By: Kyle Crooks / Jacksonville Suns
The Jacksonville Suns (10-19, 39-59) will face off in the series finale with the Birmingham Barons (20-8, 53-44) tonight from Bragan Field with a first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. ET.
With the Suns controlling a lead after six innings of play in Sunday’s 6-4 loss they now fall to 28-8 when leading after six frames of play, and 10-4 in the second half. Twice in this series a JAX bullpen arm has relinquished a late inning lead. First Juancito Martinez shouldered a blown save on Friday night, and Raudel Lazo took his second blown save of the year on Sunday. The ‘pen in the month of July has put together a 3-6 record, and has only nailed down four saves in eight chances. In 2015 when the Jacksonville bullpen has been given the lead, the club is 37-12.
Tonight’s pitching matchup will feature Jacksonville right-hander Austin Brice to be opposed by Birmingham righty Myles Jaye. Brice enters this start 3-6 alongside a 5.36 ERA in 18 starts with the Suns. The former ninth-round draft pick of the Suns in 2010 has earned a no decision in his last four trips to the hill. He has made one start against Birmingham this year and put together a put together a winning decision.
Jaye will take the ball at a 9-4 mark while sporting an ERA of 2.55 in 17 starts with the Barons. The 23-year old in his last start on 7/21 against Tennessee, shouldered a losing decision in four frames of work surrendering three runs (all earned) on six hits while walking one and striking out two. Jayes’ current ERA (2.55) is good for fifth in the Southern League while his wins total (9), matches the best mark set in the S.L. The native of Georgia has generated a career ERA of 4.10 in 555 and two-thirds innings since being drafted in 2010 by Toronto. He was acquired by White Sox organization courtesy of a trade that sent right-handed reliever Jason Frasor to the Blue Jays.
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 6:50 p.m. ET on the Suns Baseball Network.
Monday the homestand comes to a close with Belly Buster Monday & Clay County Night! Don’t miss the best deal in town with the Belly Buster where you get all you can eat hot dogs, burgers, popcorn, ice cream and soda from 6-8 plus a HomePlate Box Ticket for just $20! Also the Suns will be honoring all things Clay County with special ticket packages for the citizens and businesses of Clay County! Sponsored by AM600 WBOB.
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: Birmingham Barons (20-8, 53-44) @ Jacksonville Suns (10-19, 39-59)
Starters: BIR: RHP Myles Jaye (9-4, 2.55 ERA) vs. JAX: RHP Austin Brice (3-6, 5.36 ERA)
Who’s Hot: Carlos Lopez has hit safely in 38 of his last 49 games, and during the stretch he has manufactured a .309 average (59-for-191). Outfielder Eudy Pina now controls a five-game hitting streak, and picked up his first home run as a Sun in Sunday night’s loss. Sharif Othman has hit safely in 10 of his last 13 games, in which he is 12-for-46 (.261) at the plate. Shortstop J.T. Riddle is batting .385 in his last nine games while producing a hit in nine of his last ten games. Zack Cox generated a 4-for-4 night last Monday, and finished the Pensacola series 5-for-7 while currently hitting a blistering hot .462 in his last eight games. Matt Juengel has begun to heat up posting a .344 average in his last nine games accompanied with five 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. Matt Juengel rests second in home runs (15), third in RBI (56), and total bases (154). Carlos Lopez has tallied 99 hits, which is good for fourth, and he’s tied for fourth in games played (93). Viosergy Rosa sits fourth in walks generated (51). For relievers, Brian Ellington controls the second-best ratio of fewest baserunners/9IP (9.00), average against (.191), and K/9 ratio (9.45). Starter Austin Brice has the fourth-best K/9 ratio for starters (9.86). Zack Cox controls the fourth-best batting average in the league (.317) while resting fifth in on-base percentage (.396).