The Miami Marlins Double-A affiliate Jacksonville Suns have lost nine of their last 10 games, going through one of the toughest stretches of the season over this past week. The Suns finished their series against Pensacola with a loss last Friday, then after winning Game One of Sunday's doubleheader against Biloxi, the Suns have lost their last five games.
Over the past week Carlos Lopez saw his 13-game hitting streak come to an end. The longest Suns hitting streak of the season went from May 5 to May 18, and in that time he hit .377 (20-for-53) with five runs batted in and four doubles. After his hitting streak came to a close, Lopez had his first four-hit game of the season by going 4-for-6 in the opening game of the Mississippi Braves series last night at Bragan Field.
Here's a game-by-game summary of the past week for the Jacksonville Suns from where we left off last Friday.
The Suns and Shuckers were scoreless through the first seven innings last Friday in Jacksonville after another brilliant start by Kendry Flores. However in the eighth against Suns reliever Matt Tomshaw, the Shuckers scored three runs to take a 3-0 lead. Jacksonville did score a run in the bottom of the ninth with a David Adams single, but the Suns fell for their fourth straight loss to Pensacola.
Rain washed away Saturday's contest at Joe Davis Stadium in Huntsville, Alabama between the Suns and the Biloxi Shuckers, who are using their old ballpark as a temporary home while construction continues at MGM Park in Biloxi. Sunday's doubleheader started with the first five Suns batters of the game getting base hits, and catcher Chadd Krist powered a three-run homer to cap a 6-run first inning. The Shuckers battled back, and despite an 8-4 lead in the second inning, the Shuckers cut Jacksonville's lead to 8-7 in the bottom of the sixth. The Suns held on thanks to Sean Donatello collecting his Southern League leading 10th save of the season in Jacksonville's lone win of the week.
The Suns once again got to a hot start at the plate in Huntsville, with Terrence Dayleg hitting an RBI double to score Carlos Lopez two batters into the game to give the Suns a 1-0 lead. The Shuckers tied the game in the bottom of the third when starter Jake Esch allowed a solo homer to Biloxi's Adam Weisenburger. In the bottom of the seventh of that 7-inning game, Michael Reed hit a walk-off sacrifice fly to deliver Biloxi a 2-1 win.
Jacksonville's offense never got going during a 4-0 loss during game one of Monday's doubleheader. Trevor Williams took the loss after allowing four runs during his five innings on the mound. The Shuckers took it to him in the fifth, getting three straight RBI doubles. The Suns only had four hits in the game, led by two hits from Carlos Lopez.
At one point the Suns had been held scoreless for 18 and a third innings before Jacksonville broke through with a run in the sixth inning on an RBI double from Viosergy Rosa. Spot starter Matt Tomshaw took the loss as Biloxi clinched a series win with the victory.
The finale of the Suns Shuckers series was the only nine inning game in the series, and after Biloxi led most of the game 6-2, the Suns tied the game on a two-out grand slam home run by Ryan Rieger in the top of the eighth inning. However Biloxi quickly scored a run off Suns reliever Lay Batista in the bottom of the eighth and won 7-6. David Adams provided the other offense for Jacksonville, hitting a two-run homer in the fourth.
After an off day Wednesday, the Suns and Braves provided a thriller on Thursday night at Bragan Field. Kendry Flores provided more strong pitching, allowing only an earned run through seven innings on the mound. In the eighth with the score tied at two, the Braves rallied for a run off reliever Greg Nappo, before scoring two runs in the ninth off Sean Donatello to lead 5-2. In the bottom of the ninth, the Suns loaded the bases with two outs when Ryan Rieger hit a deep fly ball to centerfield. Braves centerfielder Mallex Smith dropped the ball on the warning track, allowing three runs to score to tie the game. The Braves quickly responded with three runs in the top of the 10th, and despite Austin Nola hitting a two-run double to cut the lead to 8-7, that's as close as the Suns would get in Jacksonville's first extra-inning loss of the season.
The Suns look forward to teaming up with Fish Stripes all season long to give you these Jacksonville Suns reports. You can also find more information about the Suns by visiting our official website: jaxsuns.com, blog: sunsradio.com, Facebook page, Twitter page, and by listening to The Jacksonville Suns Podcast.