By: Kyle Crooks / Jacksonville Suns
The Jacksonville Suns (22-31) look for their fourth straight win over the Montgomery Biscuits (24-29) tonight with a first pitch slated for 7:05 p.m. ET from Bragan Field.
With the 5-1 win last night the Suns earned their first series victory since early may when they took three of five from the Mobile BayBears in a series dating between May 5th and May 9th.
Trevor Williams (W, 2-6) manufactured his longest start of the year for the Suns lasting seven scoreless frames relinquishing seven hits while not walking a batter and striking out four in the win. Biscuits starter Blake Snell (L, 3-1) worked five innings surrendering four runs (all earned) on seven hits while walking four and striking out six in a losing decision.
The scoring would begin in the top of the third, after Kenny Wilson led off with a single, to then get knocked in by Carlos Lopez (HR, 1) who blasted his first double-A home run. With that hit, Lopez provided the first knock Biscuits’ starter Snell would offer up against a lefty in the Southern League, snapping a 0-for-38 stretch for left-handed batters against the Washington native. Suns now led 2-0 through three frames at Bragan Field. To start off the last of the fourth Matt Juengel (HR, 8) blasted his second home run in as many days over the left field wall to put Jacksonville up 3-0. Still in the fourth, and after a pair of walks to David Adams and Chadd Krist, Kenny Wilson would rip a RBI double that extended the Suns advantage to 4-0.
In the bottom of the seventh, against Biscuits reliever Colton Reavis, Jacksonville had runners on the corners for Juengel who grounded a run-scoring single into left to create a cushion of 5-0. To the eighth, with Suns reliever Frankie Reed on the mound, Montgomery got a pair of singles with Cameron Seitzer coming to the plate. Seitzer then arched a fly ball deep into left centerfield gap that was dropped by Juengel for an error, allowing a run to score and trim Jacksonville’s advantage to 5-1. Frankie Reed saw action in the eighth relinquishing a pair of hits and an unearned run in relief for Jacksonville. Sean Donatello worked a scoreless ninth in a non-save situation for the Suns out of the bullpen.
Tonight’s pitching matchup will feature Jacksonville left-hander Chipper Smith taking the ball to be opposed by Montgomery righty Ryne Stanek. Smith comes into tonight’s series finale 2-1 with a 4.56 ERA in 10 starts. His last trip to the hill came on 5/31 against Birmingham, in which he lasted five and one-third innings allowing four runs (three earned) on eight hits while walking two and striking out six. The former 38th round draft pick of the Marlins did make one start against Montgomery on 4/16, and would supply a scoreless outing in five and one-third frames allowing only a single hit while walking four men and fanning six. In his professional career the southpaw has made a pair of starts against the Biscuits, tossing a total of 10 and two-thirds stanzas while posting a 1-0 mark attached with a 1.76 ERA over two starts. The Cumberland University product made four starts in the month of May, and finished 0-1 while sporting a 5.74 earned run mark.
Stanek is making his second career double-A start for the Biscuits. The right-hander made his debut with Montgomery on 5/29 against Jackson, and worked six and two-thirds innings allowing three runs (all earned) on seven hits in a no decision. Prior to his call up, he spent time this season with the high-A Charlotte Stone Crabs. With Charlotte, Stanek made nine starts working to a 4-2 record attached with an ERA of 2.04 in 57 and two-thirds frames of work. He’s a former first round draft pick of the Tampa Bay Rays organization in 2013 out of Arkansas.
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 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: Montgomery Biscuits (24-29) @ Jacksonville Suns (22-31)
Starters: MTG: RHP Ryne Stanek (0-0, 4.05 ERA) vs. JAX: LHP Chipper Smith (2-1, 4.56 ERA)
Who’s Hot: Carlos Lopez picked up his first double-A home run last night, and has put together a five-game hit streak going 6-for-20 (.300) in that stretch. Matt Juengel has gone back-to-back days with a homer, which puts him in the team-lead for long balls (8) and RBI (27). Kenny Wilson has collected a hit in eight of his last nine games, and posted a .391 average over his last five. Zack Cox over his last 10 has manufactured a .400 average, which has helped catapult him to control the S.L.’s eighth best B.A. (.329).
Suns Spots: Here’s a note from the official Jacksonville Suns game notes:
-Closer Sean Donatello is first in saves (13) in the Southern League. Starter Jake Esch now controls the eighth-best ERA (2.65) in the S.L. Zack Cox rests eighth in batting average (.323) and fourth in on-base percentage (.411). Viosergy Rosa has generated 29 walks, which is good enough for fifth-best in the ten-team league.