— Anthony DeSclafani tossed seven scoreless innings and the Jacksonville Suns (24-16, 58-49) won their eighth straight game, beating the Tennessee Smokies (24-16, 58-51) by a score of 1-0 in their series opener at Bragan Field.
DeSclafani struck out seven batters and walked just one over his seven frames of work, surrendering six hits in earning his third career Double-A victory.
“What can you say about this kid?” said Suns manager Andy Barkett. "He’s attacking the strike zone and doing all we ask of him. He’s doing all you can ask of a pitcher, especially in a pennant race.”
The Suns had their own troubles at the plate against Tennessee’s right-hander Eduardo Figueroa (0-1), who limited Jacksonville to just one run on four hits in five innings. The Suns scored the game’s lone run on Michael Main’s fifth inning RBI single, but could not manage another hit after Figueroa left the game.
But Jacksonville’s bullpen made the one-run lead stand. Pete Andrelczyk set down the Smokies in order in the eighth, and Michael Brady got Brett Jackson to line out to Derek Dietrich with runners on second and third to end the game in the ninth.
“That was a big out,” Barkett said. “[Brady] got it when he had to.”
The Suns have won eight straight games for the first time since 2010 and are tied with the Smokies for the Southern League’s best record in the second half of the season.
Jacksonville, seeking its ninth straight win, will send left-hander Adam Conley (10-4, 3.22) to the mound in the second game of the five-game set. Conley will face Smokies right-hander Dae-Eun Rhee (3-0, 2.13), with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m. ET.
Suns fans can listen to Saturday’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.
Saturday is Buffett Night, Ronald McDonald Appearance, Suns Mini-Bat Giveaway & Steak Me out to the Ballgame. Join us for one of the most popular nights of the year with Buffett Night. Fans can enjoy Cheeseburgers in Paradise, Margarita & Landshark specials, plus see the Suns in special Beach Themed Jerseys that will be available for silent auction benefiting Wolfson Children's Hospital.
Fans can win the jersey off of their favorite players back! Fans should be sure to arrive early as the first 1,500 will get a Suns Mini-Bat. Ronald McDonald will also be on hand entertaining the crowd. Plus enjoy Steak Me Out to the Ballgame. Fans get a tender 8 oz. bacon-wrapped filet mignon, baked potato, salad, non-alcoholic beverage and general admission to the game for only $25. Plus, stick around after the game for a Buffett style concert from the George Aspinall Band. Sponsored by Jacksonville Chrysler Jeep Dodge, McDonald's, Landshark, First Coast News 12 & 25 & Lite 96.1.