By: Kyle Crooks / Jacksonville Suns
The Jacksonville Suns (15-26, 44-66) will try for their third straight win and their second straight against the Montgomery Biscuits (21-19, 55-53) tonight with a first pitch of 7:35 p.m. ET from Montgomery Riverwalk Stadium.
On Friday night the Suns would belt out five home runs as a team which is their best mark in a single game dating back to the 2013 season. That year, Jacksonville would connect on five long balls in a single ballgame on April 28th when Mark Canha, Kyle Jensen, J.T. Realmuto, Marcell Ozuna, and Andy Ciriaco all posted home runs in a 14-6 win over Mobile.
For the first time this year the Suns provided back-to-back home runs. It was David Adams leadng off the second with a solo home run followed by Viosergy Rosa’s solo blast that pushed the club in front 2-0 at an eye blink. Last tandem to go back-to-back for Jacksonville was back in 2013, with a pair of current major leaguers in Christian Yelich and Jake Marisnick consecutively went yard in a 3-2 loss to the Tennessee Smokies on 7/19.
Tonight’s pitching matchup will feature Jacksonville lefty Chipper Smith to be opposed by Montgomery righty Austin Pruitt. Smith enters this start with a 2-2 mark alongside a 4.81 ERA in 16 games and 11 starts with the Suns. The southpaw had a detour back to Jacksonville after being sent down to High-A Jupiter, and with the Hammerheads, he generated a 2-3 record attached with an ERA of 4.66 in five games and four starts and 19 and a third innings pitched. The 25-year old began the season with the Suns in the starting rotation, before being moved to the bullpen prior to being transferred to Jupiter. He has made a pair of starts against Montgomery this year, and has mustered up a 0-1 record with an ERA of 4.09 in 11 innings on the mound. Smith is a former 38th round draft pick of the Marlins out of Cumberland University in the 2012 MLB First-Year Player Draft.
Pruitt will take the ball for Montgomery 6-5 while sporting a 3.10 ERA in 20 starts. His last trip to the hill was on 8/2 against Mississippi, in what was a no decision after working six innings allowing one run (earned) on five hits while walking two and striking out a solo batter. Pruitt has faced Jacksonville twice and has put together a 1.38 ERA with a 1-0 record in 13 frames on the mound. This year he had earned the honors of being the Southern League’s ‘Pitcher of the Week’ on 7/13. The native of Texas is a former ninth-round pick of the Tampa Bay Rays organization in the 2013 MLB First-Year player draft out of the University of Houston.
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 (15-26, 44-66) @ Montgomery Biscuits (21-19, 55-53)
Starters: PNS: RHP Austin Pruitt (6-5, 3.10 ERA) vs. JAX: LHP Chipper Smith (2-2, 4.81 ERA)
Who’s Hot: Suns first baseman Viosergy Rosa in his last two games has homered three times while driving in seven runs. David Adams has posted a .355 average in his last 10 games, and currently controls a four-game hit streak. Suns shortstop J.T. Riddle is hitting a red-hot .345 over his last nine games. In his Suns debut lefty reliever Alex Burgos tossed three scoreless frames without allowing a baserunner.
Suns Spots: Here’s a note from the official Jacksonville Suns game notes:
-Zack Cox controls the fourth-best batting average in the league (.310). Sean Donatello is third in saves (14) in the Southern League. Matt Juengel rests tied for second in home runs (16) and fourth in RBI (58). Outfielder Kenny Wilson is knotted third in games played (104) and stolen bases (25). Viosergy Rosa sits third in walks generated (57). Starter Austin Brice has the third-best K/9 ratio for starters (9.42) and is fourth in K’s (105). David Adams possesses the fourth-best on-base percentage (.398).