By: Kyle Crooks / Jacksonville Suns
The Jacksonville Suns (14-19) will square off in the series finale with the Pensacola Blue Wahoos (14-20) tonight from Bragan Field with a first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. ET.
In their three game losing stretch, the Suns have struggled with situational hitting going 3-for-27 (.111) while leaving a total of 25 men on base.
Jacksonville dropped game three of the five game set last night 5-2 in what clinched a series win for Pensacola.
Daniel Wright (W, 1-4) worked six frames surrendering two runs (one earned) while walking a pair of batters and fanning five. Suns starter Chipper Smith (L, 2-1) lasted six innings allowing three earned runs on seven hits while walking a batter and striking out two. Kyle McMyne (S, 1) nailed down his first save of the year for Pensacola after tossing two scoreless innings allowing one hit while striking out two.
The scoring would begin in the bottom of the first when David Adams lined a RBI single to center sending home Kenny Wilson who lead off the frame with a double. A throwing error by Wahoos shortstop Zach Vincej, after a Ryan Rieger groundball, brought in Zack Cox to double up the Suns lead to 2-0 through one inning. In the second frame Kyle Waldrop (HR, 5) blasted a solo home run, his second in as many days, to trim the Suns lead in half at 2-1. Flashing ahead to the fifth Pensacola tied the score after a Zach Vincey walk, followed by a Daniel Wright sacrifice bunt, that set the table for Beau Amaral’s run-scoring single tying the score at two. In the sixth Pensacola tacked on a solo run courtesy of Seth Mejias-Brean’s RBI single to take their first lead at 3-2 through six frames.
Onto the seventh and the Wahoos doubled up their advantage after Wright’s RBI base hit plated Vincey from second, to provide his squad with a 4-2 scoreboard advantage. Pensacola tacked on one more run with Suns reliever Craig Stem on the mound. An error by the Suns’ third-baseman Cox, on a groundball off the bat of Marquez Smith, scratched across a run creating a 5-2 deficit for Jacksonville through seven frames at Bragan Field. Lay Batista churned out a pair of scoreless innings while striking out one in relief for Jacksonville.
Tonight’s pitching matchup will feature right-hander Kendry Flores getting the ball for the Suns opposed by Wahoos lefty Wandy Peralta. Flores was elected as the Southern League ‘Pitcher of the Week’ on 5/11 due to a pair of stellar outings he produced against Chattanooga and Mobile. In those starts the native of the Dominican Republic, went 1-0 with a 0.64 ERA allowing one earned run on six hits while walking two and striking out 17 over 14 innings. Flores represents the lone Sun that has a place on the 40-man roster for the Miami Marlins. The 23-year old came into the Marlins organization via a trade that sent major-league veteran infielder Casey McGehee to the San Francisco Giants.
For Pensacola, Peralta sports a 2-3 mark attached with a 4.85 ERA, and in his last start the southpaw earned a victory on 5/9 against the Tennessee Smokies in which he manufactured a season-best seven innings surrendering one earned run on four hits while not walking a batter and striking out four. The lefty signed with the Cincinnati Reds organization as a non-drafted free agent on 8/17/09. This is his sixth year in the minors, and Peralta carries a 23-32 career record with a 4.07 ERA in 416 innings pitched.
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 6:50 p.m. ET on the Suns Baseball Network.
The homestand comes to a close on Friday and it’s Cancer Awareness Night, 90”s Night & Red Jersey Auction, Pink Suns Cap Giveaway, Scout Night & Friday Family Fireworks! Join the Suns in the fight against cancer on Cancer Awareness Night! All Ladies get a Pink Suns Cap, courtesy of the Cancer Specialists of North Florida, CBS 47 & 96.1 WEJZ! Plus it’s Nineties Night and you can see the Suns Players wearing Nineties Style Red Suns Jerseys that will be available for auction during the game to benefit the Patient Assistance Foundation! Plus stick around after the game for the best fireworks show in town, the NAPA Friday Family Fireworks, courtesy of your local NAPA AutoCare Center Dealers! Also it’s Scouts Night and all area scouts are invited to camp out after the game and enjoy a midnight movie on the Suns Videoboard!
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: Pensacola Blue Wahoos (14-20) @ Jacksonville Suns (14-19)
Starters: PEN: LHP Wandy Peralta (2-3, 4.85 ERA) vs. JAX: RHP Kendry Flores (2-3, 2.45 ERA).
Who’s Hot: Carlos Lopez extended his hit streak to nine games batting 13-for-38 (.342) at the plate during that stretch. Kenny Wilson has collected a hit in seven-straight contests while manufacturing 12 hits in 33 at-bats during that span which is good for a .364 average.
Suns Spots: Here’s a note from the official Jacksonville Suns game notes:
-Starter Kendry Flores is first in batting average against (.161), WHIP (0.79), and fewest baserunners allowed per nine innings (7.36) in the Southern League. Starter Austin Brice has the second-highest K/9 rate (10.59) in the ten-team league. Closer Sean Donatello sits first in saves (9) in the S.L while fellow reliever Lay Batista is first in batting average against for relievers (.091). Jacksonville overall rests in 4th place and 5.5 games back of the first place Biloxi Shuckers in the South Division. They contain the second-worst batting average in the league (.235) while possessing the fourth-lowest ERA (3.64). The Suns have hit a mini three-game slide while working to a 4-6 record over their last 10 contests.