By: Kyle Crooks / Jacksonville Suns
The Jacksonville Suns (13-23, 42-63) will look for back-to-back victories against the Pensacola Blue Wahoos (20-16, 45-59) tonight at Bragan Field with first pitch slated for 7:05 p.m. ET.
The Suns last night continued their success in series openers now improving to 15-8 on the year and 6-3 in the second half. Jacksonville had a streak dating back to June in which they had won eight straight series openers before dropping their last two against Birmingham and Mobile.
The season series between the Suns and Wahoos currently has Pensacola ahead of the Suns having won nine of the sixteen meetings between the two. In order for JAX to stave off a potential season series loss, the Suns would need to win this five-game set by taking at least four games. Jacksonville has won every season series since the inception of the Golden Skillet trophy in 2012.
Tonight’s pitching matchup will feature Jacksonville right-hander Ivan Pineyro to be opposed by Pensacola right Sal Romano. Pineyro will make his debut appearance in a Jacksonville Suns uniform after being traded over from the Cubs organization on 7/31. Pineyro has made 19 starts at the Double-A level with the Tennessee Smokies this year working ot a 7-5 mark alongside a 3.69 ERA. His last start prior to the trade came on 7/28 against Montgomery, in which he would earn a winning decision in seven scoreless frames on the mound allowing five hits while walking two and striking out four. In the deal that sent Pineyro to the Marlins organization along with infielder Elliot Soto, major league starter Dan Haren would move from the Marlins to the Cubs. This is the second time in Pineyro’s career that he would get dealt. He was first traded by the Nationals in 2013 for major league utliltyman Scott Hairston, and prior to that would sign as a non-drafted free agent with the Washington Nationals in 2010.
Romano will be making his Double-A debut for Pensacola tonight. The righty has spent this year at the High-A level with Daytona, and would work to a 6-5 mark attached with a 3.46 earned run mark in 19 games and 18 starts. Romano is a former 23rd round draft pick of the Cincinatti Reds organization in 2011 out of Southington High School.
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Matchup: Pensacola Blue Wahoos (20-16, 45-59) @ Jacksonville Suns (13-23, 42-63)
Starters: PNS: RHP Sal Romano (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. JAX: RHP Ivan Pineyro (7-5, 3.69 ERA)
Who’s Hot: Friday, J.T. Riddle posted Jacksonville’s first multi-HR game of the year by an individual, and the club’s first five RBI performance. Centerfielder Kenny Wilson notched his second four-hit game of the year, and his eighth multi-RBI game on last Tuesday while currently controlling a five-game hit streak. The Suns shortstop has collected a .353 average in his last five games. Zack Cox is currently hitting a blistering hot .364 in his last seven games.
Suns Spots: Here’s a note from the official Jacksonville Suns game notes:
-Zack Cox controls the fourth-best batting average in the league (.320). Closer Sean Donatello is second in saves (14) in the Southern League. Matt Juengel rests tied for second in home runs (15), knotted in third for RBI (57). Carlos Lopez has tallied 106 hits that has him in for fourth, and he’s knotted third in games played (100). Viosergy Rosa sits fourth in walks generated (55). Starter Austin Brice has the third-best K/9 ratio for starters (9.63) and is fourth in K’s (102). Starter Jake Esch controls the fifth-best average against (.223) for starters. Kenny Wilson is tied for third in stolen bases (25).