3-3  3  5  6.01
Tomey        	  2.0  0  0-0  1  3  5.68
Schlichting (6-4) 2.0  2  1-1  1  2  4.02
  HBP- Gulledge. T- 2:39. Att- 3,153. 
Petco, Schmetco, 66ers Lose
Lake Elsinore has played a game at Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres, as part of a doubleheader with the San Diego Padres every year since the park opened in 2004. Inland Empire hasn't made an appearances there since 2003 (at Qualcomm Stadium) and this one wasn't all that satisfactory as they lost 10-4.

The facilities were excellent and it was interesting to play in a major league park, but when the Quakes scored seven runs in the second inning, it took much of the fun out of it.

The Sixers (34-31 second half) entered the game trailing the Storm by two games for the South Division's No. 1 wild-card position, and tied with the Quakes for the final wild-card spot.

The final two games of the three-game series will be played at The Diamond in Lake Elsinore.

"It was a good experience to play at a big-league facility," Sixers manager John Valentin told the San Bernardino Sun. "We didn't get a chance to take BP or infield, but unfortunately that's the way things are done. I think they got to hit in the cage and we didn't. But if this were at Dodger Stadium, it would be the other way around. It was a good experience for the kids."

Two Sixers were undaunted by the spacious park and hit home runs in the game.

Drew Locke slugged his 11th of the season just to the left of the 401-foot sign in center in the fourth inning, and Tommy Giles hit his 21st of the season to the shortest part of the ballpark, just inside the right-field foul pole, 322 feet from home plate in the sixth inning.

Bridger Hunt had two of the 66ers seven hits.

The Storm took the air out of the game and Sixers starter Steve Johnson (3-5), taking a 7-0 lead in the second inning. Johnson was making his third straight start against the Storm, and his ERA against Lake Elsinore is 16.55.?

  Score by Innings	
Inland Empire	000 111 010- 4
Lake Elsinore	072 000 01x-10

  Inland Empire	ab r  h  bi  ave
Hunt dh        	4  0  2  1  .292
Fuller 2b	3  1  1  0  .232
Giles rf	4  1  1  1  .278
Locke 1b	4  1  1  2  .318
Berezay lf	4  0  1  0  .245
Pedroza ss	4  0  0  0  .298
Van Slyke cf	2  1  1  0  .253
 Herrera cf	1  0  0  0  .000
 Mathews 2b	2  0  0  0  .200
 Lara 3b        1  0  0  0  .248
Lopez c        	3  0  0  0  .233
  Totals	32  4  7  4
Lake Elsinore	32 10 12 10

  2B- Berezay (12), Fuller (6). HR-
Locke (11), Giles (21). RBI- Locke
2 (82), Hunt (32), Giles (92). S-
Fuller. LOB- Inland Empire 4, Lake
Elsinore 8.		

  Inland Empire	 in  h  r-er bb so  era
Johnson (3-5)	1.2  6  7-7  2  1  6.94
Guerra	        1.1  3  2-2  1  1  4.16
Jones        	4.0  2  0-0  0  4  5.60
Withrow	        1.0  1  1-1  2  1  4.50
  HBP- by Jones. T- 2:45. 
Whitecaps Top Loons Again
West Michigan dropped the Loons 5-2, overcoming an RBI single by the Loons Jaime Ortiz that scored Jovanny Rosario in the first inning.

The Whitecaps took over the lead in the second-inning on a two-run home run off starter Given Kutz (4-6) and held on the rest of the game.

Kutz worked seven innings and allowed six hits and a single earned run while striking out seven but took the loss.

Ortiz doubled to scored Parker Dalton in the sixth for the final Great Lakes run. Ortiz and Eduardo Perez each had two of the Loons hits.

The Loons and Whitecaps meet for the final time in 2008 tonight at Fifth Third Ballpark. Right-hander Kieran Mattison will make his Loons' debut after recording an 0-1, 9.42 mark in nine games with Jacksonville. 

  Score by Innings
Great Lakes	100 001 000-2
West Michigan	021 000 02x-5

  Great Lakes	ab r  h  bi  ave
Rosario cf	2  1  0  0  .270
Dalton 2b	4  1  1  0  .227
Perez 1b	4  0  2  0  .293
Ortiz dh	4  0  2  2  .220
Silverio rf	4  0  0  0  .251
Taylor 3b	4  0  0  0  .221
Jansen c	4  0  0  0  .233
Lizarraga ss	4  0  1  0  .188
Garcia lf	3  0  0  0  .060
  Totals	33 2 6 2
  West Michigan 31 5 8 4

  Error- Taylor (11), Kutz 2 (3),
Silverio (7). 2B- ortiz (18). RBI-
Ortiz 2 (45). LOB- Great lakes 6,
West Michigan 4. SB- Rosario (36).
DP- Perez, Lizarraga and Kutz.

  Great Lakes	 in  h  r-er bb so  era
Kutz (4-6)	7.0  6  3-1  0  7  4.29
Ramirez	        1.0  2  2-2  1  0  4.20
  HBP- by Kutz. T- 2:21. Att- 5,409.