By: Kyle Crooks / Jacksonville Suns
The Jacksonville Suns (11-15) snapped their five-game losing streak last night in a 2-1 win, and look to stay on the winning path against the Mobile BayBears (16-10) tonight with a 7:35 p.m. ET first pitch from Hank Aaron Stadium.
Last night’s victory for the Suns was only their second on this 10-game road trip. Jacksonville currently sits with a 3-9 record on the road.
Suns starter Jake Esch (W, 3-1) tossed a stellar seven scoreless frames allowing five hits while walking three batters and striking out a season-high eight batters. Gabriel Arias (L, 3-1) in his start for Mobile manufactured seven innings allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits while not walking a batter and striking out eight. Sean Donatello (S, 7) earned his Southern League leading seventh save of the year after working two innings in relief while allowing one run on two hits (one home run).
The scoring would begin in the top of the fourth after Austin Nola lifted a RBI sacrifice fly to right field, that brought home Zack Cox who lead off the frame with a double to give Jacksonville a 1-0 advantage. Moving to the sixth frame, Cox would touch home courtesy of a fielding error by BayBears third baseman Gerson Montilla, leaping Jacksonville to a 2-0 lead through six innings at Hank Aaron Stadium. In the ninth Gerson Montilla (HR, 3) ended any chance of a shutout after blasting a solo shot off of Suns closer Donatello trimming the Suns lead in half at 2-1.
Tonight’s pitching matchup will see Suns right-hander Trevor Williams on the mound to be opposed by Mobile righty Aaron Blair. Williams comes into tonight with a 0-3 record attached with a 4.44 ERA. In his last start he took the loss against Chattanooga on 5/2, lasting four innings allowing four earned runs on seven hits while walking four and striking out two. The number eight-ranked Marlins prospect according to Baseball America, has taken a losing decision in his last three trips to the mound.
Blair takes the ball for the BayBears with a 1-1 record alongside a 3.13 earned run mark. The righty earned a no decision in his last start against Biloxi after he manufactured seven scoreless frames relinquishing only a pair of hits while walking two and striking out six. Blair was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the first round (36th overall) of the 2013 first-year player draft out of Marshall University. The Nevada native was a 2014 Organization All-Star of the Diamondbacks a season ago, and came into this year as baseball’s number 40-ranked prospect on Baseball America’s list.
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 7:20 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.
Matchup: Jacksonville Suns (11-15) @ Mobile BayBears (16-10)
Starters: JAX: RHP Trevor Williams (0-3, 4.44 ERA) vs. MOB: RHP Aaron Blair (1-1, 3.13 ERA)
Who’s Hot: Zack Cox finished last night’s 2-1 win 3-for-4 at the plate, scoring both Jacksonville runs while ripping a pair of doubles, and now posseses a four-game htting streak. Cox over his last five games is 7-for-18 (.389) with a home run, three RBI, and six runs scored. Starter Jake Esch shutdown a tough BayBears lineup last night, hurling seven scoreless frames allowing five hits while walking three and striking out eight. The right-hander churned up innings, which was a welcome sight for Jacksonville, whose starting rotation dating back to the Chattanooga series had struggled to provide length.
Suns Spots: Here’s a note from the official Jacksonville Suns game notes:
-Starter Kendry Flores is first in batting average against (.146) and WHIP (0.75) while closer Sean Donatello sits first in saves (7) in the Southern League. Starter Jake Esch is now eighth in ERA (1.93), and Matt Juengel is currently tied for third in total at-bats (101), and knotted in third in total bases (47).