Suns Win 11-Inning Thriller Against Pensacola, 5-4

Game Recap

by Matt Leland / Jacksonville Suns

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It took 11 innings for the Jacksonville Suns to beat the Pensacola Blue Wahoos in game two of a five-game series, walking off on Taylor Krick’s hit-by-pitch in the bases loaded to force in the winning run in a 5-4 victory.

Jacksonville put three runners on ahead of Krick in the 11th when right-hander Loek Van Mil’s two-strike offering came inside and hit Krick on the left hand, giving the Suns their second straight win over Pensacola in front of 1,781 fans at Bragan Field.

“It was a grind, we had the lead a couple of times,” Suns manager Andy Barkett said following the win. “It was a nice win. It wasn’t how we scripted it, but we’ll take it.”

The Suns handed starter Sam Dyson a 3-0 lead through three innings thanks in part to a two-run first against Blue Wahoos right-hander Tim Crabbe. Jacksonville plated its first run thanks to an error by first baseman Marquez Smith and pushed the lead to 2-0 on Mark Canha’s RBI single.

Danny Pertusati’s third inning sacrifice fly made it 3-0, but Pensacola would begin its rally in the next inning against Dyson. After a run in the fourth made it 3-1, the Blue Wahoos got even closer in the fifth on Yorman Rodriguez’s run-scoring double that cut Jacksonville’s lead to 3-2.

Dyson, who threw five innings with two earned runs allowed, left the game with a chance to win, but left-hander Edgar Olmos surrendered the lead in the seventh. Donald Lutz came to the plate with bases loaded and no one out and was promptly hit by a pitch to force in the tying run. Olmos was able to escape further damage with a strikeout and a double play ball, leaving the game tied at three.

Jake Marisnick put the Suns in front again in the eighth with a single to right that scored J.T. Realmuto. Ahead 4-3, Jacksonville turned to closer Michael Brady to finish off another victory, but Brady suffered a rare lapse and allowed the Blue Wahoos to tie the game 4-4 and send the contest to extra innings.

Grant Dayton (2-3) threw a scoreless tenth and 11th for the Suns, and Krick’s game-winning at-bat came moments later.

Danny Black, who scored the winning run, finished as one of the game’s offensive starts for Jacksonville, finishing his night 4-for-6 with a pair of runs scored. Krick also added three hits to go along with his hit-by-pitch.

“Today [Black] found holes and barreled balls,” Barkett said. “Hopefully that will help his confidence going forward.”

The Suns can win the series in another afternoon start on Monday in game three of the five-game set. The game will be a battle of left-handers, as the Suns send Adam Conley (7-2, 3.97) to the mound against Pensacola’s Ryan Dennick (3-9, 3.44). First pitch is scheduled for 12:05 p.m. ET.

Suns fans can listen to Monday’s game on the Suns Baseball Network, 94.1 WSOS-FM or through jaxsuns.com, MiLB.com or the Suns iPhone or Android app, beginning at 11:50 a.m. ET with Suns Sunday on the UF Health Suns Pre-Game Show.

Monday at Bragan Field is Camp Day #2, Senior Citizen’s Day and Baseball in the SUNShine with a special 12:05 Matinee. All area camps are invited to come out to Bragan Field for an afternoon of Baseball. It’s also Senior Citizens Day, and all Seniors 62+ get Half Priced Box Tickets.

Listen as the Suns face the Blue Wahoos in game two this afternoon

Game Preview

Suns starter Sam Dyson is expected to get the nod for Jacksonville Sunday afternoon.

By Andrew Green / Jacksonville Suns

Jacksonville takes on the Pensacola Blue Wahoos in the second tilt of their five-game set this afternoon at 3:05 p.m. at Bragan Field.

For the second straight evening, the Suns are on television in Jacksonville in high definition, with Jacksonville residents able to tune in to CW17 to watch the game. After the game, kids will be able to run the bases as part of VyStar Run The Bases.

The Suns topped the Blue Wahoos 3-2 last night thanks to INF Noah Perio’s solo homer in the seventh, which broke a 2-2 tie in the frame. Jacksonville is now three wins away from clinching the overall season series with Pensacola and the Golden Skillet.

Right-hander Sam Dyson (3-7, 2.67 ERA) is anticipated to toe the rubber for the Suns in this afternoon’s game. The 25-year-old suffered the defeat in his last outing on June 24 at Mobile after allowing nine runs, though only two of those were earned, on four hits in 3.1 innings pitched. In two starts versus Pensacola in 2013, Dyson owns a 1-0 record and 0.00 ERA (0 ER in 10.0 IP).

The Blue Wahoos are expected to oppose Dyson with a right-hander of their own in Tim Crabbe (3-6, 3.38 ERA). The Arizona native did not factor in the decision in his last start on June 25 versus Mississippi after relinquishing three runs, two of which were earned, on four hits in five frames. In three outings against the Suns this year, Crabbe has accumulated an 0-3 record and 5.06 ERA (9 ER in 16.0 IP).

Fans can listen to the game on the Suns Baseball Network, with the “Voice of the Suns” Roger Hoover entering his second season as Jacksonville’s Director of Broadcasting. Hoover is assisted by Matt Leland and Andrew Green. Leland and Green will host the UF Health Suns Sunday Pregame Show beginning at 2:35 p.m. ET on the Suns Baseball Network.

Below are more notes on today’s game, direct from the official Suns game notes compiled by Roger Hoover. The entire game notes for today’s contest can be viewed by clicking here.

Battle for the Golden Skillet Update: The Jacksonville Suns and Pensacola Blue Wahoos will resume their annual battle for the Golden Skillet tonight at Bragan Field at 3:05 p.m. Despite tying in two of the first three series, the Suns hold a 10-6 edge over the Blue Wahoos in the second year of the rivalry. The Suns will need to win three of the remaining nine games (four in Jacksonville, five in Pensacola) to claim the Golden Skillet for the second straight season. The Suns have recorded 41 extra-base hits in the 16 games against the Blue Wahoos, including a 14-2 advantage in the home run department. The Suns pitching staff is holding the Blue Wahoos to a .221 average and have fanned 110 batters. Following these four games in Jacksonville, the teams will wrap the series in Pensacola on starting Aug. 7. If the Suns win four of the five games starting tonight, the skillet will not travel and remain in Jacksonville for another season.

Suns on Television: The Jacksonville Suns will televise three of the next five games in this homestand against the Pensacola Blue Wahoos. Saturday and Sunday’s game along with Wednesday’s game can be seen in live high-definition with Suns Director of Broadcasting Roger Hoover teaming up with Suns President and Owner Peter Bragan, Jr. for the broadcasts on Jacksonville’s CW17.

Today’s broadcast will air on the Suns Baseball Network’s flagship station 94.1 Classic Rock WSOS-FM, plus the Suns’ mobile app. Click the link below to listen live online.

Listen live to the Suns and Blue Wahoos June 30, 2013

You can also follow along with the games by following the Suns Baseball Network on Twitter and liking us on Facebook.

Suns This Morning (6/30)

Suns This Morning

Suns infielder Noah Perio, seen with the Jupiter Hammerheads last season.

By Andrew Green / Jacksonville Suns

Suns second baseman Noah Perio blasted his first homer of the season in the seventh inning, while three Jacksonville relievers combined for four shutout frames to hold off the Pensacola Blue Wahoos and take the series opener 3-2 on Saturday night at Bragan Field.

Perio, who had not homered in a game since April 22, 2012, for High-A Jupiter, crushed an 0-1 pitch over the right field wall to give the Suns a lead they would not relinquish.

Jacksonville relievers Bryan Evans (2.0 IP, 1 H, 2 SO), Arquimedes Caminero (1.0 IP, 1 BB) and Michael Brady (1.0 IP, 1 SO) joined forces to combine for the last four innings. Evans earned his first victory of the year, while Caminero received his 12th hold and Brady notched his 12th save of 2013.

After Pensacola struck first with an RBI single from Yorman Rodriguez in the top of the third, Jacksonville answered back with two tallies of their own. C J.T. Realmuto evened the score at 1-1 with a sacrifice fly before 3B Zack Cox put the Suns ahead with his RBI single.

Rodriguez, however, would draw the contest even at 2-2 in the fifth with an RBI double. Two innings later, Perio would give the Suns their second and final lead of the night with his roundtripper.

Jacksonville was victorious despite collecting just three hits, with no Suns batter tallying a multi-hit effort. Rodriguez (2-4, 1 2B, 2 RBI), along with C Tucker Barnhart (2-3, 1 BB) each recorded a pair of hits for the Blue Wahoos.

With the Suns leading the series 1-0, the two teams face off again this afternoon, with first pitch set for 3:05 p.m. at the Baseball Grounds. Jacksonville is expected to give the nod to RHP Sam Dyson (3-7, 2.67 ERA), while Pensacola is anticipated to send RHP Tim Crabbe (3-6, 3.38 ERA) to the mound.

The Miami Marlins, the Suns’ parent club, evened their series at one game each with the San Diego Padres thanks to the Fish’s 7-1 victory last night at Marlins Park.

Right-handed starter Jacob Turner fired the first complete game of his career and of the season by a Marlins hurler, a lone earned run on seven hits, adding seven strikeouts in nine innings of work.

Former Suns outfielder Giancarlo Stanton homered for the eighth time this year, while former Suns Justin Ruggiano (2-4, 1 R) and Derek Dietrich (2-4, 1 R) each recorded multi-hit games.

The Marlins and Padres square off this afternoon at 1:10 p.m. in the third game of the five-game set, with RHP Nathan Eovaldi (1-0, 3.00 ERA) slated to toe the rubber for Miami. San Diego is scheduled to give the ball to RHP Andrew Cashner (5-3, 3.34 ERA).

Below is today’s Suns This Morning.

Florida Times-Union: “Unlikely Hero Noah Perio Hits Winning Homer For Suns
Pensacola News-Journal: “Perio’s HR Lifts Suns By Blue Wahoos
MiLB.com: “Lee Spins Seven Scoreless Innings
Miami Herald: “Henderson Alvarez On Way To Miami Marlins Rotation
Sun Sentinel: “Turner Tosses First Career Complete Game In Marlins Win
Palm Beach Post: “Turner Pitches Marlins Past Padres, 7-1
MLB.com: “Marlins’ Bats Connect Behind Turner’s Complete Game
Big League Stew: “Paper Airplane Interrupts Phillies Thrashing On Dodgers, Vin Scully Provides Play-by-Play
New York Times: “A New Home for Clemente: On a Pedestal in the Bronx
USA TODAY: “It’s Impossible To Pitch To Miguel Cabrera

Perio’s Homer Proves Huge in 3-2 Suns Win

Game Recap

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by Matt Leland / Jacksonville Suns

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Noah Perio’s solo home run in the bottom of the seventh inning proved to be the difference in a 3-2 Jacksonville Suns win over the Pensacola Blue Wahoos at Bragan Field in the opener of a five-game series.

With two out and the bases empty in the frame, Perio stepped to the plate against Blue Wahoos reliever Josh Ravin and launched his first home run of the season to the back of the right field bleachers to break a 2-2 tie. The Suns would not relinquish the 3-2 advantage, finishing the game off in front of 4,765 fans at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville.

“[Perio] got a fastball to hit and got the head out,” Suns manager Andy Barkett said following his team’s one-run triumph. “It was a big hit, probably one of the biggest hits he’s had since he got here.”

It was Pensacola that jumped out in front to begin the scoring in the top half of the third, taking a 1-0 lead against Suns starter Robert Morey on Yorman Rodriguez’s RBI single. But Jacksonville would respond immediately in the bottom half of the third.

Pensacola starter Chad Rogers uncharacteristically walked Morey to lead off the frame, and then proceeded to issue a free pass to Jake Marisnick, as well. Both runners advanced on Danny Black’s sacrifice bunt, and J.T. Realmuto drove Morey in with a sacrifice fly to tie the game 1-1.

The next batter was Zack Cox, who singled into left field to plate Marisnick and give Jacksonville its first lead of the contest. Cox’s hit was one of just three in the game for the Suns, and eight total between the two teams.

Pensacola re-established the tie on Rodriguez’s second RBI hit of the night, a two-out double against Morey in the fifth that knotted the game 2-2. Morey finished his night after five frames, allowing the two earned runs with three strikeouts and four walks.

“He made pitches, but scuffled a bit and had to throw a lot of pitches [to succeed],” Barkett said. “He grinded and he got through it.”

Bryan Evans (1-3) pitched two scoreless frames in relief and earned the win when Perio hit his solo shot in the bottom of the seventh. Arquimedes Caminero threw up a scoreless eighth and Michael Brady set the Blue Wahoos down in order in the ninth to earn his 12thsave in 13 chances.

The Suns can make it two wins in a row over Pensacola in game two of the five-game series on Sunday in a special afternoon start at Bragan Field. Right-hander Sam Dyson (3-7, 2.67) will make the start for Jacksonville, while the Blue Wahoos turn to right-hander Tim Crabbe (3-6, 3.38). First pitch is scheduled for 3:05 p.m. ET.

Suns fans can listen to Sunday’s game on the Suns Baseball Network, 94.1 WSOS-FM or through jaxsuns.com, MiLB.com or the Suns iPhone or Android app, beginning at 2:35 p.m. ET with Suns Sunday on the UF Health Suns Pre-Game Show. The game will also be televised on the CW 17 in Jacksonville, with the voice of the Suns Roger Hoover and team president Peter Bragan Jr. on the call.

Sunday afternoon at the ballpark is Fan Giveaway Night and Kids Run the Bases. All fans receive a free stick fan. Plus, fans should be sure to stick around after the game for Kids Run the Bases, presented by VyStar Credit Union & Sports Radio 930.

Listen as Suns open series with Blue Wahoos

Game Preview

RHP Robert Morey gets the nod tonight for the Suns. Photo Courtesy: Jay Metz / Jacksonville Suns

By Andrew Green / Jacksonville Suns

Just four wins away from clinching the Golden Skillet, the Suns begin their five-game set with the Pensacola Blue Wahoo tonight at Bragan Field.

The first 3,000 fans through the gates tonight will receive a Chipper Jones Bolles Jersey Bobblehead. The game will also be available locally on television in Jacksonville on CW17, while it’s a Steak Me Out To The Ball Game night, meaning for only $25.00 you get a tender eight ounce bacon-wrapped filet mignon, baked potato, salad and non-alcoholic beverage in the Sundowner Lounge, along with a General Admission ticket.

The Bloodmobile will also be out in front of the Baseball Grounds and the Suns encourage all fans to donate blood. The first 25 donors receive two tickets to the game, a hot dog and soda voucher, as well as a special Suns gift.

Entering tonight, Jacksonville owns a 9-6 advantage in the season series over the Blue Wahoos. The Suns are coming off a 3-2 series loss to the Mobile BayBears at Hank Aaron Stadium in Mobile, while Pensacola took three out of five games from the Mississippi Braves at Pensacola Bayfront Stadium.

The Suns are expected to send right-hander Robert Morey (3-4, 4.73 ERA) to the mound in tonight’s series opener. The 24-year-old earned the victory after firing the second nine-inning complete game of his career on June 22 versus Huntsville after allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits in his nine frames. In two starts against Pensacola this year, Morey owns a 1-0 record and 0.00 ERA (0 ER in 12.0 IP), adding nine strikeouts.

The Blue Wahoos are slated to oppose Morey by giving the nod to RHP Chad Rogers (3-2, 2.09 ERA). In his most recent outing on June 24 versus Mississippi, the right-hander did not factor in the decision after yielding an earned run on two hits, fanning six in four innings of work. Rogers has recorded a 1-0 mark and 1.02 ERA (2 ER in 17.2 IP) in his three outings versus the Suns in 2013.

Fans can listen to the game on the Suns Baseball Network, with the “Voice of the Suns” Roger Hoover entering his second season as Jacksonville’s Director of Broadcasting. Hoover is assisted by Matt Leland and Andrew Green. Leland and Green will host the UF Health Suns Pregame Show beginning at 6:50 p.m. ET on the Suns Baseball Network.

Below are more notes on tonight’s game, direct from the official Suns game notes compiled by Roger Hoover. The entire game notes for tonight’s contest can be viewed byclicking here.

Battle for the Golden Skillet Update: The Jacksonville Suns and Pensacola Blue Wahoos will resume their annual battle for the Golden Skillet tonight at Bragan Field at 7:05 p.m. Despite tying in two of the first three series, the Suns hold a 9-6 edge over the Blue Wahoos in the second year of the rivalry. The Suns will need to win four of the remaining 10 games (five in Jacksonville, five in Pensacola) to claim the Golden Skillet for the second straight season. The Suns have recorded 40 extra-base hits in the 15 games against the Blue Wahoos, including a 13-2 advantage in the home run department. The Suns pitching staff is holding the Blue Wahoos to a .224 average and have fanned 104 batters. Following these five games in Jacksonville, the teams will wrap the series in Pensacola on starting Aug. 7. If the Suns win four of the five games starting tonight, the skillet will not travel and remain in Jacksonville for another season.

Suns on Television: The Jacksonville Suns will televise three of the next five games in this homestand against the Pensacola Blue Wahoos. Saturday and Sunday’s game along with Wednesday’s game can be seen in live high-definition with Suns Director of Broadcasting Roger Hoover teaming up with Suns President and Owner Peter Bragan, Jr. for the broadcasts on Jacksonville’s CW17.

Tonight’s broadcast will air on the Suns Baseball Network’s flagship station 94.1 Classic Rock WSOS-FM, plus the Suns’ mobile app. Click the link below to listen live online.

Listen live to the Suns and Blue Wahoos June 29, 2013

You can also follow along with the games by following the Suns Baseball Network on Twitter and liking us on Facebook.

Suns This Morning (6/29)

Suns This Morning

Marlins right-handed starter Henderson Alvarez pitched 7.2 shutout frames in his rehab start for the Suns last night. Photo Courtesy: USA TODAY Sports

By Andrew Green / Jacksonville Suns

Jacksonville fell to the Mobile BayBears in quite the pitcher’s duel last night at Hank Aaron Stadium in Mobile, Alabama, with Mike Freeman delivering a walk-off RBI double to center in the bottom of the ninth to give the BayBears a 1-0 victory over the Suns.

Suns starter Henderson Alvarez and Mobile southpaw David Holmbreg nearly matched each other pitch-for-pitch in the series finale, though neither factored in the decision.

Alvarez (7.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 SO), who was pitching for the Suns on a Major League Rehab Assignment, yielded just two hits and no walks, striking out seven in his 7.2 shutout frames. At one point in the contest, the Venezuela native set down 15 consecutive hitters.

Holmberg (8.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 8 SO) was just as good, firing eight scoreless innings and allowing four hits and two walks, in addition to eight punchouts. Holmberg set down each of his final seven hitters faced, and also had a stretch of eight straight retired.

In the bottom of the ninth, BayBears SS Nick Ahmed drew a two-out walk to extend the inning and set the stage for Freeman, who doubled over the head of Suns CF Jake Marisnick and off the wall to bring home Ahmed and end the contest.

Freeman (2-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI) led the contest with two hits and was the only hitter to record a multi-hit game, though Suns 2B Chris Gutierrez (1-3, 1 BB) and C J.T. Realmuto (1-3, 1 3B, 1 BB) each reached base twice.

The win gave Mobile a 3-2 series victory over the Suns in the rubber match of the series.

Jacksonville now returns home to Bragan Field for a five-game series with the Pensacola Blue Wahoos, the Double-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds, to battle for the Golden Skillet. The Suns would clinch the season series and the Golden Skillet for the second straight year with four victories during this homestand.

First pitch of the series is set for 7:05 p.m. at the Baseball Grounds, with the Suns expected to send RHP Robert Morey (3-4, 4.73 ERA) to the mound, while RHP Chad Rogers (3-2, 2.09 ERA) is anticipated to get the nod for the Blue Wahoos.

The Suns’ parent club, the Miami Marlins, fell to the San Diego Padres 9-2 last night in their series opener at Marlins Park.

Padres starter Edinson Volquez (6.0 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 8 SO) held the Marlins bats to just two runs, while 2B Logan Forsythe (3-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB) and RF Will Venable (3-5, 1 R, 3 RBI) led the San Diego offense, each collecting three hits.

Former Suns infielder Derek Dietrich (2-4, 1 2B) was one of two Marlins to tally a multi-hit game in the contest, while 1B Logan Morrison drove home a run with an RBI triple in the defeat.

The two teams will face off again tonight in Miami, with the Marlins slated to turn to RHP Jacob Turner (1-0, 1.97 ERA), while the Padres will send out LHP Eric Stults (6-5, 3.20 ERA). First pitch is set for 7:10 p.m.

Below is today’s Suns This Morning.

Florida Times-Union: “BayBears Shut Out Suns
Al.com: “Mike Freeman Delivers A Walkoff Win For BayBears
MiLB.com: “Durable Holmberg Stymies Suns
Miami Herald: “Ricky Nolasco Ineffective As Padres Rout Marlins
Sun Sentinel: “Marlins Monitoring Market For Cuban Right-Hander Gonzalez
MLB.com: “Marlins Try To Keep Hot-Hitting Ruggiano Fresh
Big League Stew: “Position Players Casper Wells & Skip Schumaker Record Strikeouts In Relief Appearances
New York Times: “Zoilo Almonte Gains Attention For Hot Start And His First Name
ESPN Sweetspot: “Tigers’ Scherzer & Cabrera Target History

Breakdown of Henderson Alvarez’s second rehab start for the Suns

Marlins News

Marlins right-handed starter Henderson Alvarez. Photo Courtesy: Steve Mitchell / USA TODAY Sports

By Andrew Green / Jacksonville Suns

Miami Marlins right-hander Henderson Alvarez made his second rehab start with the Jacksonville Suns Friday night as part of his Major League Rehab Assignment with Jacksonville. The righty did not factor in the decision despite firing 7.2 shutout frames, yielding only two hits and no walks, while also striking out seven.

At one point during his outing, Alvarez retired 15 consecutive hitters, starting with two outs in the bottom of the first and lasting until two outs in the bottom of the sixth.

In total, the Venezuela native tossed 86 pitches, 59 of which were strikes and did not total more than 16 pitches in a single frame. In addition to his seven punchouts, Alvarez recorded 12 groundouts, two flyouts and one popout.

The right-hander is recovering from inflammation in his right shoulder and has made three starts as part of his rehab assignment between Jacksonville and High-A Jupiter. In his previous outing for the Suns on June 23 versus Huntsville, Alvarez earned the win after allowing just three hits while fanning six in 6.2 shutout frames.

First Inning: Four Batters, 16 Pitches, Ten Strikes, One Hit, One Strikeout, Two Groundouts

After beginning the contest with a strike on CF Ender Inciarte, the outfielder bounced out to second for the first out. SS Nick Ahmed then stood in and worked a full count, a rarity on the evening before being retired on a grounder to third. 2B Mike Freeman would extend the inning with a single to left before Alvarez would tally his first strikeout of the evening on 1B Nick Evans, beginning a stretch of 15 straight batters retired.

Second Inning: Three Batters, 13 Pitches, Ten Strikes, Two Strikeouts, One Groundout

Alvarez came back with a pair of punchouts in the second frame, including to the first batter of the inning 3B Ryan Court at a 1-2 pitch. Two offerings later, LF Dustin Martin was set down on a groundball to third, prior to Keon Broxton’s strikeout. Broxton battled by fouling off three pitches with two strikes, but was eventually called out on strikes to finish the frame.

Third Inning: Three Batters, Nine Pitches, Seven Strikes, One Strikeout, Two Groundouts

The righty would resort back to the groundout to start the third inning, inducing an 0-2 grounder to second by C Rossmel Perez. After striking out pitcher David Holmberg for the second out, CF Ender Inciarte was retired on the first pitch of the at bat, bringing a quick end to the third frame.

Fourth Inning: Three Batters, Seven Pitches, Six Strikes, One Strikeout, Two Groundouts

It would be an even swifter inning for the Venezuela native in the fourth, with Alvarez having to toss just seven pitches. SS Nick Ahmed grounded out to third on the first offering before 2B Nick Freeman went down on a bouncer to second two pitches later. 1B Nick Evans worked he count to 1-2 before he went down swinging for Alvarez’s fifth strikeout of his outing.

Fifth Inning: Three Batters, Six Pitches, Five Strikes, One Grounder, One Flyout, One Popout

The 23-year-old would have his most efficient inning in the bottom of the fifth, needing only six pitches to retire the side in order. 3B Ryan Court bounced out right back to the pitcher Alvarez for the first out, while LF Dustin Martin flew out to left on a 1-1 offering. Martin’s ball was the first to reach the outfield since Freeman’s single back in the opening frame. RF Keon Broxton would be set down to end the inning by popping out to Suns 3B Zack Cox, keeping the game at a scoreless draw.

Sixth Inning: Four Batters, 12 Pitches, Seven Strikes, One Hit, One Flyout, One Groundout

Alvarez’s hardest labor came in the sixth, when Mobile put together a two-out threat. C Rossmel Perez and P David Holmberg were each set down promptly, with Perez flying out to left and Holmberg grounding out to his counterpart Alvarez.

The threat would start however when CF Ender Inciarte reached base on an error and ultimately ended up at second. SS Nick Ahmed would then reach base on an infield single, with Inciarte attempting to score on the play, but he would be thrown out at the plate by Suns SS Danny Black to end the inning. It would be the only time the BayBears came close to scoring on Alvarez.

Seventh Inning: Three Batters, 15 Pitches, Nine Strikes, One Strikeout, Two Groundouts

The right-hander would return to his 1-2-3 ways in the bottom of the seventh, beginning the frame by getting 2B Mike Freeman out on a called strike three, his sixth punchout of the contest, followed by a couple of groundouts. 1B Nick Evans was set down on a bouncer to third, while 3B Ryan Court was retired on a grounder to second, finishing the frame.

Eighth Inning: Two Batters, Eight Pitches, Five Strikes, One Strikeout, One Groundout

After firing 78 pitches through his first seven innings, Alvarez returned to the hill for the bottom of the eighth and faced the first two batters before exiting. On the first pitch of the frame, LF Dustin Martin grounded out to second and then Alvarez finished his strong outing in style by getting RF Keon Broxton down on strikes swinging. Suns manager Andy Barkett then came out of the dugout and took the baseball from Alvarez to end his outing.

Combined with his outing tonight, Alvarez now owns a 2-0 record and 1.11 ERA (3 ER in 24.1 IP) in his four starts during his Major League Rehab Assignment, adding 15 strikeouts and walking just one between High-A Jupiter and Jacksonville.

Alvarez Dazzles in Rehab Start, But Suns Fall 1-0

Game Recap

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by Matt Leland / Jacksonville Suns

MOBILE, Ala. – Mike Freeman hit a two-out, walk off RBI double in the bottom of the 9thinning to hand the Jacksonville Suns (6-4, 40-37) a 1-0 loss at the hands of the Mobile BayBears at Hank Aaron Stadium.

Both Jacksonville and Mobile, bolstered by supreme pitching performances from Henderson Alvarez and David Holmberg, respectively, remained scoreless into the ninth. But Mobile mounted a two-out rally against Suns reliever Grant Dayton in the final frame, and Freeman’s game-winning hit gave the BayBears a series victory in the rubber match of the series.

The story of the night for the Suns, however, was Alvarez. The right-hander, making his second Major League rehab start for Jacksonville, was just as masterful as he had been in his first outing at Bragan Field. Alvarez tossed seven and two thirds scoreless frames and allowed no runs on just two hits, striking out seven.

Alvarez also exercised great control. He did not allow a walk and threw just 86 pitches over his seven and two thirds innings. Of the 86 offerings, 59 passed through the strike zone.

Unfortunately for Jacksonville, Holmberg was just as proficient on the mound for the victorious BayBears. The left-hander matched Alvarez pitch for pitch, throwing eight spotless innings with eight strikeouts and just two walks. Holmberg scattered four hits before giving way to reliever Jake Barrett (1-0).

With the left-hander Dayton in the game for the bottom of the ninth, the BayBears finally broke through. Dayton retired the first two hitters in the inning, but issued a crucial walk to Nich Ahmed. Freeman came up next and blasted a pitch over the head of center fielder Jake Marisnick, scoring Ahmed and dealing the Suns a tough loss to conclude the series.

The Suns did not have a player with a multi-hit game for the third consecutive contest.

Jacksonville now returns home for a five-game series and home stand against their division rivals, the Pensacola Blue Wahoos. The series will begin Saturday with right-hander Robert Morey on the mound for the Suns, seeking his fourth win of the season. Morey (3-4, 4.73) will face off against right-hander Chad Rogers (3-2, 2.09) in the opener, scheduled to start at 7:05 p.m. ET.

Suns fans can listen to Saturday’s game on the Suns Baseball Network, 94.1 WSOS-FM or through jaxsuns.com, MiLB.com or the Suns iPhone or Android app, beginning at 6:50 p.m. ET with the UF Health Suns Pre-Game Show. The game will also be televised on the CW 17 in Jacksonville, with the voice of the Suns Roger Hoover and team president Peter Bragan Jr. on the call.

Saturday, the home stand kicks off with Chipper Jones Bolles Bobblehead Giveaway, Blood Drive & Steak Me out to the Ballgame. Fans should be sure to arrive early, as the first 3,000 fans will get a bobblehead of hometown hero Chipper Jones in his Bolles Uniform courtesy of State Farm, CW17, 1010XL & 92.5 FM.

The Blood Alliance Bloodmobile will also be at Bragan Field and the Suns encourage all fans to donate blood. The first 25 donors receive two tickets to the game, a hot dog and soda voucher and a special Suns gift. Fans may also enjoy Steak Me Out to the Ballgame. Fans receive a tender 8 oz. bacon-wrapped filet mignon, baked potato, salad, non-alcoholic beverage and general admission to the game for only $25.

Listen as Suns battle BayBears in rubber match

Game Preview

Marlins starter Henderson Alvarez makes his second rehab start with the Suns tonight. Photo Courtesy: Steve Mitchell / USA TODAY Sports

By Andrew Green / Jacksonville Suns

The Suns and Mobile BayBears face off in a rubber match this evening to finish their series at Hank Aaron Stadium in Mobile, Alabama at 8:05 p.m. ET.

Mobile was victorious last night and in the series opener on Monday, while Jacksonville topped the BayBears on Tuesday and Wednesday evening.

Marlins right-handed starter Henderson Alvarez (1-0, 0.00 ERA) is expected to get the start for the Suns in the series finale this evening. Alvarez, who is recovering from inflammation in his right shoulder, earned the victory on June 23 versus Huntsville after yielding just three hits in 6.2 shutout frames, striking out six.

Mobile, meanwhile, is anticipated to send left-hander David Holmberg (4-4, 2.66 ERA) to the hill tonight. In his most recent outing on June 23 at Jackson, the southpaw suffered the loss after allowing five earned runs on six hits, adding six punchouts in five innings pitched.

Fans can listen to the game on the Suns Baseball Network, with the “Voice of the Suns” Roger Hoover entering his second season as Jacksonville’s Director of Broadcasting. Hoover is assisted by Matt Leland and Andrew Green. Leland and Green will host the UF Health Suns Pregame Show beginning at 7:50 p.m. ET on the Suns Baseball Network.

Below are more notes on tonight’s game, direct from the official Suns game notes compiled by Roger Hoover. The entire game notes for tonight’s contest can be viewed by clicking here.

Alvarez Makes Second Suns Rehab Start: Tonight Jacksonville sends Henderson Alvarez to the mound in his second rehab start with the Suns. Alvarez won in his first rehab start by pitching a scoreless six and two-third innings while walking no batters and striking out six. In addition, he hit a three-run homer and went 2-for-3 at the plate. In Spring Training he went 1-0 with a 3.55 ERA making four starts and pitching in 12 and two-thirds innings before he was placed on the disabled list just prior to Opening Day with right shoulder inflammation. This is his fourth overall rehab start.

First Place Suns: Jacksonville boasts the second half’s best record at 6-3, while leading the South Division standings by a game over the Mississippi Braves, Montgomery Biscuits, and Pensacola Blue Wahoos. Mobile enters tonight in last place, two games back of the Suns for first.

Tonight’s broadcast will air on the Suns Baseball Network’s flagship station 94.1 Classic Rock WSOS-FM, plus the Suns’ mobile app. Click the link below to listen live online.

Listen live to the Suns and BayBears June 28, 2013

You can also follow along with the games by following the Suns Baseball Network on Twitter and liking us on Facebook.

Aaron Dudley has career night after change in approach, walk-up song

Player Profiles
Suns catcher Aaron Dudley. Photo Courtesy: Brian DeLettre / Jacksonville Suns

Suns catcher Aaron Dudley. Photo Courtesy: Brian DeLettre / Jacksonville Suns

By Andrew Green / Jacksonville Suns

For many hitters, choosing the perfect walk-up song for them is a serious business. Much of it has to do with routine, helping that hitter focus on the coming at-bat. Some choose one that helps them relax, while others  actually just decide on one for no particular reason. Earlier this season, Suns catcher Aaron Dudley was inspired by a Major Leaguer’s song.

“People call me Matt Stairs on this team because he hits pinch-hit home runs and that’s what they want me to do,” he says. “I looked it up one trip and his walk out was Stone Cold Steve Austin’s from WWF.”

Dudley however, who watched the sport as a kid, looked up to another wrestler.

“My favorite wrestler was always Shawn Michaels and I always joked about [using his entrance music].”

Before starting at first base on June 22 versus Huntsville, the joke became reality. At times it had been a tough first half in 2013 for the backstop. A tough role in mostly being a pinch hitter, a tough constant back-and-forth between the Disabled List and active roster, and tough struggles at the plate.

After going 0-for-4 in his first three contests to start the second half, Dudley decided to make the change and go with Shawn Michaels’ entrance song (below).

“I finally said forget it, might as well just do it now,” Dudley recalls. “It kind of relaxed me, it’s fun.”

It didn’t take long for the fun to start for Dudley, in what turned out to be a career night.

On his first swing of the game with his new walk-up, Dudley crushed a 1-0 pitch over the right-field wall for his first home run of the season.

“I just saw a fastball and put a good swing on it, I was sitting fastball the whole time,” remembers Dudley. “At first I didn’t think it was going to go out because I kind of top-spun it but I guess it crept over the fence.”

The 25-year-old would then climb in for his second at bat of the evening in the third, this time with two runners on base. Once again, on Dudley’s first swing of the at-bat, he smacked a homer to right. Two swings, two home runs.

“I kind of made a little more of an adjustment and stayed inside the baseball,” he says. “He threw me the same exact pitch, left it over the plate, and just took a good swing on it.”

“I wasn’t trying to hit a home run or anything, I was just trying to hit the ball hard.”

It was his first multi-homer game of his professional career and first since his college days at the University of Toledo.

While the superstitious may point at the walk-up song change as a factor in Dudley’s big night, he attributes it to a reverse in approach that worked for him last year.

“I kind of went back to the way I’ve was loading and getting ready last year,” he says. “I just slowed everything down.”

Dudley looks to carry this approach on through the second half of the season, but he hasn’t forgotten about the defensive part of the game either.

“Obviously you can’t get enough defense, because defense wins ballgames,” he says, adding. “And just keeping it consistent with the approach that I have now.”

After Dudley’s career night last Saturday, it’s safe to say that approach will also include Shawn Michaels.