By: Kyle Crooks / Jacksonville
The Jacksonville Suns (10-20, 39-60) will begin a five-game series tonight with Marlins number 10 prospect Jarlin Garcia on the mound against the Mobile BayBears (18-11, 52-46) from Hank Aaron Stadium with a first pitch set for 8:05 p.m. ET.
The Suns are coming off their sixth series loss of the second half, and their 15th series loss of the season. JAX would drop four out of the five games played at Bragan Field, and the series would see the Suns drop an extra innings contest on Friday night, while splitting a doubleheader on Saturday, and coming up on the losing end on Sunday and Monday. The Suns bullpen would allow two leads to disappear in Friday and Sunday’s losses. JAX would keep the games close as Birmingham would earn a pair of wins in the series by a solo run, and a pair of victories by two runs. In the series Jacksonville’s pitching staff offered up grand slams to Birmingham’s Danny Hayes and Christian Marrero on Saturday and Monday respectively.
Mobile enters tonight’s series opener 18-11 in the second half, and 52-46 overall on the 2015 season. The club is currently sitting in first place in the Southern League South Division standings with a game and a half cushion over the second place Mississippi Braves. The BayBears currently control the fifth-best batting average in the Southern League (.255) and possess the league’s third best ERA (3.48). Zach Borenstein highlights the club’s lineup posting the S.L’s third-best on-base percentage (.409), fourth best batting mark (.320), and currently sits fifth in RBI (52). They are coming off a series victory over the Braves in which they took four out of the five games played from Trustmark Park in Pearl, Miss.
Tonight’s pitching matchup will feature Jacksonville left-hander Jarlin Garcia to be opposed by Mobile righty Braden Shipley. Garcia will make his first start with the Suns tonight after making 18 starts at the High-A level with the Jupiter Hammerheads, in which he worked to a 3-5 record and an ERA of 3.06 ERA. The southpaw is ranked as the Marlins 10th best prospect according to Baseball America, and was signed by the Marlins as an International Free Agent in 2010. The 22-year old was the lone Marlins representative at the Sirius/XM All-Star Futures game, and would take the loss surrendering three runs on three hits in an inning and two-thirds innings on the mound. In this his fifth season playing professionally, he has put together a .500 record of 21-21 alongside a 3.60 ERA in 84 games and 70 starts.
Shipley will take the ball for Mobile 7-8 while sporting a 4.06 earned run mark in 20 starts with Mobile. His last start came on 7/23 against Mississippi, in which he would earn a winning decision in six scoreless innings on the mound. The 23-year old is a former first-round draft pick of the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Nevada.
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 7:50 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 (10-20, 39-60) @ Mobile BayBears (18-12, 52-46)
Starters: MOB: RHP Braden Shipley (7-8, 4.06 ERA) vs. JAX: LHP Jarlin Garcia (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Who’s Hot: Carlos Lopez has hit safely in 38 of his last 50 games, and during the stretch he has manufactured a .303 average (59-for-195). Outfielder Eudy Pina has hit safely in five of his last six games, 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 .368 in his last nine games while producing a hit in 10 of his last 11 games. Zack Cox is currently hitting a blistering hot .458 in his last eight 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. 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 third in games played (94). 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 (9.80). Zack Cox controls the fifth-best batting average in the league (.317) while resting fifth in on-base percentage (.395).