RHP Bryan Evans is set to take the hill for the Suns in tonight’s contest (Roger C. Hoover).
By Andrew Green / Jacksonville Suns
With just two games left in the regular season, Jacksonville once again hopes to jump back into first place as they square off with the Mississippi Braves tonight at 7:05 p.m. at Bragan Field.
It’s Fan Appreciation Night at the ballpark, with thousands of dollars in prizes and two La-Z-Boy recliners will be given away during the game. In addition there will be a special Pre-Labor Day Fireworks show after the game brought to you by Southern Ford Dealers. All fans will also receive a team picture of the 2013 Suns Team Picture.
The Suns remain just a half game back of the Mobile BayBears despite Jacksonville’s win last night, due to Mobile’s comeback victory over the Pensacola Blue Wahoos. The Suns are also 1.5 games behind the Mississippi Braves in the overall standings, which could come into play should the BayBears win the second half.
Right-hander Bryan Evans (6-5, 3.68 ERA) is expected to get the nod for Jacksonville in the fourth game of the series this evening. The 26-year-old had a career night in his last start on August 26 at Montgomery after firing a nine-inning complete game shutout, holding the Biscuits to just two hits while fanning nine batters. In ten starts this season, Evans has posted a 4-5 record and 4.33 ERA (25 ER in 52.0 IP), compared to a 2-0 mark and 2.89 ERA (4 ER in 19.0 IP) in ten relief appearances.
Mississippi meanwhile, is scheduled to send right-hander Gus Schlosser (7-5, 2.44 ERA) to the mound tonight at Bragan Field. The 24-year-old earned the victory in his most recent outing on August 26 versus Huntsville after relinquishing a lone earned run on just three hits, striking out seven in seven innings of work. In his only start against Jacksonville this year, Schlosser did not factor in the decision despite allowing just two earned runs on six hits in six frames.
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 6:35 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.
Half Game Back With Two To Play: Despite the Suns’ victory over the Mississippi Braves last night, Jacksonville remains a half game behind the Mobile BayBears after Mobile’s come-from-behind victory over the Pensacola Blue Wahoos at Hank Aaron Stadium in Mobile. If the season were to end with the current standings, the Mississippi Braves would advance to the Southern League postseason as the Wild Card team, as league rules state that should a club win both halves, the team with the next best overall record would advance. Mobile won the first half of the South Division. The Braves lead the Suns by 1.5 games in the overall standings, meaning Jacksonville with wins tonight and tomorrow would be guaranteed a playoff berth regardless of Mobile’s final two games with Penscaola. Since 2005, when the Eastern and Western Divisions were realigned into North and South Divisions, the Wild Card has been used three times, including in both divisions in 2010. The Tennessee Smokies and Jacksonville Suns both won each half of their respective divisions that season, with the West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx and Mobile BayBears moving on to the postseason. The Smokies also reached the postseason with the Wild Card in 2007 when the Huntsville Stars won both halves of the North Division.
Mr. Clutch: C/INF Austin Barnes once again delivered a pair of two-out clutch hits for the Suns in last night’s contest, driving in both the tying and winning runs in Jacksonville’s 5-3 win. The California native owns a .625 average (5-8) in his at bats with the Suns this year when coming to the plate with runners in scoring position and two outs. In his 17 contests for Jacksonville this season, Barnes has accumulated a .352 average (19-54) with eight runs, two doubles, two triples, a homer, six RBI and ten walks. Barnes has also posted a .453 on-base percentage since joining the Suns on August 6 from High-A Jupiter. Barnes also started last night at second base for the second time this season after not making a start at that position since September 9, 2012 with Single-A Greensboro. The catcher/infield has also been solid at Bragan Field in his eight games at home, recording a .524 clip (11-21) with a homer and six RBI.
Closing Time: Suns closer Michael Brady notched his Southern League leading 23rd save of the year last night in his 25th opportunity. Brady on Friday was named to the Southern League Post-Season All-Star Team as the league’s best relief pitcher. In save situations this season, Brady has accumulated a 0.33 ERA, allowing a lone earned run in 27.0 innings of work in those 25 chances, in addition to recording a 0.78 WHIP. Opposing hitters have also managed just a .188 batting average (18-96) against the 26-year-old in those spots. Brady has also finished 44 games this season, which ranks first in the Southern League.
Evans Looking To Build Off Last Start: Tonight’s Suns starter Bryan Evans is coming off one of, if not the best, starts in his career after firing a nine-inning complete game shutout on August 26 at Montgomery. It was the first career nine-inning complete game, as well as shutout for the 26-year-old Evans in his professional career. That outing also marked the first time a Suns starter fired a nine-inning complete game shutout since former Suns RHP Elih Villanueva accomplished that feat on July 7, 2010 versus the Tennessee Smokies. It was also just the fifth time dating back through the 2005 season a Jacksonville hurler has accomplished that task, along with RHP T.J. Nall (7/4/06 at CAR), RHP Heath Totten (6/21/06 vs. MTG), and RHP Eric Hull (6/4/05 at CHA). Evans’ two hits yielded are tied for fewest among those outings with Nall’s two base knocks allowed in his start against the Mudcats.
Suns Spots: The Suns own a 51-14 record (.785) when scoring first this season, which ranks first in the Southern League…The club has also accumulated a 44-13 mark (.772) when scoring last, which is good for second in the circuit…Six of the eight games played between Jacksonville and Mississippi have been decided by two runs or less, including each of the three games in this series…The Suns own a 4-2 tally in those games…Jacksonville pitchers combined for a 2.89 ERA (80 ER in 249.0 IP) in 29 games in the month of August, which ranked second in the Southern League…Only Mobile’s 2.40 ERA (66 ER in 248.0 IP) this past month was better…INF Jaime Pedroza in his eight games against the Suns this year has posted a .409 average (9-22) with five runs, a homer and four RBI, while OF Jose Martinez his in his seven games versus Jacksonville owns .364 average (8-22) with four runs, a homer and an RBI.
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 Braves September 1, 2013
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