Brice Named Southern League Pitcher of the Week

Breaking News

Austin Brice is the first Southern League Pitcher of the Week in 2016. Photo Courtesy: Marie Cox

By Roger Hoover / Jacksonville Suns

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville Suns right-handed starting pitcher Austin Brice has been named the Southern League Pitcher of the Week for April 7-18, announced by the league office on Monday.

Brice hasn’t allowed a run in his first two starts of the year, and in 11 innings pitched has limited opponents to five hits, four walks, and he has struck out eight batters. His 0.00 ERA is tied with Montgomery pitcher Chih-Wei Hu for the lowest in the league among qualifying pitchers.

“I’ve felt pretty good on the mound,” said Brice. “I feel like all of my stuff is starting to pull together a little bit. I felt pretty fresh coming out of Spring Training and the extra baseball at the end of the year last year I think help carried more into this season so I feel pretty good.”

In Brice’s first 2016 start on Saturday April 9 against the Birmingham Barons he took a no decision. Brice turned in six scoreless innings where he only allowed three hits, no walks, and he struck out six batters. In Brice’s last start on Thursday April 14 at Pensacola, Brice once again had a no decision. The right-hander limited the Blue Wahoos to two hits during his five scoreless innings with four walks and two strikeouts.

Brice also has the fourth-lowest batting average against in the Southern League, with opponents only hitting .143 off the right-hander.

Brice spent all of 2015 in a Suns uniform, going 6-9 with a 4.67 ERA in a career-high 25 starts. Brice is the No. 14 Marlins prospect for 2016 according to Baseball America, and he was originally selected in the ninth round of the 2010 draft out of Northwood High School in Pittsboro, North Carolina. This is the first time Brice has been named a Southern League Pitcher of the Week, but he was the South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Week on June 24, 2013 when he pitched for the Greensboro Grasshoppers.

Brice is scheduled to start tomorrow night for the Suns against the Mobile BayBears at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville at 7:05 p.m.

The Suns continue their series with Mobile at 7:05 p.m. Monday, when Suns left-hander Jarlin Garcia (0-0) is scheduled to face BayBears left-hander Anthony Banda (0-1). Through the brand-new VyStar Credit Union Charity Begins at Home program, Launch-A-Ball will benefit the Jacksonville Public Library, and library card holders can purchase buy-one-get-one free tickets at the box office. First Coast News Night will give kids the chance to give their own weather forecasts. Fans can enter to win Marlins tickets on Marlins Monday and hear the in-game soundtrack with a 38 Special theme as part of the Jax Jams Series.

Suns Start BayBears Series in Jacksonville

Game Preview

Jake Esch starts for Jacksonville today against Mobile. Photo Courtesy: Roger C. Hoover.

By Roger Hoover / Jacksonville Suns

The Jacksonville Suns (5-5) are back at home at the Baseball Grounds, welcoming in the Mobile BayBears (4-5) for the start of a five-game series today at 5:05 p.m. ET.

The Suns are coming off a road trip where they lost four out of five at Pensacola, and yesterday fell 3-0 to the Blue Wahoos.

Today to try and get back on the winning track, the Suns will start right-hander Jake Esch (1-1, 4.22 ERA) against Mobile right-hander Zack Godley (1-0, 0.00 ERA).

Here are more notes on today’s contest from the official Suns game notes:

Back at Home: The Suns are glad to be back at home following the 1-4 trip to Pensacola. In the first series of the year, the Suns went 4-1 against the Birmingham Barons on opening weekend at the Baseball Grounds. The Jacksonville Suns welcomed 26,336 fans to the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville during the first homestand, for an average of 5,267 each night. Both the total attendance and average attendance are the best marks the Southern League, and the second-highest in all of Double-A baseball (Corpus Christi Hooks welcomed 27.510 fans in the Texas League). The Suns Thursday through Sunday were tops in Double-A Baseball with 24,508 fans. The Opening Night crowd of 8,367 fans was the highest the Suns have had for Opening Night since 2007, and this was the best opening series crowd since the 2011 season.

Life in the Fast Lane: The Suns lead the Southern League with 14 stolen bases through the first 10 games of the season. The top two hitters in Jacksonville’s batting order are leading the way, with Yefri Perez and Jeremias Pineda both having six each, tied with Birmingham’s Adam Engel for the league lead. Moises Sierra and Matt Juengel have a stolen base each, but 11 of the 13 Jacksonville stolen bases come from Pineda/Perez. Pineda had his best day on the basepaths on Sunday April 10 when he stole four bases as part of a team six steal day against the Birmingham Barons, the most the Suns have stolen in a game since 2008. Last season, the Suns were last in the league with 59 stolen bases, and Jacksonville’s Kenny Wilson had 37, which was tied for second-best in the league.

Mooney Shines Bright in Pensacola: The best individual game for a Suns hitter came on Saturday night in Pensacola, as second baseman Peter Mooney went 3-for-4 with two doubles in Jacksonville’s 3-0 loss to the Blue Wahoos. The three-hit day was the first for a Suns hitter in 2016, and finished a terrific series at the plat for Mooney. Against the Wahoos he was 7-for-15 with four doubles, with a run scored and an RBI. His seven hits against the Wahoos were more than any other Suns hitter in the series. Mooney was signed by the Marlins as a free agent after spending last season with the New Jersey Jackals in the Can-Am League.

Esch Hopes to Continue Success vs. BayBears: Today’s Suns starter Jake Esch was dominant last year against Mobile, going 1-0 with a 0.71 ERA in two starts. He earned the win in his first start at Hank Aaron Stadium on May 6. In that outing he went seven scoreless innings scattering five hits, walking three batters and striking out eight as the Suns won 2-1. Esch took a no decision in his last start against the BayBears on July 11 at the Baseball Grounds. Esch worked five and two-third innings, allowing a run on two hits with a career-high foseven walks and four strikeouts. The Suns would go on to win 4-3 in 14 innings in Jacksonville.

Hello BayBears: Today starts the first series of the year between the Jacksonville Suns and the Mobile BayBears. The Suns and BayBears will play each other in four different series this year, with the next two meetings coming in Mobile from June 10-14 and July 20-24 at Hank Aaron Stadium. The BayBears will not return to the Baseball Grounds until the final series of the season from September 1-5. Last year the Suns won the season series with the BayBears, with Jacksonville going 12-8 against Mobile, going 5-5 in Mobile and 7-3 at the Baseball Grounds.

Today at the Baseball Grounds is Baptist Health Sunday Family Funday, where kids can feel like the pros before each Sunday home game, as kids and their families can play catch on the field at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville. Then a Suns player will read a children’s story to kids. Following the game, kids 12 and under can run the bases. It’s also Dr. Suess Day, a Suns player will read a Dr. Seuss story to kids before the game. Kids are encouraged to dress up as Dr. Seuss characters. The winner will receive a Suns prize. Between-inning contests will have a Dr. Seuss theme. To celebrate the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary, there will be a pregame swear-in of youth receiving Junior Ranger badges. Chris Hughes, Superintendent of the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve and Fort Caroline National Memorial, will be throwing a ceremonial first pitch. Also as part of Tomorrow’s Leaders, five area youth who have shown exemplary commitment to academics and community service will throw ceremonial first pitches before the game.

Fans can listen to the game live on the Suns Baseball Network, with Roger Hoover and Marco LaNave providing play by play. Hoover, LaNave, and Andrew Gibson will host the pregame show Suns On Deck beginning at 4:50 p.m. ET, the game can be heard locally on FM 102.3 The Beach, on the TuneIn Radio app, as well as online by clicking the link below:

Listen Live to the Suns Baseball Network

Watch Live on MiLB.TV

ABOUT THE SUNS: The Jacksonville Suns opened a new era of affordable family fun under new ownership with the largest Opening Weekend attendance of any team in Double-A baseball. With a FUNdamentally Different promotional schedule and a new lineup of ticket packages for the 2016 season, there is a reason for everyone to get part of the action by calling the Suns at (904) 358-2846 or visiting www.jaxsuns.com.

Suns Close out Wahoos Series in Pensacola

Game Preview
Jeremias Pineda leads the Southern League with six stolen bases. Photo Courtesy: Marie Cox.

Jeremias Pineda leads the Southern League with six stolen bases. Photo Courtesy: Marie Cox.

By Roger Hoover / Jacksonville Suns

The Jacksonville Suns (5-4) will close out their series against the Pensacola Blue Wahoos (7-2) at Blue Wahoos Stadium tonight.

The Wahoos have won three of the first four games of the set to clinch a series win, and yesterday Pensacola outlasted Jacksonville 4-3 in 11 innings.

Tonight the Suns and Wahoos will square off in the fifth and final game of the series at 7:30 p.m. ET. Left-handed pitcher Tim Berry (0-0, 11.57 ERA) will start for Jacksonville against Blue Wahoos right-hander Rookie Davis (1-0, 1.80 ERA).

Here are more notes on tonight’s contest from the official Suns game notes.

Roster Moves: The Miami Marlins announced a pair of transactions that impact their Double-A affiliate Jacksonville Suns roster prior to tonight’s game against the Pensacola Blue Wahoos at Blue Wahoos Stadium at 7:30 p.m. ET.  Right-handed relief pitcher Victor Araujo has been transferred from Jacksonville to Batavia. Araujo has pitched in four games for the Suns, going 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA and one save.   In a corresponding move, right-handed pitcher Blake Logan has been transferred from Batavia to Jacksonville. Logan started for the Suns last Sunday, allowing only a run on four hits during his four innings on the mound against the Birmingham Barons. The Suns roster now stands at 25 active players.

So Long Wahoos: Today the Suns wrap up their first series of the year with their in-state rivals, the Pensacola Blue Wahoos. This is the first of four series between the clubs, and the first of two played in Pensacola. The Suns will next welcome to the Wahoos to the Baseball Grounds from May 19-23, and July 14-18, before making a return trip to Pensacola from August 27-31. Last year the Suns and Wahoos also played 20 games, with Pensacola winning the season series 12-8. The Suns won the first three season series between the clubs in 2012, 2013, and 2014.

Life in the Fast Lane: The Suns lead the Southern League with 13 stolen bases through the first nine games of the season. The top two hitters in Jacksonville’s batting order are leading the way, with Jeremias Pineda atop the league with six stolen bases, and Yefri Perez right behind him with five. Moises Sierra and Matt Juengel have a stolen base each, but 11 of the 13 Jacksonville stolen bases come from Pineda/Perez. Pineda had his best day on the basepaths on Sunday April 10 when he stole four bases as part of a team six steal day against the Birmingham Barons, the most the Suns have stolen in a game since 2008.

Close Games: The Suns are no stranger to close games early in the 2016 season. Three of Jacksonville’s four losses have been by one run, and the 4-1 loss on Thursday was the only game in this Wahoos series that wasn’t decided by a single run. The Suns are 1-3 in one run games, with the win coming in Wednesday’s 2-1 victory in the second game of this series.

Fans can listen to the game live on the Suns Baseball Network, with Roger Hoover  providing play by play. Hoover and Andrew Gibson will host the pregame show Suns On Deck beginning at 7:15 p.m. ET. The game can be heard locally on FM 102.3 The Beach, on the TuneIn Radio app, as well as online by clicking the link below:

Listen Live to the Suns Baseball Network

ABOUT THE SUNS: The Jacksonville Suns opened a new era of affordable family fun under new ownership with the largest Opening Weekend attendance of any team in Double-A baseball. With a FUNdamentally Different promotional schedule and a new lineup of ticket packages for the 2016 season, there is a reason for everyone to get part of the action by calling the Suns at (904) 358-2846 or visiting www.jaxsuns.com.

Newell Makes Double-A Debut vs. Wahoos

Breaking News

Blue Wahoos 4-12-2016 2800

By Roger Hoover / Jacksonville Suns

The Miami Marlins announced a pair of transactions that impact their Double-A affiliate Jacksonville Suns roster prior to tonight’s game against the Pensacola Blue Wahoos at Blue Wahoos Stadium at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Right-handed starting pitcher Ryan Newell has been reinstated from Jacksonville’s disabled list after missing the last week with a viral infection. Newell will start for the Suns tonight as he makes his Double-A debut against the Blue Wahoos.

In a corresponding move, right-handed pitcher Blake Logan has been transferred from Jacksonville to Batavia. Logan started for the Suns last Sunday, allowing only a run on four hits during his four innings on the mound against the Birmingham Barons.

Tonight the Suns and Wahoos will square off in the fourth game of the series at 7:30 p.m. ET. The Wahoos will start right-hander Jackson Stephens (1-0, 3.60 ERA) on the mound, while Newell will start for the Suns.

Here are more notes on tonight’s contest from the official Suns game notes:

RBI Factory: The Suns lead the Southern League with 39 runs batted in through the first eight games of the season. The next closest team in RBI is Jackson with 32, and the Suns have driven in 15 more runs than their opponent tonight, Pensacola (23). Jacksonville infielder J.T. Riddle is tied atop the Southern League lead with seven runs batted in, even with Biloxi’s Garrett Cooper, Jackson’s Guillermo Heredia and D.J. Hicks.

Newell Makes AA Debut: This afternoon Ryan Newell will make his Double-A, Southern League debut as he faces the Wahoos at Blue Wahoos Stadium. In 2015 Newell battled blister injuries, missed most of June and July on the disabled list. With High-A Jupiter, he was 3-1 with 2.27 ERA in 10 starts. With the GCL Marlins he made three rehab starts where he only allowed three hits in 11 scoreless innings. Newell was selected by the Marlins in the seventh round of the 2012 draft out of Shorter College (Rome, Georgia).

Suns Streaks: Catcher Francisco Arcia has hit safely in his first six games catching for the Jacksonville, and has the longest current hitting streak on the team. During his streak, Arcia is 6-for-19 at the plate for a .316 average with a double, three runs batted in, plus four walks drawn. Austin Dean is just behind Arcia with a five-game hitting streak. Yefri Perez had collected a hit in his first six games before going 0-for-4 last night.

Speedy Suns: Jacksonville’s first two hitters in the batting order Yefri Perez and Jeremias Pineda are tied atop the Southern League with five stolen bases each through the first six games of the season. Pineda had an impressive performance on Sunday with four stolen bases, as the Suns combined to steal six bases, the most that Jacksonville head done in a game since 2008. The Suns are tied with Mobile for the Southern League with 11 stolen bases as a team.

Fans can listen to the game live on the Suns Baseball Network, with Roger Hoover  providing play by play. Hoover and Andrew Gibson will host the pregame show Suns On Deck beginning at 7:15 p.m. ET. The game can be heard locally on FM 102.3 The Beach, on the TuneIn Radio app, as well as online by clicking the link below:

Listen Live to the Suns Baseball Network

ABOUT THE SUNS: The Jacksonville Suns are beginning a new era of affordable family fun under new ownership in 2016. With a FUNdamentally Different promotional schedule and a new lineup of ticket packages for the upcoming season, there is a reason for everyone to get part of the action by calling the Suns at (904) 358-2846 or visiting http://www.jaxsuns.com.

Suns Start Brice vs. Wahoos

Game Preview

Austin Brice starts tonight for the Suns in Pensacola. Photo Courtesy: Roger C. Hoover / Jacksonville Suns

By Roger Hoover / Jacksonville Suns

After a thrilling 2-1 win in yesterday’s game, the Jacksonville Suns (5-2) look to take a lead in their series with the Pensacola Blue Wahoos (5-2) as the clubs square off in the third game of the series tonight at Blue Wahoos Stadium at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Yesterday the game was scoreless until the top of the ninth inning, when back-to-back sacrifice flies from Matt Juengel and James Roberts brought in Jacksonville’s two runs. The Wahoos also scored in the bottom of the ninth on a Ray Chang sacrifice fly, but Suns reliever Victor Araujo held on for the save as the Suns evened the series.

Jacksonville and Pensacola are now part of a three-way tie atop the Southern League South Division standings with Biloxi, all 5-2 to begin the 2016 season.

Tonight Jacksonville turns to right-handed pitcher and Marlins No. 14 prospect Austin Brice on the mound. Brice didn’t allow any runs during his six innings of work against the Barons last Saturday, and he also didn’t walk any batters while striking out six. He’ll be opposed by Blue Wahoos right-hander Sal Romano (0-0, 3.38 ERA).

Here are more notes on tonight’s contest from the official Suns game notes:

RBI Factory: The Suns lead the Southern League with 38 runs batted in through the first seven games of the season. The next closest team in RBI is Biloxi with 29, and the Suns have driven in 18 more runs than their opponent tonight, Pensacola (20). Jacksonville infielder J.T. Riddle is tied atop the Southern League lead with seven runs batted in, even with Biloxi’s Garrett Cooper and Jackson’s Guillermo Heredia.

Patience is a Virtue: The Suns lead the Southern League with 30 walks drawn through the first seven games of the year. This combined with solid hitting have the Suns atop the league in on-base percentage at .358. Jacksonville’s Austin Dean leads the Southern League with six walks drawn through the first seven games. While the Suns lead the league in walks, Jacksonville has also struck out 47 times, the fourth-fewest in the Southern League.

Speedy Suns: Jacksonville’s first two hitters in the batting order Yefri Perez and Jeremias Pineda are tied atop the Southern League with five stolen bases each through the first six games of the season. Pineda had an impressive performance on Sunday with four stolen bases, as the Suns combined to steal six bases, the most that Jacksonville head done in a game since 2008. The Suns are tied with Mobile for the Southern League with 11 stolen bases as a team.

Fans can listen to the game live on the Suns Baseball Network, with Roger Hoover  providing play by play. Hoover and Andrew Gibson will host the pregame show Suns On Deck beginning at 7:15 p.m. ET. The game can be heard locally on FM 102.3 The Beach, on the TuneIn Radio app, as well as online by clicking the link below:

Listen Live to the Suns Baseball Network

ABOUT THE SUNS: The Jacksonville Suns are beginning a new era of affordable family fun under new ownership in 2016. With a FUNdamentally Different promotional schedule and a new lineup of ticket packages for the upcoming season, there is a reason for everyone to get part of the action by calling the Suns at (904) 358-2846 or visiting http://www.jaxsuns.com.

Garcia Starts for Suns vs. Wahoos

Game Preview

Jarlin Garcia makes his second start in 2016 tonight in Pensacola. Photo Courtesy: Roger C. Hoover / Jacksonville Suns

By Roger Hoover / Jacksonville Suns

The Jacksonville Suns return to action tonight, facing the Pensacola Blue Wahoos in the second game of the series at Blue Wahoos Stadium at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Last night the Suns fell to the Wahoos 4-3 in a tight contest that featured a home run from Suns starting pitcher Jake Esch. Donald Lutz was the difference in the game, hitting a two-run single off Esch in the bottom of the fifth that gave the Wahoos a 4-2 lead, and Pensacola held on to win 4-3.

Now Jacksonville looks to even the series with Marlins No. 3 prospect left-handed pitcher Jarlin Garica (0-0, 2.25 ERA) taking the mound for the Suns. Garcia had a no decision in his last outing, working four innings against the Birmingham Barons last Friday. Garcia will be opposed by Wahoos left-hander Amir Garrett (0-1, 3.00 ERA).

Here are more notes on tonight’s contest from the official Suns game notes:

Speedy Suns: Jacksonville’s first two hitters in the batting order Yefri Perez and Jeremias Pineda are tied atop the Southern League with five stolen bases each through the first six games of the season. Pineda had an impressive performance on Sunday with four stolen bases, as the Suns combined to steal six bases, the most that Jacksonville head done in a game since 2008.

Best Fans in the Southern League: The Jacksonville Suns welcomed 26,336 fans to the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville during the first homestand, for an average of 5,267 each night. Both the total attendance and average attendance are the best marks the Southern League, and the second-highest in all of Double-A baseball (Corpus Christi Hooks welcomed 27.510 fans in the Texas League). The Suns Thursday through Sunday were tops in Double-A Baseball with 24,508 fans. The Opening Night crowd of 8,367 fans was the highest the Suns have had for Opening Night since 2007, and this was the best opening series crowd since the 2011 season.

RBI Riddle: Infielder J.T. Riddle leads the Southern League with seven runs batted in. Riddle’s RBI production against the Barons started on Thursday, when his three-run homer helped propel Jacksonville to a 6-1 victory. On Sunday, Riddle drove in two runs despite going 0-for4 at the plate thanks to RBI groundouts. Riddle also drove in two runs in Monday’s game, part of a 2-for-4 performance at the plate. Last season Riddle drove in 20 runs in 44 games played with Jacksonville during the second half. Riddle is listed by Baseball America as the No. 22 Marlins prospect.

Hello Wahoos: This series the Suns renew their in-state rivalry with the Pensacola Blue Wahoos. This is the first of four series between the clubs, and the first of two played in Penscola. The Suns will next welcome to the Wahoos to the Baseball Grounds from May 19-23, and July 14-18, before making a return trip to Pensacola from August 27-31. Last year the Suns and Wahoos also played 20 games, with Pensacola winning the season series 12-8. The Suns won the first three season series between the clubs in 2012, 2013, and 2014.

Fans can listen to the game live on the Suns Baseball Network, with Roger Hoover  providing play by play. Hoover and Andrew Gibson will host the pregame show Suns On Deck beginning at 7:15 p.m. ET. The game can be heard locally on FM 102.3 The Beach, on the TuneIn Radio app, as well as online by clicking the link below:

Listen Live to the Suns Baseball Network

Watch Live on MiLB.TV

ABOUT THE SUNS: The Jacksonville Suns are beginning a new era of affordable family fun under new ownership in 2016. With a FUNdamentally Different promotional schedule and a new lineup of ticket packages for the upcoming season, there is a reason for everyone to get part of the action by calling the Suns at (904) 358-2846 or visiting http://www.jaxsuns.com.

Suns Begin Wahoos Series in Pensacola

Game Preview

By Roger Hoover / Jacksonville Suns

The Jacksonville Suns have hit the road for the first time in the 2016, starting a five-game series with the Pensacola Blue Wahoos tonight at Pensacola Bayfront Stadium at 7:30 p.m. ET.

The Suns are coming off a successful homestand against the Birmingham Barons, where Jacksonville won 4 of 5 contests, and yesterday topped the Barons 11-7 in an offensive shootout at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville.

Now the Suns are in Pensacola, ready to renew an in-state rivalry with the Blue Wahoos. For Jacksonville right-handed pitcher Jake Esch (1-0, 1.80 ERA) gets the start after winning in his first outing against the Barons last Thursday. He’ll be opposed by Blue Wahoos right-handed pitcher Nick Travieso (1-0, 0.00) who also won on Thursday in his outing against the Mississippi Braves.

Here are more notes on tonight’s contest from the official Suns game notes:

Best Fans in the Southern League: The Jacksonville Suns welcomed 26,336 fans to the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville during the first homestand, for an average of 5,267 each night. Both the total attendance and average attendance are the best marks the Southern League, and the second-highest in all of Double-A baseball (Corpus Christi Hooks welcomed 27.510 fans in the Texas League). The Opening Night crowd of 8,367 fans was the highest the Suns have had for Opening Night since 2007, and this was the best opening series crowd since the 2011 season.

RBI Riddle: Despite only playing in four of Jacksonville’s first five games, infielder J.T. Riddle leads the Southern League with seven runs batted in. Riddle’s RBI production against the Barons started on Thursday, when his three-run homer helped propel Jacksonville to a 6-1 victory. On Sunday, Riddle drove in two runs despite going 0-for4 at the plate thanks to RBI groundouts. Riddle also drove in two runs in last night’s game, part of a 2-for-4 performance at the plate. Last season Riddle drove in 20 runs in 44 games played with Jacksonville during the second half. Riddle is listed by Baseball America as the No. 22 Marlins prospect.

Hello Wahoos: Tonight the Suns renew their in-state rivalry with the Pensacola Blue Wahoos. This is the first of four series between the clubs, and the first of two played in Penscola. The Suns will next welcome to the Wahoos to the Baseball Grounds from May 19-23, and July 14-18, before making a return trip to Pensacola from August 27-31. Last year the Suns and Wahoos also played 20 games, with Pensacola winning the season series 12-8. The Suns won the first three season series between the clubs in 2012, 2013, and 2014.

Crowded at the Top: The Suns, Wahoos, and Biloxi Shuckers are all tied atop the Southern League South Division with 4-1 records. While the Suns did their damage against the Barons in Jacksonville, the Shuckers took 4 of 5 from Chattanooga in Biloxi, and the Wahoos are coming off a 4-1 trip to Mississippi. Despite the great start, the clubs are only one game up on Mobile, who won a series by going 3-2 at Tennessee.

Fans can listen to the game live on the Suns Baseball Network, with Roger Hoover  providing play by play. Hoover and Andrew Gibson will host the pregame show Suns On Deck beginning at 7:15 p.m. ET. The game can be heard locally on FM 102.3 The Beach, on the TuneIn Radio app, as well as online by clicking the link below:

Listen Live to the Suns Baseball Network

Watch Live on MiLB.TV

ABOUT THE SUNS: The Jacksonville Suns are beginning a new era of affordable family fun under new ownership in 2016. With a FUNdamentally Different promotional schedule and a new lineup of ticket packages for the upcoming season, there is a reason for everyone to get part of the action by calling the Suns at (904) 358-2846 or visiting http://www.jaxsuns.com.

Suns Finish Barons Series

Game Preview

Jeremias Pineda stole four bases for the Suns on Sunday. Photo Courtesy: Marie Cox / Jacksonville Suns.

By Roger Hoover / Jacksonville Suns

The Jacksonville Suns have won their first series of the season, taking three of the first four games against the Birmingham Barons at the Baseball Grounds.

Yesterday the Suns clinched a series win with an 8-3 victory, getting offense thanks to a renewed effort stealing bases.

Our Marco LaNave caught up with Austin Dean following the game, as he was our Navy Mutual MVP of the Game.

Now the Suns will finish their series with tonight’s contest against the Barons at 7:05 p.m. at the Baseball Grounds. Jacksonville turns to left-handed pitcher Tim Berry, who will make his Marlins organization debut tonight on the mound. He’ll be opposed by Barons right-hander Brandon Brennan, who is a member of the White Sox 40-man roster.

Here are more notes on tonight’s contest from the official Suns game notes:

Pineda Guilty of Stealing: Jeremias Pineda was a bandit on the base paths yesterday for the Suns. He stole four bases during the contest, more than any stolen bags in a game by a Sun during all of last season. Yefri Perez and Moises Sierra also had a steal each, so the Suns as a team stole six bases, which set a Marlins era (2009-present) record for stolen bases in a game. The last time the Suns stole six bases in a game was in 2008 as a Los Angeles Dodgers affiliate. Jacksonville leads the Southern League with nine stolen bases through the first four games. Pineda is tied with teammate Yefri Perez for the most stolen bases in the league with four.

Bye Barons: Today the Suns and Barons wrap up their series at the Baseball Grounds. This is Birmingham’s only trip to Jacksonville this season, and the Suns will only play once at Regions Field in Birmingham, from July 9-13. Last season the Suns and Barons played 20 times, with the Barons winning the series 12-8.

People Will Come: Thursday night 8,367 fans made their way to the Baseball Grounds for Opening Night between the Suns and the Barons. The crowd topped any attendance figure the Suns had in 2015, and was the best attendance the Suns have had since July 4, 2014 when 9,246 attended. The crowd was also the best the Suns have had in the past nine seasons on Opening Night, dating back to 2007 when 10,417 was the announced attendance, and last night’s crowd was the first Opening Night crowd to top 8,000 fans since 2007. The Suns also had the top attendance in the league Friday night with 6,371, and the 5,754 was also the best around the Southern League on Saturday. The first Baptist Health Sunday Family FunDay saw 4,016 make it to the Baseball Grounds, once again the largest Southern League crowd. The Suns have welcomed 24,508 fans to the Baseball Grounds for the first four games, nearly double the next closest team, and the 6,127 average attendance is also the league’s best.

Tonight gates open at 6 p.m., and dogs get in free with a paying human companion for Bark in the Park. Dogs can run the bases after the game. Select dog-free zones will be around the ballpark. The first Charity Begins at Home partner is Pit Sisters Inc., which will be raising funds through ticket sales and the Launch-A-Ball promotion. On Marlins Monday, fans can enter to win Miami Marlins tickets!

Fans can listen to the game live on the Suns Baseball Network, with Roger Hoover and Marco LaNave providing play by play. Hoover, LaNave, and Andrew Gibson will host the pregame show Suns On Deck beginning at 6:50 p.m. ET, the game can be heard locally on FM 102.3 The Beach, on the TuneIn Radio app, as well as online by clicking the link below:

Listen Live to the Suns Baseball Network

Watch Live on MiLB.TV

ABOUT THE SUNS: The Jacksonville Suns are beginning a new era of affordable family fun under new ownership in 2016. With a FUNdamentally Different promotional schedule and a new lineup of ticket packages for the upcoming season, there is a reason for everyone to get part of the action by calling the Suns at (904) 358-2846 or visiting http://www.jaxsuns.com.

Suns Host Barons Sunday Afternoon

Game Preview

Sharif Othman2 (Suns)

By Roger Hoover / Jacksonville Suns

The Jacksonville Suns look to get back on the winning track Sunday afternoon, hosting the Birmingham Barons in the fourth game of the series at the Baseball Grounds at 3:05 p.m.

Last night Birmingham edged out Jacksonville 2-1 in 10 innings, as the Barons handed the Suns their first loss of the season.

The Suns will try to clinch a series win this afternoon against the Barons in the fourth game of the series. Right-handed pitcher Ryan Newell will get the start for Jacksonville as he makes his Double-A debut. He’ll be opposed by Barons left-hander David Holmberg, who last season saw time pitching in the major leagues with the Cincinnati Reds.

Here are more notes on today’s game from the official Suns game notes:

Newell Makes AA Debut: This afternoon Ryan Newell will make his Double-A, Southern League debut as he faces the Birmingham Barons at the Baseball Grounds. In 2015 Newell battled blister injuries, missed most of June and July on the disabled list. With High-A Jupiter, he was 3-1 with 2.27 ERA in 10 starts. With the GCL Marlins he made three rehab starts where he only allowed three hits in 11 scoreless innings. Newell was selected by the Marlins in the seventh round of the 2012 draft out of Shorter College (Rome, Georgia).

Getting On Base: The Suns have done a nice job getting on base during the first three games of the season. The Suns have the league’s third best on-base percentage at .321, the Suns are second in the league in walks with 12. Austin Dean leads the Southern League in walks with four, and his .538 on-base percentage is the third best in the league.

People Will Come: Thursday night 8,367 fans made their way to the Baseball Grounds for Opening Night between the Suns and the Barons. The crowd topped any attendance figure the Suns had in 2015, and was the best attendance the Suns have had since July 4, 2014 when 9,246 attended. The crowd was also the best the Suns have had in the past nine seasons on Opening Night, dating back to 2007 when 10,417 was the announced attendance, and last night’s crowd was the first Opening Night crowd to top 8,000 fans since 2007. The Suns also had the top attendance in the league Friday night with 6,371, and the 5,754 was also the best around the Southern League on Saturday. The Suns have welcomed 20,492 fans to the Baseball Grounds for the first three games, nearly double the next closest team, and the 6,831 average attendance is also the league’s best.

Today at the Baseball Grounds, gates open at 2 p.m. for Kids Opening Day on the first Baptist Health Sunday Family FUNday, also presented by Channel 4 The Local Station. Kids and their families can play catch on the field before the game. Then a Suns player will read a children’s story to kids on the concourse. Following the game, kids 12 and under can run the bases.

Fans can listen to the game live on the Suns Baseball Network, with Roger Hoover and Marco LaNave providing play by play. Hoover, LaNave, and Andrew Gibson will host the pregame show Suns On Deck beginning at 2:50 p.m. ET, the game can be heard locally on FM 102.3 The Beach, on the TuneIn Radio app, as well as online by clicking the link below:

Listen Live to the Suns Baseball Network

Watch Live on MiLB.TV

ABOUT THE SUNS: The Jacksonville Suns are beginning a new era of affordable family fun under new ownership in 2016. With a FUNdamentally Different promotional schedule and a new lineup of ticket packages for the upcoming season, there is a reason for everyone to get part of the action by calling the Suns at (904) 358-2846 or visiting http://www.jaxsuns.com.

Suns Face Barons Saturday Night

Game Preview

Austin Brice makes his 2016 debut Saturday night against the Barons. Photo Courtesy: Roger C. Hoover.

By Roger Hoover / Jacksonville Suns

The Jacksonville Suns are off to a 2-0 start to the season after defeating the Birmingham Barons 8-3 on Saturday night at the Baseball Grounds.

The Suns followed the same formula as Thursday’s win to get a victory, with strong pitching and a big bottom of the third at the plate where Brady Shoemaker hit a grand slam home run for the Suns.

Here are highlights of last night’s win:

Shoemaker was named the Suns Navy Mutual MVP of the Game, and he spoke postgame with Marco LaNave.

Now the Suns will try to win the first series of the year as they face the Barons in the third game of the set at 6:05 p.m. The Suns will start right-hander Austin Brice, who went 6-9 with a 4.67 ERA in 25 starts for Jacksonville a year ago. The Barons will counter with left-hander Jordan Guerrero, who is making his Double-A debut.

Here are more notes on tonight’s game from the official Suns game notes:

Shoemaker is Grand: Brady Shoemaker delivered a grand moment for the Suns in the bottom of the third when he hit a grand slam homer off Barons right-hander Carson Fulmer to give the Suns a 5-0 lead. For Shoemaker it was his first grand slam since May 30, 2010, when he hit one for Class-A Kannapolis while playing in the White Sox organization. It was the first Suns grand slam since Matt Juengel hit one on June 17, 2015.

2-0: The Jacksonville Suns have started the season 2-0 for the first time since 2013. That season the Suns began the year with three straight wins over the Jackson Generals, and is the longest winning streak to start a season in the Marlins era (2009-present). The Suns can match that streak with a victory tonight.  The Suns are tied for first place in the Southern League South Division with the Biloxi Shuckers at 2-0, and the Jackson Generals have also won their first two games of the season.

Tonight gates open at 5 p.m., and the first 1,000 fans receive a free Glow-in-the-Dark T-Shirt from Memorial Hospital, as well as a free magnet schedule presented by Bug Out. The Red Trouser Show will perform acrobatics before and during the game.

Fans can listen to the game live on the Suns Baseball Network, with Roger Hoover and Marco LaNave providing play by play. Hoover, LaNave, and Andrew Gibson will host the pregame show Suns On Deck beginning at 5:50 p.m. ET, the game can be heard locally on FM 102.3 The Beach, on the TuneIn Radio app, as well as online by clicking the link below:

Listen Live to the Suns Baseball Network

Watch Live on MiLB.TV

ABOUT THE SUNS: The Jacksonville Suns are beginning a new era of affordable family fun under new ownership in 2016. With a FUNdamentally Different promotional schedule and a new lineup of ticket packages for the upcoming season, there is a reason for everyone to get part of the action by calling the Suns at (904) 358-2846 or visiting http://www.jaxsuns.com.