JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Suns failed to score for the second consecutive game against the Jackson Generals on Monday, and Francisco Martinez's RBI groundout provided the only run in a 1-0 Generals victory at Bragan Field at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville.
A day after losing their first game of the season by a score of 10-0, the Suns let several prime opportunities slip away against Jackson. Twice in three frames, Jacksonville put a runner on third base with less than two outs but could not tie the game.
The Generals mustered the only scoring rally of the contest in the second inning against Suns starter Sam Dyson (0-1), who otherwise was superb in his five innings of work. Dyson hit Generals' third baseman Vinnie Catricala to begin the inning, and designated hitter Julio Morban followed with a double to put runners on second and third with no one out. Martinez's roller to third in the next at-bat sent Catricala home with the lone dent on the scoreboard.
Dyson went on to retire 12 of the last 14 batters he faced, striking out four Generals along the way. The 24-year old right-hander, who had a brief stint in the Major Leagues with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2012, did not walk a batter and surrendered just three hits.
The Suns, however, could not make their five hits count. Jackson starter James Gillheeney (1-0) also pitched five innings and gave up three hits, but held Jacksonville scoreless to earn the victory.
Three of the Suns' knocks came courtesy of designated hitter J.T. Realmuto, who finished a home run short of the cycle. Realmuto singled in the fourth, tripled in the sixth (where he was stranded after a pair of strikeouts to end the inning) and doubled in the eighth.
The double put runners on second and third for the Suns with two out against Generals reliever Tyler Burgoon, but Burgoon got right fielder Kyle Jensen to pop up to shallow center field, ending the threat.
Suns relievers Arquimedes Caminero and Scott McGouch combined to shut out the Generals over four innings of stout bullpen work. Caminero struck out two and did not walk a batter in his pair of innings, and McGough allowed only an infield single in his two frames.
Center fielder Michael Main, who also made a stellar diving catch on a sixth inning drive hit by Catricala, and Derek Dietrich had a hit each in the loss.
The Suns will enjoy an off day Tuesday before leaving on the team's first road trip of 2013. The first five game set comes against the Huntsville Stars (Brewers), with the back end of trip taking Jacksonville to Pensacola to take on the Blue Wahoos (Reds). Suns fans can keep up with the team by tuning in to the Suns Baseball Network, WSOS-FM 94.1 in Jacksonville or on the internet webcast at jaxsuns.com or MiLB.com.
The Suns begin the ten-game journey on Wednesday at Joe Davis Stadium in Huntsville, with first pitch scheduled for 7:43 p.m. ET. Left-hander Brian Flynn will make his second start for the Suns, opposed by Stars right-hander Jimmy Nelson.