JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Luis Aviles Jr. homered in the bottom of the second and Josh Rogers yielded only one earned run in 6.0 innings Saturday as the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp held on for a 3-2 win over the Iowa Cubs in front of 5,982 fans at 121 Financial Ballpark.
Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the second, Jacksonville (72-61) mounted a rally. Victor Victor Mesa worked a walk and stole second. In the ensuing at-bat, Aviles Jr. (5) blasted a two-run home run off Iowa (61-73) starter Caleb Killian (L, 5-3) to put the Jumbo Shrimp ahead 2-1.
Jacksonville padded their lead in the bottom of the third. Jesús Sánchez led off the inning with a single and two batters later, Troy Johnston walked to put runners on first and second. Ryan Lavarnway walked to load the bases and Mesa drove in Sánchez with a sac fly, pushing the lead to 3-0.
Iowa took advantage of some costly errors by Jacksonville in the top of the sixth. Jackson Frazier reached on a throwing error to lead off the inning and Brennen Davis was hit by a pitch. During the at-bat of Trent Giambrone, Frazier stole third and scored on the second error of the inning to cut the deficit to 3-2.
The I-Cubs drew first blood in the top of the first. After two quick outs, Matt Mervis (10) continued his hot hitting, blasting a solo home run off Rogers to give Iowa a 1-0 advantage.
The Jumbo Shrimp got a great effort from their pitching staff. Rogers finished with six strong innings, allowing just two runs (one earned) on two hits with four walks and three strikeouts. Entering tonight, Jacksonville’s bullpen has allowed just seven earned runs in their last 43.1 innings. Josh Simpson and Eli Villalobos (S, 3) continued this hot stretch for the Jumbo Shrimp relievers, combining for three scoreless frames with two hits allowed and one walk against six strikeouts.
The Jumbo Shrimp and I-Cubs conclude their series at 3:05 p.m. on Sunday. RHP Elieser Hernández (3-2, 4.46 ERA) starts for Jacksonville, and Iowa will counter with RHP Adbert Alzolay (0-1, 8.10 ERA). Coverage begins at 2:50 p.m. on MiLB.tv, ESPN 690 AM and www.ESPN690.com.
Gates open at 2 p.m. for Baptist Health Sunday Family Fun Day. For the first 20 minutes after gates open (2:00-2:20 p.m.) fans can enjoy catch on the field and kids can feel like the pros by running the bases after the game. It’s also CSX First Responders Night. For the series finale, the Jumbo Shrimp…