By: Kyle Crooks / Jacksonville Suns
The Jacksonville Suns (8-10, 37-50) will begin a five-game set tonight against the Mississippi Braves (10-8, 43-43) from Trustmark Park with a first pitch set for 8:00 p.m. ET.
The Suns are coming off a series loss at the hands of the Mobile BayBears in which they dropped three out of the five contests. The five-game set would be highlighted by the two squads playing a four hour and 50 minute game on 7/11, that would see JAX win 4-3 in 14 innings. The Suns dropped the final two games of the series, and finished their 10-game homestand between Chattanooga and Mobile at a 5-5 mark.
The Mississippi Braves will enter tonight’s series opener 10-8 in the second half of the season and 43-43 overall. Currently the Braves are tied for second place in the Southern League South Division standings with the Mobile BayBears. The club is coming off a series victory against the Chattanooga Lookouts in which they took four out of the five games played. Offensively the Atlanta Braves double-A affiliate has put together the S.L.’s seventh-best batting average (.250), while the pitching staff has mustered up the league’s fourth-best ERA (3.59). The Suns and Braves squared off in a series at Bragan Field in late May, that saw Mississippi take three out of five.
Tonight’s pitching matchup will feature Jacksonville right-hander Trevor Williams against Mississippi righty Jorge Reyes. Williams takes the ball 5-7 alongside a 3.98 ERA in 17 appearances and 16 starts with the Suns. In his last start against Mobile on 7/9, Williams would manufacture a winning decision in six scoreless innings of work in which he allowed five hits while not allowing a walk and striking out three. The Marlins eighth-ranked prospect according to Baseball America has gotten off to a red hot start to July earning victories in both of his starts while not allowing a run. The 23-year old has made one start against Mississippi this year that came on 5/24, and that night, he would earn his first double-A victory in a scoreless five and a third innings pitched. The former second round draft pick of the Marlins in 2013 has worked to a career ERA of 3.33 while posting 13 wins and 16 losses in 54 starts.
Reyes will take the mound 6-4 attached with a 2.44 ERA in 19 appearances and 6 starts with the Braves. His last start came on 7/9 at Chattanooga, in which he would earn the victory in six innings allowing two runs (both earned) on five hits. The 27-year old has spent one game this year at the triple-A level with the Gwinnett Braves, and made one start in which he shouldered a losing decision in five frames relinquishing eight runs (all earned) on eight hits. Reyes is a former 17th round selection of the San Diego Padres in 2009 out of Oregon State, and was acquired by the Braves organization courtesy of a trade in 2014.
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 7:45 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: Mississippi Braves (10-8, 43-43) @ Jacksonville Suns (8-10, 37-50)
Starters: MIS: RHP Jorge Reyes (6-4, 2.44 ERA) vs. JAX: RHP Trevor Williams (5-7, 3.98 ERA)
Who’s Hot: Carlos Lopez has hit safely in 31 of his last 39 games, and during the stretch he has manufactured a .320 average (47-for-147). David Adams has hit safely in 13 of his last 17 games, and during that span for Adams, he is hitting .373 (19-for-51). Sharif Othman now controls a five-game hit streak in which he is 6-for-20 (.300) at the plate. Backup catcher Chadd Krist provided his second three RBI performance in Sunday’s loss. Zack Cox over his last 10 games has posted a .308 average.
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. Matt Juengel rests second in home runs (15), third in RBI (50), and total bases (134). Carlos Lopez has tallied 87 hits, which is good for fourth in the S.L. Viosergy Rosa sits second in walks generated (50). For relievers, Brian Ellington controls the second-best ratio of fewest baserunners/9IP (9.00), average against (.196), while controlling the third-best K/9 ratio (9.69). Starter Austin Brice has the third-best K/9 ratio for starters (9.78). Kenny Wilson and Carlos Lopez are knotted in third in games played (83). Zack Cox controls the eighth-best batting average in the league (.305).