By: Kyle Crooks / Jacksonville Suns
The Jacksonville Suns (25-32) look to pick up their fourth-straight win over their in-state rival Pensacola Blue Wahoos (22-34) tonight with a first pitch set for 7:35 p.m. ET from Pensacola Bayfront Stadium.
The Suns have already set their longest winning streak on the road of three games, and in this series they have posted their first two victories when trailing after six innings subsequent to erasing a pair of three-run deficits on Sunday and Monday.
Last night’s 6-4 win saw the Suns hit for the cycle as a team in a six-run rally in the seventh. During that frame Viosergy Rosa’s RBI double, a pair of home runs by David Adams and Carlos Lopez, a triple by Ryan Rieger, and a Chadd Krist RBI single all led to the offensive fireworks.
Frankie Reed (W, 1-0) worked an inning out of the bullpen for Jacksonville and allowed two runs (all earned) on one hit while walking two and not striking out a batter. Pensacola starter Tim Adleman (L, 2-6) took a losing decision in six and one-third frames of work relinquishing four runs (all earned) on five hits while walking two and striking out six. Juancito Martinez (S, 1) collected his first save in Jacksonville after hurling a scoreless ninth.
The scoring would begin in the bottom of the third when Jesse Winker (HR, 3) blasted a two-out solo home run over the left field wall that put the Wahoos in front 1-0. Flashing ahead to the last of the sixth, and Suns reliever Reed on the mound, he would give up a lead off walk to Kyle Waldrop that was subsequently followed by a Marquez Smith single. After Reed’s second walk of the frame to Juan Perez, Zach Vincey reached on a RBI fielder’s choice groundball that brought in Waldrop and pushed Pensacola’s lead to 2-0. Next batter Cam Maron added to the scoreboard advantage with a RBI sacrifice fly that plated Smith and made the tally 3-0 through six frames of play.
Moving to the top of the seventh, and Viosergy Rosa would drive in Austin Nola with a RBI double, after Nola led off the inning with a walk to now make the Suns deficit 3-1. Next batter, David Adams (HR, 2), then blasted his second home run of the year to tie the score at three apiece. Ryan Rieger promptly followed that up with a triple that set him up 90-feet away from home for Chadd Krist’s RBI single, that broke the tie and gave the Suns a 4-3 edge. Jacksonville was not done in the frame, when Carlos Lopez (HR, 2) mashed his second career double-A home run off of Wahoos reliever Jacob Johnson, that supplied two-runs, and a Suns 6-3 cushion. In the bottom of the seventh frame, the Wahoos got the first two batters on base with a pair of singles off of Jacksonville bullpen arm Blake Logan. Logan would get Ray Chang to bounce a double play ball that brought in a run, and positioned the Suns with a 6-4 edge through seven innings at Pensacola Bayfront Stadium.
In his start for Jacksonville, Austin Brice lasted five innings allowing one run (earned) on four hits while walking three and striking out two. Blake Logan in relief for Jacksonville entered in the seventh and was tagged for one run (earned) on two hits. Steve Cishek in his third relief appearance with the Suns worked a scoreless eighth relinquishing one hit while not walking a batter and striking out one.With the win the Suns have now taken the first three games of this five-game set, and a series victory.
Tonight’s pitching matchup will feature Jacksonville right-hander Trevor Williams to be opposed by Pensacola righty Robert Stephenson. Williams enters this start 2-6 with a 4.53 ERA in 11 starts. The Arizona State product in his last start against Montgomery on 6/4, earned his second double-A victory in seven scoreless innings of work allowing seven hits while not walking a batter and striking out four. The native of California made one start against Pensacola this season on 5/13, in which he would shoulder a losing decision in four frames pitched surrendering five runs (all earned) on eight hits while walking one and striking out three. The former second round draft pick of the Marlins in 2013, was named by Baseball America as the Marlins eighth-best prospect according to Baseball America.
Stephenson takes the ball 3-4 attached alongside a 3.81 ERA in 10 starts. He earned his third winning decision of the year on 6/4 against Mobile, working a season-high eight frames in scoreless one-hit fashion while walking one and striking out seven. Over his last three starts, the right-hander has posted 28 strikeouts opposed to seven walks. On 5/13, at Bragan Field, Stephenson manufactured five innings offering up one unearned run on two hits while walking four and striking out four in his first winning effort of 2015. The native of California is a former first round pick in 2011 of the Reds organization.
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 (25-32) @ Pensacola Blue Wahoos (22-34)
Starters: PEN: RHP Robert Stephenson (3-4, 3.81 ERA) vs. JAX: RHP Trevor Williams (2-6 4.53 ERA)
Who’s Hot: Carlos Lopez has put together a nine-game hit streak after providing his second double-A home run in a pinch-hit appearance that helped manufacture a six-run rally last night. During this current hit streak Lopez has generated a .371 average (13-for-35). Viosergy Rosa after his RBI double on Monday night has tallied three RBI through three games played in this series. Zack Cox over his last 10 has manufactured a .357 average, which has helped him control a share of the S.L.’s fourth best B.A. (.325).
Suns Spots: Here’s a note from the official Jacksonville Suns game notes:
-Closer Sean Donatello is first in saves (14) in the Southern League. Zack Cox rests tied for fourth in batting average (.325) and fourth in on-base percentage (.410). Matt Juengel is knotted in fourth in home runs (9).