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:
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.