By: Kyle Crooks / Jacksonville Suns
The Jacksonville Suns (28-36) will play their final series of the first half against the Chattanooga Lookouts (39-24) with a first pitch slated for 7:15 p.m. ET from AT&T Field.
Miami Marlins first baseman Michael Morse will start a rehab assignment tonight with the Jacksonville Suns. Morse entered the disabled list on 5/26 (retro to 5/24) with a sprained right finger. This will mark the Suns second rehab assignment of the year, and third high-profile Marlin to don a Suns uniform. Catcher Jeff Mathis played five games with Jacksonville while batting to a .294 clip producing a pair of runs batted in. Miami reliever Steve Cishek, while not on a rehab assignment, but rather to work on his mechanical issues, made five appearances while not allowing a run and nailing down a pair of saves over six innings of work before being recalled.
The Chattanooga Lookouts enter play 39-24 and four and a half games up on the Tennessee Smokies in the Southern League North Division. With a win, or a Smokies loss, Chattanooga can clinch the North Division title for the first half of the season. With the call up of top-prospect Byron Buxton to the parent club Minnesota Twins, Chattanooga still presents a stable of highly touted prospects. Adam Brett Walker II enters this series with the league’s best home run (17), RBI (54), and slugging percentage (.583), and extra base-hit (36) totals. Max Kepler holds onto the S.L’s fifth-best batting average at .318. Miguel Sano sits third in the S.L. in homers with 12. Highlighting the pitching staff is right-handed hurler Jose Berrios who has tallied the most wins (7) and strikeouts (83) while resting second in innings pitched having tossed 78 and two-thirds frames. The back end of their bullpen is headlined by Zach Jones, who has nailed down nine saves tying him for third in the ten-team league. The Lookouts boast seven all-star selections in Miguel Sano, Jose Berrios, Max Kepler (replacing Byron Buxton), Jorge Polanco, Adam Brett Walker, D.J. Baxendale, and Zach Jones.
Tonight’s pitching matchup will feature Jacksonville left-hander Matt Tomshaw to be opposed by Chattanooga lefty Brett Lee. Tomshaw enters this start 2-4 alongside a 2.78 ERA 16 appearances and five starts. The southpaw worked his way into the rotation after right-hander Kendry Flores was recalled to the Miami Marlins on 6/1. Since that point he has been impressive, making a pair of starts against Pensacola and Tennessee. His trip to the hill against the Wahoos on 6/6 saw the Jacksonville University product toss six no-hit scoreless innings while walking one and striking out two. Against Tennessee on 6/10, the 26-year old manufactured a season-high six and one-third frames while offering up two runs (one earned) on eight hits in a no decision. He’s a former 42nd round draft pick of the Minnesota Twins organization in the 2011 first-year player draft.
Lee takes the ball 0-1 attached with a 6.35 ERA in two starts. He’s lasted a combined 11 and one-third innings surrendering eight runs (all earned) on 11 hits in those starts. He’s a former 10th round draft pick of the Minnesota Twins organization in the 2011 first-year player draft. Prior to his call up, he made six starts with High-A Fort Myers and worked to a 1-3 mark and a 3.29 ERA.
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 (28-36) @ Chattanooga Lookouts (39-24)
Starters: CHA: LHP Brett Lee (0-1, 6.35 ERA) vs. JAX: LHP Matt Tomshaw (2-4, 2.78 ERA)
Who’s Hot: Carlos Lopez has hit safely in fourteen of his last sixteen games and during that stretch has manufactured a .322 average (19-for-59). Matt Juengel blasted his eleventh home run of the season in Saturday’s loss. The right-handed slugger is hitting .313 in his last 10 games with three home runs and eight RBI.
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 sixth in batting average (.317) and fifth in on-base percentage (.403). Matt Juengel is knotted in third for extra base hits (25), stands alone in fourth in home runs (11), and rests fifth in total bases (108). Viosergy Rosa sits tied for third in walks generated (36). Jake Esch is fifth in fewest baserunners/ 9IP (9.90) and WHIP (1.07) while controlling the tenth-best ERA (2.71).