By: Kyle Crooks / Jacksonville Suns
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Suns (9-9) defeated the Birmingham Barons (8-10) after plating the go-ahead run in the eighth to win by a 6-5 score and win the series Tuesday night from Bragan Field.
Hear from Suns Manager David Berg Postgame:
Suns reliever Craig Stem (W, 1-0) earned the victory in 1 and 2/3 innings of work allowing no runs on two hits including the game-tying two-run triple to Marcus Lemon, in which the runs were charged to starter Chipper Smith. Barons reliever Kyle Hansen (L, 0-1) took the loss after manufacturing three innings surrendering the go-ahead run in the eighth while not walking a batter and striking out three.
The scoring began in the bottom of the first for the Suns after a pair of walks to start the inning, would soon be followed by Matt Juengel’s RBI fielder’s choice, then by Ryan Rieger’s two-run double, leaping Jacksonville to a 3-0 scoreboard advantage.
Moving to the second Birmingham crept closer with a solo run driven in courtesy of a Danny Hayes RBI double to get his team on the board now trailing 3-1.
In the third frame Jacob May provided a lead off double to set the table for Tim Anderson, who promptly laced a run-scoring single to set the score at 3-2 through three frames.
Birmingham tacked on another run in the fourth after Christian Marrero (HR, 2) blasted his second home run of the year on the first pitch he saw to tie the score at three apiece.
The Suns quickly regained the lead in the last of the fourth courtesy of Austin Nola’s sac fly that sent home Carlos Lopez from third. The Suns now lead 4-3 through four innings.
The fifth saw Juengel (HR, 4) blast his fourth home run with two outs to double up Jacksonville’s lead to 5-3.
The Suns two-run lead would only last until the sixth. Marcus Lemon’s two-run triple, brought home both Jeremy Farrell and Joey DiMichele who each reached after a pair of two-out singles. The game was now knotted at five.
Jacksonville maneuvered back on top when David Adams lined a go-ahead RBI single off of Barons reliever Kyle Hansen that plated Juengel to finish the scoring at 6-5.
Suns starter Chipper Smith lasted 6 and 2/3 innings allowing five runs (all earned) on six hits while walking a batter and striking out five in his no decision.
The Suns and Barons will square off in the series finale Wednesday afternoon from Bragan Field with a first pitch set for 1:05 p.m. ET. The Suns will send out right-hander Kendry Flores (1-2, 4.11 ERA) while the Barons will give the ball to righty Tyler Danish (2-0, 5.40 ERA).
Tomorrow the series will conclude with a Businessperson Special and Baseball in the SUNShine! Get a Homeplate Box seat, Large Hot Dog and Large Beverage of Choice for just $15.50, sponsored by 1010XL!
Suns fans can also listen to Wednesday’s game on the Suns Baseball Network, 1600 AM/102.3 FM “The Beach” or through http://www.jaxsuns.com, MiLB.com, or the TuneIn radio app, with the Memorial Hospital Suns Pregame Show beginning at 12:50 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: