— In a wild back-and-forth affair, the Jacksonville Suns (11-11, 45-44) fell a run short against the Mobile BayBears (15-8, 54-38) in a 9-8 loss at Bragan Field.
The game featured a combined 27 hits between the two teams and also saw every Jacksonville Sun reach base at least once, but Ender Inciarte’s solo home run to lead off the eighth inning for Mobile proved to be the difference.
The BayBears started fast, jumping ahead 2-0 on Nick Evans’ two-run home run off Anthony DeSclafani in the top of the first inning. Jacksonville cut into the lead on Mark Canha’s RBI groundout in the bottom of the first, but failed to take advantage of a two-out rally in the second. Jake Marisnick’s two-out single sent Michael Main home, but Main was thrown out at the plate and eventually ejected for arguing the call.
Suns manager Andy Barkett also protested the ruling and was subsequently ejected for the fifth time in the 2013 season.
The BayBears sent DeSclafani to the clubhouse after four and a third innings on the mound and eventually jumped out to a 7-2 lead. The Suns got to within three runs on J.T. Realmuto’s two-run double, but fell back to four runs behind when Mobile plated a run in the top of the seventh.
The Suns tied things up in the bottom of the seventh with a four-run frame, rallying against Mobile’s bullpen. Ryan Fisher’s two-run double made it an 8-6 game, and Audy Ciriaco’s single brought Jacksonville to within one. Danny Pertusati’s bloop single then brought home the tying run.
The Suns’ jubilation did not last for long, as Inciarte led off the top of the eighth with a solo homer into the right field bleachers off Jordan Conley (1-1). The Suns did not produce a base runner in the bottom of the eighth or ninth innings to suffer the one-run defeat.
Jake Marisnick and Christian Yelich each had banner nights for the Suns despite the loss, with Marisnick finishing 4-for-5 and Yelich picking up his first two hits in a Suns uniform since his return from the disabled list.
The Suns will send left-hander Adam Conley (7-4, 3.96) to the mound in game four of the series on Saturday, in search of a win to send the five-game set to a rubber match of Sunday. The BayBears, meanwhile, will go for the series win behind left-hander David Holmberg (5-4, 2.41). First pitch is set 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 at Bragan Field is Mini-Bat Giveaway, Wrestling Night, John Rocker & Denny McLain Appearance, Blood Drive, Ronald McDonald Appearance & Steak Me out to the Ballgame. Fans should be sure to arrive early as the first 3,000 fans will receive a special Suns Mini-Bat courtesy of The Blood Alliance, 1010XL & First Coast News 12 & 25. After the game will be three exciting wrestling matches that fans won't want to miss, featuring a Ladies Match, Tag Team Match and the Final Midget Wrestling Match of 2013 featuring Lil' Kato.
Also, all fans can meet former Big League Legends from the Atlanta Braves John Rocker and former Detroit Tiger and the last pitcher to win 30 games in a season Denny McLain who will be on hand signing autographs. The Blood Alliance Bloodmobile will be at Bragan Field and the Suns encourage all fans to donate blood. The first 25 donors receive 2 tickets to the game, a hot dog and soda voucher and a special Suns gift. Plus see all of the hottest rides from your local Southern Ford Dealers. Don't miss a special appearance from Ronald McDonald. Also enjoy Steak Me Out to the Ballgame. Fans receive a tender 8 oz. bacon-wrapped filet mignon, baked potato, salad, non-alcoholic beverage and general admission to the game for only $25.