JACKSONVILLE, Fla. –
The Jacksonville Suns jumped out to an early lead on Monday but couldn't hold off the Chattanooga Lookouts, who plated four fourth inning runs en route to a 5-1 win at Bragan Field at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville.
Suns' starter Matt Neil (0-2) cruised through three scoreless innings to begin the game, but with Jacksonville ahead 1-0 entering the fourth, Neil's outing turned south.
"He got into some traffic and left some pitches elevated," manager Andy Barkett said following the game. "He got into a position where he left some pitches elevated with runners in scoring position, and he got hurt."
J.T. Wise singled to begin the frame and scored on Brian Cavazos-Galvez's RBI double to tie the game with one out.
Neil recorded the second out of the inning, but then surrendered a two-run home run to Griff Erickson that put Chattanooga ahead 3-1, a lead they would not relinquish. The Jacksonville right-hander appeared to be out of the inning a batter later, but dropped first baseman Mark Canha's toss while covering the bag on C.J. Retherford's grounder, extending the inning.
After a walk to the opposing pitcher, Andres Santiago (2-1), Rafael Ynoa doubled off Neil to plate the Lookouts' fourth run of the inning.
It would be the only inning in which Chattanooga scored on Neil, but was still enough to earn the Lookouts their eighth win of 2013. Neil finished with five innings pitched, allowing four runs on six hits, striking out three and walking two.
The inning erased an early Suns' advantage, gained on Derek Dietrich's RBI single in the bottom of the third that scored Danny Black. Jacksonville had a chance to add more runs in the same inning, but Santiago struck Kyle Jensen out with two runners on to end the threat.
Santiago allowed just one more hit after the third, finishing his five innings with five hits allowed, six strikeouts and a pair of walks and earning his second win.
"I thought we were a little flat [at the plate]", Barkett said. "We got down and just couldn't get much going offensively."
Chattanooga would add a run in the eighth before the Suns rallied in the bottom of the ninth, trailing by four runs. A double by Zack Cox and walks to both Danny Black and Aaron Dudley loaded the bases with two outs for Christian Yelich. With Yelich representing the tying run, Lookouts reliever Yimi Garcia struck the No. 2 Marlins prospect out to end the game, earning his fifth save in the process.
The game, scheduled to begin at 12:05 p.m. ET, was delayed by an hour and ten minutes because of rainy conditions at Bragan Field, finally getting underway at 1:15 p.m.
At 10-7, the Suns will attempt to even the five game series with the Lookouts at two games apiece on Tuesday behind right-hander starter Robert Morey (0-0, 5.87 ERA), who will make his return from the disabled list after a blister forced him to miss his last start. He will face Chattanooga left-hander Rob Rasmussen (1-2, 5.78 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
Suns fans can listen to Tuesday'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. with the UF and Shands Suns Pre-Game Show.