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.

Suns Aim For Second Straight vs. Barons

Game Preview

Jarlin Garcia makes his first 2016 start tonight against the Barons. Photo Courtesy: Roger C. Hoover

By Roger Hoover / Jacksonville Suns

The Jacksonville Suns got the 2016 season off to a rousing start with a 6-1 win over the Birmingham Barons on Thursday night.

8,367 fans filled the Baseball Grounds for the largest Opening Night crowd in the last nine seasons, and the Suns provided plenty of highlights on the mound and at the plate.

An added highlight was Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry and Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles throwing out the ceremonial first pitches, and the duo joined us in the Suns Baseball Network booth during the game, and you can listen to that interview below:

Now the Suns look to start the season 2-0, as we’ll have an outstanding pitching matchup tonight at 7:05 p.m. at the Baseball Grounds.

For the Suns, left-handed pitcher Jarlin Garcia will make his 2016 debut. Garcia is listed by Baseball America as the Marlins No. 3 prospect entering this season, and he went 1-3 with a 4.91 ERA in seven Suns starts last year.

The Barons will counter with right-hander Carson Fulmer, a first round pick by the White Sox a year ago out of Vanderbilt. Fulmer is Baseball America’s No. 2 White Sox prospect, and tonight he makes his Double-A debut as he starts his first full professional season.

Here are the official Suns Game Notes for tonight’s game.

Gates open at 6 p.m. for Red Shirt Friday and NAPA Family Fireworks presented by NAPA Auto Care Center. Fans who wear red at the box office save $1 at the box office or may donate it to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, and fireworks will follow the game.

Fans can listen to the game live on the Suns Baseball Network, with Roger Hoover providing play by play. Roger Hoover and Marco LaNave 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

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.

#MarlinsMonday – March 21, 2016

Marlins Monday
Roger Dean Stadium before Sunday's game between the Marlins and the Cardinals. Photo Courtesy: Roger Hoover.

Roger Dean Stadium before Sunday’s game between the Marlins and the Cardinals. Photo Courtesy: Roger Hoover.

By Roger Hoover / Jacksonville Suns

The Miami Marlins are now past the midway point of Spring Training, with starting pitchers getting to throw more innings and position players getting more at-bats deeper into Grapefruit League games.

I spent the weekend in Jupiter with the Marlins, getting to broadcast games with the Marlins Radio Network’s Kyle Sielaff on Marlins.com on Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday.

It was a blast to get to work with Kyle, and I can’t thank him or the Marlins broadcasting department enough for the opportunity.

Thursday’s game featured a top-tier pitching matchup, with Jose Fernandez facing Jacob deGrom of the Mets. The Mets won 6-5 but the Marlins made a good rally late in the game, and it was great to see Austin Nola come up with an RBI double and RBI triple late in the game.

I spent Friday on the minor league fields, spending some time with Suns manager David Berg and his staff. Many 2015 Suns are working out with the AAA squad at the moment, but the rosters on the minor league side will change a lot between now and when Spring Training ends. That afternoon the minor leaguers faced the different minor league Cardinal teams, with four games going on at once.

I caught some of Friday's AA Marlins vs. AA Cardinals game on the minor league fields in Jupiter.

I caught some of Friday’s AA Marlins vs. AA Cardinals game on the minor league fields in Jupiter.

While I wasn’t told which individual players would be back, I’m led to believe that we’ll see several notable returners from 2015, as well as some exciting newcomers to the Double-A level.

Saturday’s game only lasted two innings, but I got to call each of former Sun Adam Conley’s six strikeouts. His start couldn’t have gone any better, except for maybe rain staying away. Conley is making a bid for a spot at the back end of the Marlins rotation, and if he can keep up the pace he’s set this spring, he should start the season in Miami.

Yesterday the rain fortunately held off at Roger Dean Stadium, as the Marlins beat the Cardinals 5-2. Former Sun Christian Yelich had a great day at the plate, going 3-for-4 in his best hitting performance of the spring. It was also nice to see former Sun Jose Urena get the win, as he strives for a spot in the Miami bullpen.

I wasn’t able to interview many people during my brief stay in Jupiter, but I did have a great conversation with MLB.com Marlins beat reporter Joe Frisaro, which you can listen to below:

My broadcast partner for this year Marco LaNave was also in Jupiter on Sunday, getting to meet the Suns staff as we keep preparing for this upcoming season with only 17 days between now and Opening Day.

This week the Suns will host the last of their High School baseball games on Monday, and then Tuesday afternoon brings a press conference with some exciting news for fans at the Baseball Grounds. More on that tomorrow!

Here are today’s #MarlinsMonday links, we’re getting closer to Opening Day!

Marlins.com: Marlins tab Chen for Opening Day start
Marlins.com: Fernandez: ‘I don’t want to get shut down’
Marlins.com: Conley dominates in bid for rotation spot
Marlins.com: Realmuto working on framing pitches
Miami Herald: Marlins’ Realmuto brings rare athleticism to catcher position
Miami Herald: Marlins’ spring clubhouse wrapped up in March Madness as usual
Sun Sentinel: Double-whammy of injuries can’t stop Marlins’ Don Kelly
Fish Stripes: 2016 Marlins Season Preview: Remaining pitchers
Yahoo! Big League Stew: The Cubs have the best dress code in baseball
ESPN: White Sox chairman declares LaRoche saga over
ESPN: Griffey: LaRoche has the right to walk away
MLB.com: Hello, Havana: Historic Cuba trip begins
The New York Times: This Cuban Defector Changed Baseball. Nobody Remembers.