By: Kyle Crooks / Jacksonville Suns
The Jacksonville Suns (9-12, 38-52) will look to fight off a series loss tonight against the Mississippi Braves (12-9, 45-44) with a first pitch set for 7:00 p.m. ET from Trustmark Park.
With the loss on Friday night, the Suns have set themselves up for a possible 13th series loss overall, and the fourth series in which Jacksonville has come up on the losing end since the start of the second half.Mitch Lambson (W, 1-0) earned the victory in relief for the Braves after generating a scoreless and hitless eighth frame. Craig Stem (L, 1-3) (BS, 2) worked one inning and allowed two runs (both earned) on two hits while walking one and striking out two out of the bullpen for Jacksonville in his losing decision. Tyler Jones (S, 10) in relief for Mississippi picked up the save after tossing a scoreless ninth in which he allowed a pair of hits while not walking or striking out a batter.
In the bottom of the second Matt Kennelly began the frame with a double that was soon followed by a single off the bat of David Rohm to put runners on the corners with nobody out. Then it was Eric Garcia who bounced into a RBI fielder’s choice to score Kennelly, and make it 1-0 in favor of Mississippi. In the top of the third Jacksonville worked a pair of runners on after singles from Carlos Lopez and David Adams. Viosergy Rosa would tie the game at one after his run-scoring single brought home Lopez. Flashing to the top of the fourth, and Sharif Othman (HR, 3) would lace a solo home run over the right field wall to put Jacksonville up 2-1. With one out in the bottom of the eighth, Emerson Landoni lined a triple off of Suns bullpen arm Craig Stem to set up in scoring position. After a walk to K.D. Kang, a fielding error by Suns third baseman Matt Juengel brought home Landoni, and tied the game at two.Next batter Ruiz would then break the tie after grounding a RBI single into right to push the Braves ahead 3-2.
To the top of the ninth, and a pair of base hits by Juengel and Terrence Dayleg put runners on the corners with one out for the Suns against Braves closer Tyler Jones. Othman would then ground out into a game-ending double play en route to the 3-2 loss.
Tonight’s pitching matchup will feature Jacksonville left-hander Matt Tomshaw to be opposed by Mississippi righty Victor Mateo. Tomshaw enters tonight’s start 4-6 alongside a 3.89 ERA in 21 appearances and 10 starts with the Suns. His last start came on July 12th, and he would shoulder a losing decision in his roughest outing of the season. That day the southpaw relinquished eight runs (all earned) on 11 hits while walking one and striking out five in a 96-pitch performance. The 26-year old has made a pair of appearances against the Braves this year that were both in relief. The two trips out of the bullpen against Mississippi resulted in a total of three scoreless frames on 5/23 and 5/25. Tomshaw is a former 42nd round draft pick of the Minnesota Twins organization in the 2011 MLB First-Year Player Draft out of Jacksonville University, and was acquired by the Marlins courtesy of the Rule-5 draft in 2014.
Mateo takes the ball 5-5 controlling an ERA of 2.87 in 16 appearances and 15 starts with the Braves. His last start came on 7/12 against Chattanooga, in what was a no decision after five and a third innings pitched in which he relinquished four runs (all earned) on seven hits while walking four and striking out a solo batter. He was originally signed as a minor league free agent with the Tampa Bay Rays organization in 2006, before coming over to the Atlanta organization as a minor league free agent in 2014. A year ago the 25-year old was a Southern League Mid-Season All Star with the Montgomery Biscuits.
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: Jacksonville Suns (9-12, 38-52) @ Mississippi Braves (12-9, 45-44)
Starters: MIS: RHP Victor Mateo (5-5, 2.87 ERA) vs. JAX: LHP Matt Tomshaw (4-6, 3.89 ERA)
Who’s Hot: Carlos Lopez has hit safely in 34 of his last 42 games, and during the stretch he has manufactured a .340 average (55-for-162). David Adams has hit safely in 14 of his last 19 games, and during that span for Adams, he is hitting .345 (20-for-58). Sharif Othman controls a seven-game hit streak in which he is 8-for-26 (.308) at the plate. Viosergy Rosa broke out of a power struggle when blasting his third home run of the year Thursday night, in what was his first long ball since May 11th against Pensacola. He followed that up with a RBI single on Friday night.
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 (54), and total bases (145). Carlos Lopez has tallied 95 hits, which is good for third in the S.L. Viosergy Rosa sits third 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 (9.76). Kenny Wilson and Carlos Lopez are knotted in second in games played (86). Zack Cox controls the eighth-best batting average in the league (.303).