By: Kyle Crooks / Jacksonville Suns
The Jacksonville Suns (19-28) can earn their fourth series victory of the year with a win tonight over the Birmingham Barons (22-26) and first pitch is slated for 7:30 p.m. ET from Regions Field.
Austin Brice (W, 2-4) tossed six innings in his start for Jacksonville surrendering two runs (both earned) on four hits (one home run) while not walking a batter and striking out six. Tony Bucciferro (L, 0-2) generated four frames in relief for Birmingham relinquishing three runs (all earned) on six hits while walking a solo batter in a losing decision. Matt Tomshaw (S, 2) hurled three scoreless innings while walking one and striking out a pair of batters for his second save of the year.
The scoring would begin in the top of the third, against Barons reliever Tony Bucciferro, after Zack Cox led off with a ground rule double to then be followed up by Danny Black’s single to put runners on the corners. Next batter Chadd Krist grounded into a double play that sent home Cox and gave Jacksonville a 1-0 lead. In the last of the third Marcus Lemon started things off with a single to then be moved over to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jacob May. Joey DiMichele would cash in with a runner in scoring position after lining a RBI single to right to tie the score at one.
In the bottom of the fourth Christian Marrero (HR, 4) blasted a solo shot to right off of Brice to put Birmingham up 2-1. Flashing ahead to the sixth, and Austin Nola would rip a game-tying RBI double that sent home Kenny Wilson, who started the frame with a base knock and moved to third courtesy of a stolen base followed by a Carlos Lopez groundout. Next batter, Viosergy Rosa, then scorched a run-scoring base knock to right that brought in Nola and leaped the Suns out to a 3-2 scoreboard advantage.
Tonight’s pitching matchup will feature Jacksonville right-hander Trevor Williams opposed by Birmingham righty Frankie Montas. Williams comes into this start 1-6 along with a 5.40 ERA. Williams earned his first career double-A victory on 5/24 against Mississippi, in which he tossed a stellar 6 and one-third scoreless innings allowing five hits while walking three and striking out three batters. The former second round draft pick of the Marlins in 2013 entered this season as the organizations eighth ranked prospect according to Baseball America. The Arizona State product does have one prior start against Birmingham on 4/27, in which he took the loss lasting six frames relinquishing three runs (all earned) on eight hits while walking a pair of batters and striking out three in a losing decision.
Montas enters his start 0-1 attached with a 3.60 earned-run mark. His last start came on 5/24 against Biloxi in which he would manufacture five frames surrendering three runs (two earned) on four hits in a no decision. Montas has collected no decisions in six of his seven trips to the mound, in this his second go-around with the Barons after make one start a year ago with the club. The White Sox acquired him in 2013 from the Red Sox in a three-team deal that most notably sent Jake Peavy to Boston.
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 7:15 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 (19-28) @ Birmingham Barons (22-26)
Starters: JAX: RHP Trevor Williams (1-6, 5.40 ERA) vs. BIR: RHP Frankie Montas (0-1, 3.60ERA)
Who’s Hot: Viosergy Rosa after a four RBI performance two nights ago, followed that up with a big RBI single in the top of the sixth that put the Suns up for good last night. Austin Nola ripped a run-scoring double in the win, and has posted a .333 average over his last five games accompanied with three RBI and six runs scored. Zack Cox is eighth in batting average in the S.L, thanks in part the .444 average he has put together over his last 10 contests.
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 tied for third in on-base percentage (.411) and eighth in batting average (.319).