— Robert Morey posted a quality start, but the Jacksonville Suns (10-10, 44-43) could not break through against Mobile BayBears (14-7, 53-37) pitching, losing the series opener at Bragan Field by a score of 3-0.
Mobile starter Bradin Hagens (9-4) limited Jacksonville to just three hits over six strong innings on the mound, walking three but striking out two. The BayBears bullpen followed suit and completed the shutout in fromt of 2,409 fans at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville.
“They held our bats at bay all night,” said Suns manager Andy Barkett following the loss. “We had some chances to get the big hit…but we just didn’t get it.”
Morey (3-6) cruised through a perfect first inning for the Suns, but served up a leadoff home run Nick Evans in the second inning that put Mobile on top 1-0. It was Evans’ fifth home run against the Suns in 2013 and his 13th overall.
The Jacksonville right-hander also allowed a pair of runs in the sixth, with Ryan Court and Keon Broxton delivering RBI’s for the BayBears. Morey finished his outing after six innings with three earned runs allowed, two strikeouts and a walk.
“He made some pitches when he had to, but he got hurt a couple times,” Barkett said of Morey. “With our offensive output, he couldn’t really afford to make mistakes.”
One positive for the Suns was the return of Christian Yelich to the lineup after more than a month out of a Jacksonville uniform. Yelich saw time on the disabled list with an abdominal injury but rehabbed with High-A Jupiter before appearing with the Suns on Wednesday evening. Yelich finished his night 0-for-4 with three groundouts.
“It’s good to have him back in the lineup and it’s good to have him back on the club,” Barkett said. “His presence alone will help us out.”
Jake Barrett posted a perfect ninth inning for his third save in four chances for Mobile.
The Suns will attempt to even the five-game series at one apiece on Thursday behind right-hander Bryan Evans (1-3, 4.88), while the BayBears counter with right-hander Bo Schultz (3-1, 2.03). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. ET.
Suns fans can listen to Thursday’s game on the Suns Baseball Network, 94.1 WSOS-FM or through jaxsuns.com, MiLB.com or the Suns iPhone or Android app, beginning at 6:50 p.m. ET with the UF Health Suns Pre-Game Show.
Suns fans can kick off the weekend on Thursday with the biggest party in town with Thursday Night Throwdown, Midget Wrestling, College Night and Health Awareness Night. Fans may enjoy Buds for a buck and 2 for 1 cocktails at the hottest spot in Jacksonville.
Plus it’s the 2013 debut of Midget Wrestling. See Lil Kato battle Bad Boy Brian following the game. It’s also College Night, and all college students get $5 General Admission tickets by showing their student ID at the Suns Box Office. It’s Health Awareness Night presented by Sanofi. Sanofi US and local community health partners will be on hand to raise awareness of obesity and chronic disease. Sponsored by Sanofi, Budweiser, Jim Beam, Absolut, Jagermeister, Maverick’s, Buzz Magazine and 95.1 WAPE.