— The Jacksonville Suns (30-20, 64-53) received a tremendous start from Anthony DeSclafani and rode a four-run fifth inning to their third straight victory, a 4-1 triumph over the Birmingham Barons (26-25, 70-51) at Bragan Field.
DeSclafani (4-3) pitched seven strong innings for Jacksonville, allowing only a seventh inning solo home run to Birmingham’s Dan Black, striking out eight and issuing zero walks. The eight strikeouts fell just one shy of the right-hander’s Double-A best.
“[DeSclafani] pitched great,” said Suns manager Andy Barkett following the win. “He made one mistake to…Black, who hit it out of the park, but he was in complete control and had life on his fastball.”
On offense, the Suns could not score in their first four trips to the plate against Barons right-hander Scott Carroll (0-2) but broke through in the fifth. Danny Black plated the game’s first run with a triple to deep center field to score Austin Barnes for a 1-0 Suns lead. Black came in to score himself just moments later on Michael Main’s RBI single.
After Chris Gutierrez singled with two outs to put a pair of runners on base, Derek Dietrich lined another triple into the left-center field gap, scoring both runners and giving Jacksonville a 4-0 advantage.
“[Dietrich] got a pitch to hit and didn’t try to do too much with it,” Barkett said. “That was a big at-bat and kind of put the game out of reach.”
Those runs were plenty for both DeSclafani and reliever Arquimedes Caminero, who pitched a scoreless final two frames for his fifth save.
The win moved the Suns to 14-4 in their last 18 games and sets up game two between the Suns and Barons on Wednesday at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville. The Suns will send left-hander Adam Conley (11-5, 3.38) to the mound, while Birmingham will counter with right-hander Chris Beck (0-1, 4.50). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. ET.
Suns fans can listen to Wednesday’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.
Wednesday at Bragan Field is Winn-Dixie Wednesday with the Great Grocery Giveaway and Winn-Dixie Ticket Offer. Fans may bring their Winn-Dixie Customer Reward Card to the Suns box office for 2 for 1 tickets. Also, hundreds of dollars in groceries will be given away with the Great Grocery Giveaway, sponsored by Winn-Dixie & V101.5. It's also Catholic Night. See Bishop Felipe Estevez of the Catholic Diocese of St. Augustine throw out the first pitch. Plus, fans can stop by their local Jiffy Lube for Free General Admission Tickets.