HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The Suns could not score after plating a single run in the first inning and dropped their first road game of the season on Wednesday, a 5-1 decision to the Huntsville Stars.
Jacksonville has just two runs to its credit since beginning the 2013 campaign with back-to-back 5-3 wins over the Jackson Generals. On Wednesday, Kyle Jensen’s bases loaded hit by pitch provided the only notch on the scoreboard for the Suns, who dropped to 3-3 on the season.
Suns starter Brian Flynn held the Stars scoreless through the first three innings, but hit a bump in the fourth. With one out, Brock Kjeldgaard hit his first home run of the season for the Stars to tie the game at one apiece. Two batters later, Mike Walker added his first tater to put Huntsville ahead for good.
The runs would be the only black marks on Flynn’s line (5.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 8 K, 1 BB) but were still enough to hand the left-hander his first loss of 2013.
Meanwhile, Stars hurler Jimmy Nelson settled down after a rocky first inning to earn his second victory. The right-hander allowed jus three base hits, struck out four and walked two. The only run on his record was unearned as a result of an error by second baseman T.J. Mittelstaedt that aided the Suns’ only scoring rally of the evening.
The Stars added onto their lead against the Suns bullpen beginning in the sixth. With two outs, right-hander James Leverton allowed a run scoring double to Adam Weisenburger to put Huntsville up 3-1. Daniel Pertusati’s throw home on the play was in time to retire the back runner Mike Walker, but the damage was already done.
Jason Rogers and Kentrail Davis each added RBI hits for the Stars in the seventh inning off the Suns’ newest pitcher, Michael Ojala, to round out the scoring. In his Suns debut, Ojala allowed two runs on three hits in two thirds of an inning.
Stars reliever Santo Manzanillo induced a game-ending double play off the bat of Mark Canha to close it out, giving the Stars their league-leading fifth win of the 2013 season.
The Suns have lost three straight after beginning the season 3-0. Jacksonville will attempt to get back into the win column on Thursday in game two of the five game series at Joe Davis Stadium in Huntsville behind right-hander Robert Morey, who will make his second start. Morey, seeking his first win of the year, will face highly-touted Stars right-hander Taylor Jungmann.
First pitch is scheduled for 7:43 p.m. ET and can be heard on the Suns Baseball Network, 94.1 WSOS-FM, or through jaxsuns.com, MiLB.com or the Suns iPhone or Android app.