Suns Look to Snap Losing Skid Tonight

Matt Juengel 5-5 Photo

By: Kyle Crooks / Jacksonville Suns

The Jacksonville Suns (15-25) will look to snap a five-game skid tonight when they take on the Mississippi Braves (22-18) with a first pitch slated for 7:05 p.m. ET from Bragan Field.

The Suns last night had multiple opportunities to take the lead in the late stages of the game prior to extra innings in their 8-7 loss, but continued to struggle with situational hitting. Jacksonville stranded the bases loaded in the seventh and eighth frames while batting 5-for-21 with runners in scoring position and leaving 12 men on base throughout the contest. As a team they are .194 when batting with the bases loaded and hitting .220 with runners in scoring position. There are six Suns that are currently holding a sub .200 batting average with runners in scoring position through 41 games of the season.

Francisco Rondon (W, 2-0) earned the victory in relief for Mississippi in one inning of work allowing three runs (none earned) on two hits while walking a batter and striking out one. Sean Donatello (L, 0-2) took the loss out of the bullpen for the Suns generating two innings allowing five runs (three earned) on five hits while walking a pair of batters.

The scoring would begin in the bottom of the first when the Suns had runners on the corners with nobody out courtesy of a Carlos Lopez lead off double, and Kenny Wilson reaching on an error by the first baseman Kevin Aherns. Next batter Austin Nola, would scratch across the first run on a double play ball giving Jacksonville a 1-0 lead through one frame. In the third the Braves tied the score after Mallex Smith worked a two-out walk to then move into scoring position after a Kendry Flores throwing error. Next batter Corban Joesph brought him home on a run-scoring base hit. In the last of the third Nola put the Suns on top via a RBI base hit plating Carlos Lopez who lead off the frame with a double. Jacksonville would lead 2-1 through three innings of play at Bragan Field.

The Suns lead would not last long, as in the top of the fifth Mallex Smith ripped a RBI double to score Matt Kennelly and knot up the contest at a 2-2 score. The Braves broke the tie in the eighth frame after Smith reached first on a bunt single to then steal second and set up KD Kong for the go-ahead RBI single giving Mississippi the slim 3-2 advantage. In the bottom of the eighth, against Braves reliever Bryton Trepagnier, Matt Juengel would ground into an inning ending double play with the bases loaded in a pinch hit appearance to end any further threat with the Suns still trailing by one.

In the ninth with the bases loaded Corban Joesph provided insurance for Mississippi off of Suns reliever Sean Donatello with a two RBI single to give the Braves 5-2 lead. In the bottom half of the frame the Suns tied the score after generating the bases loaded. A fielding error by Braves centerfielder Mallex Smith, on a Ryan Rieger fly ball, cleared the bases and tied the score at five.

Moving to the 10th, Emerson Landoni put Mississippi back in front with a run-scoring single to put his squad up 6-5. The critical hit came from Eric Garcia in the same stanza when his two-run double gave the Braves the necessary insurance and a 8-5 lead. Jacksonville would not go quietly in the bottom of the 10th after Nola’s two RBI double trimmed the deficit to a run in the 8-7 Jacksonville loss. Suns starter Kendry Flores lasted seven innings allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits while walking two and striking out a pair of batters.

Tonight’s pitching matchup will feature right-hander Jake Esch taking the ball for the Suns to be opposed by Braves righty Tyrell Jenkins. Esch enters with a 3-2 record attached alongside a 2.55 ERA. In his last start the Georgia Tech product generated five innings allowing one run (earned) on three hits while walking a batter and striking out two in a no decision against Biloxi on 5/17. In the month of May the former 11th round draft pick of the Marlins is 1-2 while sporting a 3.91 ERA in four starts. Esch received a call up to Triple-A New Orleans on 4/14 and made a pair of starts going 0-1 with an earned-run mark north of 5.23 surrendering six earned runs on 14 hits over 9 and 1/3 innings of work. He owns the ninth-best ERA (2.55) in the Southern League to date.

Jenkins will toe the rubber for Mississippi with a 2-2 record while working to a 3.00 ERA. The righty is coming off arguably his best start against Pensacola on 5/17 in a performance where he would last seven scoreless frames relinquishing three hits while walking five and striking out three. He’s the #7 ranked prospect within the Braves organization according to Baseball America, and came over via a trade on November, 17th 2014 with the St. Louis Cardinals, that sent Jayson Heyward to St. Louis in return for veteran starter Shelby Miller. This is Jenkins first taste of the double-A level in this his sixth season in the minors.

Fans can listen to the game live on the Suns Baseball Network, with Roger Hoover providing play by play. Roger Hoover and Kyle Crooks will host the Memorial Hospital Suns Pre-Game Show beginning at 6:50 p.m. ET on the Suns Baseball Network.

Friday is Family Faith Night with a post-game concert with Chris August, Blood Alliance Blood Drive & NAPA Friday Family Fireworks! It’s a Night of Faith, Fellowship and our National Pastime with a post-game concert with Award Winning Christian Artist Chris August, courtesy of Bug Out & The Promise! The Blood Alliance Bloodmobile will be at Bragan Field and the Suns encourage all fans to donate blood! The first 25 donors receive 2 tickets to the game plus a hot dog and soda voucher! Also check out the hottest rides from your Southern Ford Dealers which will be on hand. Stay after the game and before the concert as we light up the skies with the NAPA Friday Family Fireworks, presented by your local NAPA AutoCare center dealers!

The 2015 season of Suns baseball is presented by EverBank, the official banking partner of the Jacksonville Suns. Sponsorships, group outings, and season/individual game tickets are currently available by calling the Suns front office at (904) 358-2846.

Listen Live to Braves and Suns: Live- May 22, 2015:

You can also keep up with all the game action on the Suns Baseball Network and by following the Suns on Twitter and liking us on Facebook.

Matchup: Jacksonville Suns (15-25) @ Mississippi Braves (22-18)

Starters: JAX: RHP Jake Esch  (3-2, 2.55 ERA) vs. MIS: RHP Tyrell Jenkins  (2-2, 3.00 ERA)

Who’s Hot:Last night Carlos Lopez collected Jacksonville’s second individual four-hit performance of the season finishing 4-for-6 with a pair of doubles. The Suns right fielder is now batting .385 in his last 10 games and has collected a hit in 14 of his last 16 contests. After providing a grand slam in the series finale with Biloxi on 5/19, Ryan Rieger mustered up a three-hit performance in what was his fourth multi-hit game of the season. Austin Nola knocked in three runners last night in his second three RBI performance of 2015.

Suns Spots: Here’s a note from the official Jacksonville Suns game notes:

-Starter Kendry Flores is first in batting average against (.169), second in WHIP (0.83), second in fewest baserunners allowed per nine innings (7.82), third in innings pitched (50.2), and controls the sixth-best ERA (1.95) in the Southern League. Starter Jake Esch controls the league’s 9th best ERA (2.55). Closer Sean Donatello sits first in saves (10) in the S.L. Reliever Lay Batista has generated the league’s lowest average against holding opposing batters to a .115 average. Jacksonville has worked to only the league’s ninth-best batting average (.241) and sit in the lower-third of the S.L. with the seventh-best ERA (3.94).

Suns Topped in Extras 8-7

By: Kyle Crooks / Jacksonville Suns

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Suns (15-25) used a three-run ninth inning rally to tie the score but fell short in extras to the Mississippi Braves (22-18) 8-7 Thursday night from Bragan Field.

Hear from Suns manager David Berg postgame:

 Francisco Rondon (W, 2-0) earned the victory in relief for Mississippi in one inning of work allowing three runs (none earned) on two hits while walking a batter and striking out one. Sean Donatello (L, 0-2) took the loss out of the bullpen for the Suns generating two innings allowing five runs (three earned) on five hits while walking a pair of batters.

The scoring would begin in the bottom of the first when the Suns had runners on the corners with nobody out courtesy of a Carlos Lopez lead off double, and Kenny Wilson reaching on an error by the first baseman Kevin Aherns. Next batter Austin Nola, would scratch across the first run on a double play ball giving Jacksonville a 1-0 lead through one frame.

In the third the Braves tied the score after Mallex Smith worked a two-out walk to then move into scoring position after a Kendry Flores throwing error. Next batter Corban Joesph brought him home on a run-scoring base hit.

In the last of the third Nola put the Suns on top via a RBI base hit plating Carlos Lopez who lead off the frame with a double. Jacksonville would lead 2-1 through three innings of play at Bragan Field.

The Suns lead would not last long, as in the top of the fifth Mallex Smith ripped a RBI double to score Matt Kennelly and knot up the contest at a 2-2 score.

The Braves broke the tie in the eighth frame after Smith reached first on a bunt single to then steal second and set up KD Kong for the go-ahead RBI single giving Mississippi the slim 3-2 advantage.

In the bottom of the eighth, against Braves reliever Bryton Trepagnier, Matt Juengel would ground into an inning ending double play with the bases loaded in a pinch hit appearance to end any further threat with the Suns still trailing by one.

In the ninth with the bases loaded Corban Joesph provided insurance for Mississippi off of Suns reliever Sean Donatello with a two RBI single to give the Braves 5-2 lead.

In the bottom half of the frame the Suns tied the score after generating the bases loaded. A fielding error by Braves centerfielder Mallex Smith, on a Ryan Rieger fly ball, cleared the bases and tied the score at five.

Moving to the 10th, Emerson Landoni put Mississippi back in front with a run-scoring single to put his squad up 6-5. The critical hit came from Eric Garcia in the same stanza when his two-run double gave the Braves the necessary insurance and a 8-5 lead.

Jacksonville would not go quietly in the bottom of the 10th after Nola’s two RBI double trimmed the deficit to a run in the 8-7 Jacksonville loss.

Suns starter Kendry Flores lasted seven innings allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits while walking two and striking out a pair of batters.

The Suns and Braves will continue their series Friday night with a first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. ET from Bragan Field. The Suns will send out right-hander Jake Esch (3-2 2.55 ERA) while the Braves will counter with righty Tyrell Jenkins (2-2, 3.00 ERA).

Friday is Family Faith Night with a post-game concert with Chris August, Blood Alliance Blood Drive & NAPA Friday Family Fireworks! It’s a Night of Faith, Fellowship and our National Pastime with a post-game concert with Award Winning Christian Artist Chris August, courtesy of Bug Out & The Promise! The Blood Alliance Bloodmobile will be at Bragan Field and the Suns encourage all fans to donate blood! The first 25 donors receive 2 tickets to the game plus a hot dog and soda voucher! Also check out the hottest rides from your Southern Ford Dealers which will be on hand.  Stay after the game and before the concert as we light up the skies with the NAPA Friday Family Fireworks, presented by your local NAPA AutoCare center dealers!

Suns fans can also listen to Friday’s game on the Suns Baseball Network, 100.3 FM or 600 AM “The Answer” or through http://www.jaxsuns.com, MiLB.com, or the TuneIn radio app, coverage will start with the Memorial Hospital Suns Pregame Show beginning at 6:50 p.m. ET

The 2015 season of Suns baseball is presented by EverBank, the official banking partner of the Jacksonville Suns. Sponsorships, group outings, and season/individual game tickets are currently available by calling the Suns front office at (904) 358-2846.

Here are highlights from tonight’s contest:

Suns Start Home Series With Braves Tonight

Othman Photo 2

By: Kyle Crooks / Jacksonville Suns

The Jacksonville Suns (15-24) will open up a home series with the Mississippi Braves (21-18) tonight with a first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. ET from Bragan Field.

Jacksonville is coming off a short five-game road trip in which they lost all but one game to the Biloxi Shuckers. The Suns have dipped to their lowest point below .500 at 15-24, and have dropped four-straight games while coming up on the losing end in eight of their last nine.

The Mississippi Braves come into tonight’s series opener 21-18 and two and a half games back of the first-place Biloxi Shuckers in the Southern League South Division standings. The Braves are fresh off a series victory over the Pensacola Blue Wahoos after taking the rubber match last night 5-2, using a four-run ninth en route to the win. Mississippi possesses a pair of top-10 prospects within the Atlanta Braves organization according to Baseball America, in right-handed pitchers Jason Hursh (#4) and Tyrell Jenkins (#7). Offensively the Braves have swung the bats well putting together the league’s second-best batting average (.263), but have struggled to provide power, belting a league-worst 10 home runs and only a total of 64 extra base hits on the season. Individually, outfielder Mallex Smith enters play with the fifth-best B.A. (.323) in the league while Ryan Kelly has solidified the back end of the bullpen nailing down nine saves in 10 tries this season. Players swinging a hot bat of late include KD Kang batting .346 over his last ten and Corban Joesph manufacturing a .391 average with five RBI in his last 10 contests.

Tonight’s pitching matchup will feature right-hander Kendry Flores for the Suns to be opposed by Braves righty Jason Hursh. Flores has worked his best stretch of the year in his last three starts. The native of the Dominican Republic was elected as the Southern League ‘Pitcher of the Week’ on 5/11, after working a pair of stellar outings against Chattanooga and Mobile allowing only one run over 14 innings pitched. In his last start against Pensacola, he provided an encore performance generating seven scoreless frames in a no decision. The trio of impressive performances has earned Flores the league’s eighth-best ERA. The former free-agent signee of the San Francisco Giants is the only Sun that is a member of the Miami Marlins 40-man roster.

Hursh takes the ball 1-3 with an inflated 7.02 earned run mark. The Oklahoma State University product picked up a win in his last start against Pensacola on 5/16, after generating six scoreless frames. He’s the 4th ranked prospect within the Braves organization entering 2015 according to Baseball America, garnering high expectations as a former first-round pick in the 2013 draft. Last year in double-A ball with Mississippi, Hursh tallied 11 wins accompanied with a 3.58 ERA in 26 starts.

Fans can listen to the game live on the Suns Baseball Network, with Roger Hoover providing play by play. Roger Hoover and Kyle Crooks will host the Memorial Hospital Suns Pre-Game Show beginning at 6:50 p.m. ET on the Suns Baseball Network.

Kick off the Holiday Weekend with the biggest party in town, Thursday Night Throwdown & College Colors Night! Enjoy Buds for a Buck and 2 for 1 Cocktails at the hottest spot in Jacksonville! Plus it’s College Colors Night! Wear your favorite school’s colors and get in for just $5 plus have a chance to win great prizes! Sponsored by Budweiser, Jameson, Malibu Rum, Jagermeister, Jim Beam, Maverick’s, Buzz Magazine, X102.9 and 95.1 WAPE!

The 2015 season of Suns baseball is presented by EverBank, the official banking partner of the Jacksonville Suns. Sponsorships, group outings, and season/individual game tickets are currently available by calling the Suns front office at (904) 358-2846.

Listen Live to Braves and Suns: Live- May 21, 2015:

You can also keep up with all the game action on the Suns Baseball Network and by following the Suns on Twitter and liking us on Facebook.

Matchup: Jacksonville Suns (15-24) @ Mississippi Braves (21-18)

Starters: JAX: RHP Kendry Flores (2-3, 2.06 ERA) vs. MIS: Jason Hursh (1-3, 7.02 ERA)

Who’s Hot: Ryan Rieger is coming off a performance against Biloxi on 5/19 where he blasted the club’s first grand slam and his first home run of the year. Carlos Lopez had his 13-game hitting streak snapped on 5/18, but is still 12-for-37 (.324) in his last 10. Viosergy Rosa is batting .304 in his last 10 contests with a home run and five RBI. Zack Cox continues to raise his average to hover around .300 batting .298 and finishing the Biloxi series 4-for-14 with a RBI and four runs scored.

Suns Spots: Here’s a note from the official Jacksonville Suns game notes:

-Starter Kendry Flores is first in batting average against (.170), second in WHIP (0.82), second in fewest baserunners allowed per nine innings (7.83), and controls the eighth-best ERA (2.06) in the Southern League. Starter Jake Esch controls the league’s 9th best ERA (2.55). Closer Sean Donatello sits first in saves (10) in the S.L. As a team Jacksonville has worked to only the league’s ninth-best batting average (.236) and sit in the middle of the pack in the S.L. with the sixth-best ERA (3.93).

Suns Fall in Series Finale to Shuckers 7-6

By: Kyle Crooks / Jacksonville Suns

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The Jacksonville Suns (15-24) had a comeback effort fall short in a 7-6 loss to the Biloxi Shuckers (24-16) Tuesday night from Joe Davis Stadium.

Jaye Chapman (W, 3-2) (BS, 1) while allowing a game tying grand slam to Ryan Rieger, earned the win tossing 1 and 1/3 innings surrendering one earned run on one hit while walking a batter and striking a solo man. Lay Batista (L, 0-1) took the loss in relief for Jacksonville, working in a pair of innings allowing one earned run on two hits, including the go-ahead RBI single in the eighth while walking two and not striking out a batter.

The scoring would begin in the bottom of the first when Biloxi put up a four spot in the frame. First a Nick Ramirez sac fly earned the Shuckers a 1-0 lead. Next batter Michael Reed, then followed that up with a two run double to left field to push the Suns deficit to 3-0. To finish the scoring Brandon Macias provided a RBI base knock to score Reed and set the tally at 4-0.

In the last of the third Nathan Orf bashed a two RBI triple that sent home Adam Weisenberger and Hobbs Johnson, to extend the Biloxi advantage to 6-0 through three innings at Joe Davis Stadium.

Jacksonville got on the board in the fourth after Zack Cox reached via a single to then be brought in courtesy of a David Adams (HR, 1) no-doubter over the left field wall bringing the Suns to within 6-2.

Against Shuckers reliever Jaye Chapman the Suns generated the bases loaded with two outs in the top of the eighth. A pair of walks to Cox and Adams followed by a single off the bat of Viosergy Rosa set the table for Ryan Rieger’s (HR, 1) grand slam home run to tie the score at six apiece in Huntsville.

Biloxi wouldn’t trail for long after Tyrone Taylor drove in Michael Reed from second on a run scoring single to put the Shuckers up 7-6 in the bottom of the eighth frame.

Suns starter Chipper Smith worked four innings surrendering six earned runs on 10 hits while walking one and striking out four. Craig Stem saw action out of the Suns bullpen tossing a scoreless fifth inning.

The Suns will head back home to start a five-game series against the Mississippi Braves Thursday night with a first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. ET from Bragan Field. The Suns will send out right-hander Kendry Flores (2-3, 2.06 ERA) while the Braves have yet to announce their starter.

Enjoy Buds for a Buck and 2-for-1 cocktails at the hottest spot in Jacksonville during the summer. Presented by Budweiser, Jameson, Jagermeister, Malibu Rum, Jim Beam, Buzz Magazine, Maverick’s, X102.9. All college students get $5 admission by showing their student ID at the Suns Box Office. Also anybody wearing college colors gets $5 admission!

Suns fans can also listen to Thursday’s game on the Suns Baseball Network, 100.3 FM or 600 AM “The Answer” or through http://www.jaxsuns.com, MiLB.com, or the TuneIn radio app, coverage will start with the Memorial Hospital Suns Pregame Show beginning at 6:50 p.m. ET

The 2015 season of Suns baseball is presented by EverBank, the official banking partner of the Jacksonville Suns. Sponsorships, group outings, and season/individual game tickets are currently available by calling the Suns front office at (904) 358-2846.

Here are highlights from tonight’s contest:

Suns and Shuckers Await Series Finale

Justin Bohn 5-17

By: Kyle Crooks / Jacksonville Suns

The Jacksonville Suns (15-23) will look to bounce back after being swept in a doubleheader last night by the Biloxi Shuckers (23-16). First pitch for the series finale is slated for 7:40 p.m. ET at Joe Davis Stadium.

After losing a pair of contest to the Shuckers last night the Suns are now 2-7 against the top team in the South Division standings.

In game one, Jacob Barnes (W, 1-4) earned the victory in his start for the Shuckers working five scoreless innings allowing three hits while walking a solo batter and striking out two. Suns starter Trevor Williams (L, 0-6) took the loss tossing five frames surrendering four earned runs on seven hits while walking two and striking out a pair of batters.

The scoring would begin in the bottom of the fourth after Nick Ramirez (HR, 7) blasted his seventh long ball of the year to leap Biloxi out to a 1-0 lead. The fifth frame saw three-straight RBI doubles off the bat of Orlando Arcia, Ramirez, and Michael Reed that pushed Biloxi’s scoreboard advantage to 4-0.

In game two, Hiram Burgos (W, 1-0) earned his first double-A victory of 2015, tossing 5 and 1/3 innings allowing one earned run on four hits while walking four and striking out six. Suns starter Matt Tomshaw (L,0-4) in a spot start lasted four innings allowing one run (earned) on four hits while not walking a batter and striking out one.

The scoring would begin in the bottom of the fourth when Parker Berberet belted a two-out RBI double to leap the Shuckers out to a 1-0 advantage.Flashing ahead in the fifth Biloxi would plate four runner courtesy of a Michael Reed RBI single, Brandon Masias two-run double, and Kyle Wren’s run scoring single set the Suns deficit at 5-0. Viosergy Rosa would get the Suns on the board after his RBI double made the score 5-1 in the top of the sixth.

Tonight’s pitching matchup will feature left-hander Chipper Smith on the mound for the Suns to be opposed by Shuckers lefty Hobbs Johnson. Smith enters tonight’s start 2-1 with a 3.69 ERA after picking up his first loss of the season to Pensacola on 5/14. The Cumberland University product manufactured six innings allowing three earned runs on seven hits while walking one and striking out two. The former 38th round draft pick of the Marlins in 2012, has lasted at least five innings in all of his starts except for one against Chattanooga on 5/3 (4.1 IP).

Johnson takes the ball for the Shuckers manning a 2-1 mark attached alongside a 2.56 ERA. The southpaw took the loss in his last start against Jackson on 5/14 pitching 5 and 1/3 frames allowing two earned runs on seven hits while walking two and striking out five in a 91-pitch performance. The native of North Carolina tallied a winning decision in a start against Jacksonville on April 23rd, in which he worked five scoreless innings relinquishing only one hit while walking a pair of batters and striking out what still is a season-high of six men. Johnson collected honors last season as an Organization All-Star within the Brewers’ minor league system after posting 12 wins, and a sub three ERA, as a member of advanced-A Brevard County.

Fans can listen to the game live on the Suns Baseball Network, with Roger Hoover providing play by play. Roger Hoover and Kyle Crooks will host the Memorial Hospital Suns Pre-Game Show beginning at 7:25 p.m. ET on the Suns Baseball Network.

The 2015 season of Suns baseball is presented by EverBank, the official banking partner of the Jacksonville Suns. Sponsorships, group outings, and season/individual game tickets are currently available by calling the Suns front office at (904) 358-2846.

Listen Live to Shuckers and Suns: Live- May 19, 2015:

You can also keep up with all the game action on the Suns Baseball Network and by following the Suns on Twitter and liking us on Facebook.

Matchup: Jacksonville Suns (15-23) @ Biloxi Shuckers (23-16)

Starters:  JAX: LHP Chipper Smith (2-1, 3.69 ERA) vs. BLX: LHP Hobbs Johnson (2-1, 2.56)

Who’s Hot: Carlos Lopez had his 13-game hitting streak snapped last night after finishing hitless in a pinch-hit appearance in game two, but is still 13-for-34 (.382) in his last 10. Sharif Othman has had multiple strong showings in his last five going 5-for-8 (.625). Ryan Rieger is still posting an average over .300 over his last 10 contests going 7-for-23 with two RBI and a run scored. 

Suns Spots: Here’s a note from the official Jacksonville Suns game notes:

-Starter Kendry Flores is first in batting average against (.170), second in WHIP (0.82), second in fewest baserunners allowed per nine innings (7.83), and controls the eighth-best ERA (2.06) in the Southern League. Starter Jake Esch controls the league’s 10th best ERA (2.55). Closer Sean Donatello sits first in saves (10) in the S.L. As a team Jacksonville has worked to only the league’s 8th best batting average (.238) and sit middle of the pack with the 6th best ERA (3.83).

Suns Swept in Twinbill

By: Kyle Crooks / Jacksonville Suns

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The Jacksonville Suns (15-23) dropped both games of the doubleheader to the Biloxi Shuckers (23-16) 4-0 and 5-1 Monday night from Joe Davis Stadium.

In game one, Jacob Barnes (W, 1-4) earned the victory in his start for the Shuckers working five scoreless innings allowing three hits while walking a solo batter and striking out two. Suns starter Trevor Williams (L, 0-6) took the loss tossing five frames surrendering four earned runs on seven hits while walking two and striking out a pair of batters.

The scoring would begin in the bottom of the fourth after Nick Ramirez (HR, 7) blasted his seventh long ball of the year to leap Biloxi out to a 1-0 lead.

The fifth frame saw three-straight RBI doubles off the bat of Orlando Arcia, Ramirez, and Michael Reed that pushed Biloxi’s scoreboard advantage to 4-0.

In game two, Hiram Burgos (W, 1-0) earned his first double-A victory of 2015, tossing 5 and 1/3 innings allowing one earned run on four hits while walking four and striking out six. Suns starter Matt Tomshaw (L,0-4) in a spot start lasted four innings allowing one run (earned) on four hits while not walking a batter and striking out one.

The scoring would begin in the bottom of the fourth when Parker Berberet belted a two-out RBI double to leap the Shuckers out to a 1-0 advantage.

Flashing ahead in the fifth Biloxi would plate four runner courtesy of a Michael Reed RBI single, Brandon Masias two-run double, and Kyle Wren’s run scoring single set the Suns deficit at 5-0.

Viosergy Rosa would get the Suns on the board after his RBI double made the score 5-1 in the top of the sixth.

The Suns and Shuckers will square in the series finale Tuesday night with a first pitch set for 7:40 p.m. ET from Joe Davis Stadium. The Suns will send out left-hander Chipper Smith (2-1 3.69 ERA) while the Shuckers will throw lefty Hobbs Johnson (2-1, 2.56 ERA).

Suns fans can also listen to Tuesday’s game on the Suns Baseball Network, 102.3 FM “The Beach” or through http://www.jaxsuns.com, MiLB.com, or the TuneIn radio app, coverage will start with the Memorial Hospital Suns Pregame Show beginning at 7:25 p.m. ET

The 2015 season of Suns baseball is presented by EverBank, the official banking partner of the Jacksonville Suns. Sponsorships, group outings, and season/individual game tickets are currently available by calling the Suns front office at (904) 358-2846.

Here are highlights from tonight’s contest:

EyeonSL5-18

By Jason Patterson / Jacksonville Suns

First Glances…

→The South Division is suddenly tighter top to bottom than the North, due in large part to a solid week from the Blue Wahoos. All five teams are within six games of first. By the way, tickets went on sale this week to see the current division leaders (Biloxi Shuckers) in the franchise’s first ever home game next month.
→Birmingham’s Regions Field was listed as the third best venue in all of Minor League Baseball by Baseball America. It’s a good thing, since the Barons have enjoyed as many home dates as anyone else in the league so far (20-along with Montgomery, Mississippi and Jacksonville).
→Chattanooga’s power surge continues, the Lookouts 35 homers lead the league. The deep balls and an impressive 8-2 mark across the past ten games has kept the club out front in the North. The Lookouts are still the cream of the crop with a league best 23 wins and .622 winning percentage.
→A balanced attack is keeping the Smokies in the thick of the North race. Tennessee has the Southern League’s highest team batting average (.267) and lowest staff E.R.A. (3.11) entering play on Monday. If the Smokies had played even .500 ball on the road to this point (9-11 away from Kodak), they would be tied for the division lead.
→Conversely Mississippi is using small ball to challenge for the lead down South. The Braves are the only team still looking to reach double digits in homers on the season. With three straight wins, they are now just 1/2 game back of the Shuckers.


Southern League Spotlight…

This week’s spotlight rests on Mobile’s Zach Borenstein (D’Backs #26/-) and the second Southern League cycle of the young season.

Who would have dreamed that something which has only happened thirty-eight times in the long and storied history of Southern League Baseball would occur in back to back weeks?

Try telling Borenstein hitting for the cycle is a once in a lifetime event, this most recent feat accomplished by the BayBears outfielder stands as his second in just over a year. The twenty-five year old secured all four legs of the cycle in exactly the same order for the Double-A Arkansas Travelers on April 20, 2014.

This time around, Borenstein singled in the first and tripled to lead-off the third, ahead of his first homer of the season in the fourth frame. The Illinois native’s double to center in the eighth inning sealed the deal.

Mobile eventually lost Saturday’s game 10-9 to the same Birmingham Barons team which celebrated Tim Anderson’s (White Sox #2/#2) cycle just a week earlier.


Prospect Watch…

-Rankings listed use the format Baseball America/MLB.com-

Tennessee– Highly regarded catching prospect Kyle Schwarber (#4/#4) came within a triple of joining the Southern League cycle club in securing back to back three hit games this past week. Those were peak moments of an 8-for-15 stretch in which he homered three times and drove in six runs alongside seven scored. Schwarber’s offense has also been timely, delivering a go-ahead homer in a 9-4 win during the Montgomery series. Schwarber is tied for the league lead with 9 dingers (Adam Brett Walker-CHT) and his 1/12 HR’s/per AB ratio remains the best in the league.
Dominican product Frank Batista has posted a league best 1.28 E.R.A across 42 plus innings pitched, Batista remains unbeaten at 4-0 in seven starts for the Smokies.
The Cubs promoted Billy McKinney (#6/#8) from Advanced-A Myrtle Beach this past week, the outfielder shined with a pair of double in his Smokies debut.

Mississippi– Braves right-hander Andrew Robinson has been solid in relief, picking up two victories across the past ten games and striking out eight in seven innings pitched.
Tyrell Jenkins is the only SL pitcher with a pair of complete games on the year, the entire rest of the league has only doubled him with four. Jenkins sits 5th in innings pitched with 45.0, trailing Chattanooga’s Tyler Duffey by 7 2/3 innings. Check out what Duffey did with those seven innings below.
Outfielders K.D Kang and Mallex Smith (MLB #15) have led the charge offensively. Smith had eleven hits and was responsible for one of just two Braves homers across the past ten games. Kang went 6-for-12 with a pair driven in and three scored from May 13-15 igniting Mississippi’s modest streak.
Ten contests beyond his call up to Triple-A Gwinnett, Daniel Castro’s (#25/—) .389 batting average (35 for 90) continues to provide the benchmark for SL hitters.

Mobile– BayBears right-hander Aaron Blair (#3/#3) struck nine batters across 7 2/3 innings of action Sunday against the high powered Birmingham offense. The D’Backs prospect remains at 2-2 on the year after receiving a no-decision in Mobile’s 4-3 walk-off win.

Chattanooga– Baseball’s #12 overall prospect (as rated by MLB.com) was selected as the Twins Minor League player of the week for the stellar eight game stretch he just completed. Miguel Sano (#2/#2) went 11 for 29 with 3 walks, 3 homers, 4 doubles, 8 runs driven in and 7 runs scored.
Travis Harrison (#30/#17) has truly emerged of late, finding space center stage amongst the crowded roster of talented prospects in Chattanooga. Harrison has driven in nine runs during the Lookouts past ten games and now leads the SL in doubles, with 14.
Pitching prospect Tyler Duffey (#16/#19) twirled seven strong innings while allowing just a single run and striking out twelve Biscuits with nothing to show for it on Sunday. The Lookouts gave up a run in the 9th to lose the game 2-1. Duffey’s 12 K’s pushed him one ahead of teammate Jose Berrios (#3/#4) for the league lead with 54 total punch outs. Berrios kept his talent on display this past week as well, with the league’s first complete game shutout of ’15 in a 3-0 win over the Barons.

Jackson– Mariners right-hander Trey Cochran-Gill (#20/#20) made two appearances this past week, securing wins in both. The twenty-two year old provided four innings of scoreless ball which included three K’s against Biloxi and Tennessee.
Jabari Blash has 10 RBI in as many games, posting a .444 average since May 8th. The Generals haven’t had a day off since the 5th (and will not until the 31st), just fine with their right-fielder, who went 4-for-5 and drove in seven in a single contest last Tuesday night.

Pensacola– Reds top prospect Robert Stephenson (#1/#1) picked up his first win of the season this past week after dropping his initial four decisions. Stephenson worked five innings without allowing an earned run in Jacksonville on Wednesday.

Biloxi– With seven players locked up in second position with four wins, Brewers right-hander Tyler Wagner (#9/#11) stands alone at the top with five. Wagner became the first pitcher to reach five W’s last Tuesday night in Jackson. Wagner is 5-0 with a 1.91 E.R.A. and 34 K’s in 47 innings of work.
Wagner’s teammate Jorge Lopez (#15/#12) also grabbed headlines with six straight punch outs on Friday night. He ended up just two shy of the SL record eight in a row. Lopez has struck out eight batters in each of his past two starts.

MontgomeryBoog Powell (MLB #16) logged a 3-for-4 performance in the mid-week against Tennessee, scoring twice in the contest. These numbers were just a part of the center fielder’s 7 for 17 stretch across the past five games.
Blake Snell’s (#9/#10) scoreless innings streak continued to grow thanks to Montgomery’s 14-0 shutout of Tennessee on Tuesday. Snell was responsible for seven of the scoreless frames, pushing his total to 40 entering this week’s action. He is expected to be on the mound today in Chattanooga for the Biscuits.
Daniel Robertson’s (MLB #2) next RBI will be number thirty on the season. The Rays prospect has driven ten runs home during the Biscuits past ten contests, propelling him to the SL lead in that category with 29 total.


Picture Perfect…

-Weekly honors handed down by the league office each Monday at Noon-
▪ Player of the Week: Jabari Blash (Mariners), OF, Jackson
▪ Pitcher of the Week: Jose Berrios (Twins #3/#4), RHP, Chattanooga


Series To Focus On…

Mississippi Braves @ Pensacola Blue Wahoos
Monday May 18 – Wednesday May 20 —  Braves lead series 2-0

Three games remain to settle this series with major implications on the South Division’s suddenly tightened race.

Mississippi has won a pair of one run games to get the series underway, including an extra inning contest on Sunday.

Both teams entered the final three games of the series with 7-3 marks across their past ten games. The Braves could potentially snag the division lead for the first time this season with an effective wrap to the five-game set.


A Look At The Standings…

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