Suns hoping to stay hot at the plate in game six with Biscuits (Photo: Brian DeLettre)
By Jason Patterson / Jacksonville Suns
Tonight wraps the pivotal first half home stand which included eleven games in ten days at The Baseball Grounds. It has already become the most successful stretch of the season for Jacksonville. The Suns’ five consecutive wins over the Biscuits have placed the club right back in the thick of the South Division pennant race. The Suns (29-25) and Biscuits (26-28) meet for the final time at Bragan Field this season Friday night with a 7:05 p.m. ET first pitch.
After securing the assurance of victory in the extended six game series against visiting Montgomery, Jacksonville is now trying for a sixth straight win over the struggling Biscuits. A favorable result tonight would allow the Suns to complete a series sweep for the first time this season.
Jacksonville has already used this week’s series against the Tampa Bay Rays affiliate to climb above .500 and leap the visitors in the division standings. The Suns have also secured a third consecutive series win. The Biscuits are in the midst of a seven game slide, which now stands alone as the worst stretch in franchise history.
With just sixteen games remaining on the first half schedule, Jacksonville is now only three and a half games behind division leading Mobile. Montgomery has faded to six and a half games behind, in fourth place. The division race has really tightened this week thanks to a run of victories by the Suns and Braves. Mississippi is now within a game and a half of the BayBears.
The Suns and Biscuits have already faced off in a home and home this season. The Biscuits took three of five in Jacksonville between April 24 and 28. The teams split the four games played in Montgomery. Today’s twin-bill serves as a make-up of the 5th game which postponed by rain. Montgomery took the 2013 season series by a final count of nine games to six.
Dale Murphy headlines the ballpark promotions and activities on this Friday night. The former Braves star will be around all evening, meeting fans and signing autographs. The two-time National League Most Valuable Player’s appearance is presented by Florida Blue and 99.1 WQIK.
Friday night also marks Hurricane Preparedness Night, presented by Lowe’s and First Coast News. The evening will be filled with special activities and prize giveaways. One grand prize winner will receive a generator, courtesy of Lowe’s home improvement warehouse. Fans should also make plans to stick around after the game for NAPA AutoCare Center Dealers traditional “Friday Family Fireworks.”
Angel Sanchez (0-6, 5.66) will toe the rubber for Jacksonville. Sanchez continues the search for his first win of 2014 by going up against right-hander Mike Colla (1-6, 5.75). Colla will be tasked with trying to salvage the final game of the series for the visiting Biscuits.
Fans can listen to the game live on the Suns Baseball Network, with the “Voice of the Suns” Roger Hoover providing play by play. Hoover is now in his third season as Jacksonville’s Director of Broadcasting. He is assisted by Michael West and Jason Patterson. West and Patterson will host the Memorial Hospital Pre-game Show, beginning at 6:50 p.m. ET on the Suns Baseball Network.
Matchup: Montgomery (26-28, 4th SL South) @ Jacksonville (29-25, 3rd SL South)
Starters: MTG: RHP Michael Colla (1-6, 5.75) JAX: RHP Angel Sanchez (0-6, 5.66)
Series: Jacksonville leads 5-0.
Who’s Hot: Brady Shoemaker (drove in two of the four Suns runs on Thursday)
Sun Spots: Here are a few key pieces of information to consider heading into tonight’s game, direct from the official Jacksonville Suns game notes compiled by Michael West:
– Nick Wittgren celebrated his 23rd birthday in style on Thursday, picking up his eighth save of the year to preserve the Suns’ 5-4 win on Thursday.
– With Thursday’s 5-4 win, Jacksonville upped its record to a perfect 8-0 in one-run ballgames at home.
– The Suns improved to 5-0 at home when their starter works at least seven innings (7-1 altogether).
– Despite the Biscuits outhitting the Suns 7-6 in Thursday’s contest, the Suns won for just the eighth time in 30 games in which they are outhit by their opponent.
– The Suns are now 11-4 at home (23-11 on the year) when they score the first run of the ballgame.
Today’s broadcast will air on the Suns Baseball Network’s flagship station 94.1 Classic Rock WSOS-FM. It can also be found via the Jacksonville Suns mobile app. Click the link below to listen online.
Listen to Suns and Biscuits: Live – May 30, 2014
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.
The 2014 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.