By: Kyle Crooks / Jacksonville Suns
The Jacksonville Suns (24-38, 53-78) will try to stop a three-game losing streak tonight when they take on the Tennessee Smokies (32-30, 71-60) at 5:05 p.m. ET from Smokies Stadium.
After seven and a half frames of play the Suns would hold a 3-2 lead last night after a run-scoring single off the bat of Viosergy Rosa, and a bases loaded walk to Elliot Soto. With a win, Jacksonville could have picked up only their sixth win when trailing after six innings. The club has struggled to come back in the latter third of ballgames, controlling an 0-64 mark when trailing after seven, and an 0-68 record when falling behind after eighth frames of play.
The tough times on the road continue for JAX after last night’s two-run loss. The Suns are now 21 games under the .500 away from Bragan Field this year, which accounts for the most amount of games under .500 on the road in all of the Southern League.
Tonight with a loss the Suns can obtain their 20th series loss of the season, and their 11th post all-star break. Jacksonville has only come up on the winning end in three of their 14 road series played in 2015. Also on the line, includes second-ranked Marlins prospect according to MLB.com Jarlin Garcia, trying to earn his first Double-A victory in his professional career.
Tonight’s pitching matchup will feature Jacksonville left-hander Jarlin Garcia to be opposed by Tennessee righty Felix Pena. Garcia enters this start 0-2 attached with a 5.84 ERA in five starts with the Suns. His last trip to the hill came on 8/24 against Birmingham, in which the southpaw would work in three frames surrendering seven runs (all earned) on seven hits while walking three and striking out two in an 82-pitch effort. In the month of August, he has made four trips to the hill, and manufactured an ERA north of five. Prior to his call up to the Double-A level with Jacksonville, he was a Mid-Season Florida State League All-Star after posting a 3-5 mark attached with a 3.06 ERA in 18 starts. He enters tonight as the Marlins second-ranked prospect according to MLB.com, and was the lone representative of the Marlins farm system in the Sirius/XM All-Star Futures game in Cincinnati. Garcia was a former minor-league free agent signing of the Marlins in May of 2011.
Pena takes the ball 5-8 while sporting a 3.97 ERA in 23 games and 21 starts for Tennessee. His last start came on 8/25 against Chattanooga, in which he would garner a no decision in six frames on the mound allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits while walking one and striking out four in a no decision. The righty has faced a rough second half of the season, posting an 0-6 mark saddled with an ERA of 5.21 after 11 appearances and nine starts. The 25-year old has earned Mid-Season All-Star honors in his last three years of professional baseball with Kane County (A), Daytona (A+), and Tennessee (AA). Pena was signed as a non-drafted free agent by the Cubs organization in the 2009 offseason.
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 (24-38, 53-78) @ Tennessee Smokies (32-30, 71-60)
Starters: TNS: RHP Felix Pena (5-8, 3.97 ERA) vs. JAX: LHP Jarlin Garcia (0-2, 5.84 ERA)
Who’s Hot: Centerfielder Kenny Wilson has hit safely in 11 of his last 12 games. Infielder David Adams has tallied a hit in 12 of his last 16 starts, including a walk-off base hit last Friday night against Mobile. Eudy Pina in his last seven games has generated a .389 batting mark attached with three RBI and two runs scored. Reliever Tyler Bremer since getting the call up to AA JAX on 8/23 has tossed a total of six scoreless frames in relief. Viosergy Rosa has tallied three home runs and nine RBI in his last 10 games.
Suns Spots: Here’s a note from the official Jacksonville Suns game notes:
-Matt Juengel currently rests tied for second in home runs (16). Outfielder Kenny Wilson is second in stolen bases (35). Viosergy Rosa (73) sits third in walks generated while Elliot Soto (66) is fifth. Starter Austin Brice has the third-best K/9 ratio for starters (9.05) and is fifth in K’s (121). David Adams possesses the fifth-best on-base percentage (.391).