By: Kyle Crooks / Jacksonville Suns
The Jacksonville Suns (29-39) will look to end the first half of the season on a high note when they take on the Chattanooga Lookouts (42-25) this afternoon with a first pitch of 2:15 p.m. ET from AT&T Field.
Miami Marlins right-handed starter Jarred Cosart will take the ball this afternoon in his third rehab start after battling a case of vertigo that placed him on the disabled list.
Today will mark the 70th and final game of the first half of the season. The opening half of the season featured a 20-game home stand in April for Jacksonville, in which they finished 9-10 not including a cancelled/tied game on 4/13 vs. JXN. Last night marked the Suns ninth series loss of the first half, and the club overall has struggled away from Bragan Field, generating a 13-21 record opposed to their 16-18 mark at home.
Jake Reed (W, 3-2) generated a pair of scoreless innings while not allowing a hit or a walk and churning out three strikeouts out of the bullpen for Chattanooga. Blake Logan (L, 3-2) tossed a solo frame for the Suns in relief surrendering two runs (both earned) on two hits while not walking a batter and striking out two. Zach Jones (S, 10) hurled a scoreless ninth for the Lookouts for his 10th save of the year.
The scoring would begin in the top of the fourth when the Suns would get a leadoff double from Michael Morse, and a single from Matt Juengel to put runners on the corners with nobody out. Next batter Viosergy Rosa, then laced a two RBI double to bring in both runners and leap his squad in front 2-0. After a Zack Cox groundout placing Rosa at third, Terrence Dayleg would arch a RBI sacrifice fly to left to complete Jacksonville’s three run fourth. To the bottom of the fourth, and the Lookouts would get on the board courtesy of a RBI single by Mike Gonzales, that came subsequent to a walk to Max Kepler and a Travis Harrison double. With Chattanooga now trailing 3-1, and the bases full for Heiker Meneses, he would generate a RBI base knock to bring in another run and keep the bases full in a 3-2 ballgame.
Flashing ahead to the seventh, the Lookouts worked a pair of runners on against Suns reliever Blake Logan who would then be replaced by bullpen arm Juancito Martinez. Martinez would walk the first batter he saw to load the bases with nobody out. Next batter for the Lookouts, Harrison, would come through with a bases clearing three RBI double that made the tally 5-3 in Chattanooga’s favor. The bases loaded once again in the frame, Stuart Turner would bounce into a double play to bring in a solo run and complete the four-run rally in the seventh with Chattanooga now leading 6-3.In the top of the eighth frame Kenny Wilson worked a lead off walk against Lookouts reliever Nick Burdi to then steal second and move to third on a throwing error. Next man to the plate Carlos Lopez brought home Wilson with a RBI sac fly that trimmed the Suns deficit to 6-4. To bottom half of the eighth, and Goodrum provided a run scoring single to right field pushing Chattanooga’s edge to 7-4.
Today’’s pitching matchup will feature major league rehabbing right-hander Jarred Cosart taking the ball for Jacksonville to be opposed by Chattanooga righty D.J. Baxendale. Cosart worked in three starts with the Marlins before he was sent to the disabled list on 5/18 (retro to 5/14) due to a bought with vertigo. Cosart has made a pair of rehab appearances with the Triple-A New Orleans, in which he generated a pair of no decisions in two starts working to a ERA of 4.91 in 11 innings of work allowing six runs (all earned) on 16 hits while walking two and striking out seven. He was acquired in a trade with the Houston Astros along with OF Austin Wates and UTIL Enrique Hernandez in exchange for OF Jake Marisnick, INF Colin Moran, and RHP Francis Martes. With the Marlins before heading to the disabled list, the major leaguer generated a 1-3 record alongside a 4.08 ERA in seven starts and 39 and two-thirds innings pitched.
Getting the ball for Chattanooga will be D.J Baxendale who enters 3-1 alongside a 3.51 ERA in in 10 games and nine starts for the Lookouts. His last appearance came out of the bullpen for the Lookouts in which he would allow an earned run in two innings. He’s a former 10th round draft pick of the Minnesota Twins in the 2012 draft.
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 a special “Suns Sunday” edition of the Memorial Hospital Suns Pre-Game Show beginning at 1:45 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 (29-39) @ Chattanooga Lookouts (42-25)
Starters: CHA: RHP D.J. Baxendale (3-1, 3.51 ERA) vs. JAX: RHP Jarred Cosart (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Who’s Hot: Matt Juengel blasted his 13th home run of the season on Thursday night, and has homered twice in this series while collecting seven RBI. Juengel’s 13th home run already surpasses all individual home run totals from any member of the 2014 Suns roster. The right-handed slugger is hitting .303 in his last 10 games with four home runs and 12 RBI. Carlos Lopez has hit safely in 18 of his last 20 games, and during that stretch he has manufactured a .361 average (26-for-72). Backup catcher Chadd Krist has matched his longest hitting streak of three games while hitting .333 in his last five games.
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 seventh in batting average (.309). Matt Juengel sits knotted in second for home runs (13), third in total bases (118) while he’s fourth in RBI (42), extra base hits (27), and slugging percentage (.520). Viosergy Rosa sits tied for fourth in walks generated (37). Austin Nola is tied for second in games played (66). For relievers, Brian Ellington controls the third-best ratio (9.87) of fewest baserunners/9IP and the fourth-best average against (.210).