By: Kyle Crooks / Jacksonville Suns
The Jacksonville Suns (18-28) look to bounce back from an extra inning defeat tonight when they take on the Birmingham Barons (22-25) in game three of their series from Regions Field.
With last night’s 6-5 loss in 10 innings, Jacksonville is now 2-2 in extra inning contests this year while falling to 1-1 in road games lasting more than nine innings. After taking the first pair of games 3-2 on 4/16 against Montgomery in 10, and 4-2 on 5/8 against Mobile in a 14-inning marathon, the latter half hasn’t been as kind dropping a 8-7 ballgame in 10 frames against Mississippi on 5/21, and last night’s one run heartbreaker, have all help compile the Suns .500 mark in extra inning games.
Raul Fernandez (W, 3-4) earned the victory out of the Barons bullpen tossing a scoreless frame in the tenth. Sean Donatello (L, 0-3) (BS, 2) took the loss and his second blown save of the year, after surrendering the game tying RBI double to Marcus Lemon in the ninth, and the go-ahead RBI single to Hayes in the tenth.
In the top of the third Jacksonville worked the bases loaded. Kenny Wilson’s two out single and stolen base, was soon followed by walks in the frame to Danny Black and Austin Nola filled the bases full of Suns. Next batter, Viosergy Rosa, then cleared the bases with a three RBI double down the right field line gave the Suns a 3-0 lead. In the bottom of the third, a pair of singles by Joey DiMichele and Tim Anderson, set the table for a two-run double off the bat of Courtney Hawkins that trimmed the Suns lead to 3-2 through three innings of play. In the last of the fourth frame, Christian Marrero lead off with a double soon to be followed a Danny Hayes single that put runners on the corners with no one out. Jeremy Farrell then tied the score at three after ripping a RBI base knock to bring home Marrero. The fifth saw a pair of base knocks by Wilson and Rosa, accompanied with a walk to Danny Black, that loaded the bases for Matt Juengel’s RBI fielders choice groundball that broke the tie and gave Jacksonville a 4-3 lead.
Flashing to the seventh, and Rosa would arch a RBI sac fly with the bases loaded that brought home Wilson and doubled up the Suns advantage to 5-3. The eighth stanza saw the Barons work the runners on the corners against Suns reliever Craig Stem. Hayes then would creep his squad closer after his RBI single brought home Rob Brantly to make the tally 5-4.
In the bottom of the ninth with Suns closer Sean Donatello (BS, 2) blew the save opportunity after Marcus Lemon’s RBI double tied the score at five. To the bottom of the tenth and Marrero lead off with a triple to right field, that found its way past a diving Matt Juengel to put the winning run 90 feet away. Next batter, Hayes would then drive in Marrero to walk off the Barons in victory 6-5.
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 7:50 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 (18-28) @ Birmingham Barons (22-25)
Starters: JAX: RHP Austin Brice (1-4, 8.55 ERA) vs. BIR: RHP Tyler Barnette (2-2, 1.37 ERA)
Who’s Hot: Kenny Wilson went 3-for-5 last night marking his second game with three hits and his 10th multi-hit game overall. Viosergy Rosa tallied four RBI last night giving him 18 on the year which is good for second on the team. Danny Black continues to get on base since making his 2015 debut with JAX on Wednesday. In this series he is 3-for-6 (.500) with three RBI, and has collected at least one hit in both games he has played.
Suns Spots: Here’s a note from the official Jacksonville Suns game notes:
-Starter Kendry Flores is first in WHIP (0.85), first in batting average against (.172), first in fewest baserunners allowed per nine innings (7.94), and fourth in ERA (2.06) in the Southern League. Closer Sean Donatello is first in saves (12) in the S.L. Reliever Lay Batista has generated the league’s lowest average against holding opposing batters to a .103 average. Zack Cox rests fourth in on-base percentage (.409) and is knotted in ninth for batting average (.313).