Jacksonville Sports Day

SUNS: Braves Rally in Third Enough for 5-4 Win

The Mississippi Braves overcame a 3-0 deficit with four runs in the third inning and kept the Jacksonville Suns from bringing in the tying run from scoring position in each of the last three innings of the Braves’ 5-4 win over the Suns in front of 5,955 at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville Friday night.

The crowd saw the Suns (10-12) score in each of the first two innings for a 3-0 lead. Braves right-hander Chris Ellis (3-0) walked the first two Suns batters, center fielder Yefri Perez – who stole second base – and right fielder Jeremias Pineda.

Perez and Pineda executed a double steal, before the former scored on left fielder Austin Dean’s RBI groundout. Perez stole a career-high four bases (matching Pineda for the most by a Sun this season) and leads all of baseball with 19 stolen bases. He also drove in two runs with an infield single in the second inning, after third baseman Matt Juengel and catcher Francisco Arcia had begun the inning with consecutive singles.

Mississippi (8-14) answered in the third inning against Suns left-hander Jarlin Garcia (0-1). Braves right fielder Jordy Lara singled to center field, Ellis popped a one-out bunt over Juengel along the third-base line, and a walk loaded the bases.

With two outs, Garcia allowed a full-count, run-scoring walk to left fielder Dustin Peterson, before catcher Willians Astudillo hit the next pitch for a three-run, go-ahead double to left-center field, giving the Braves a 4-3 lead. Mississippi added a fifth-inning run on Peterson’s sacrifice fly. Garcia allowed five runs – four earned – on six hits and two walks with five strikeouts in a season-high six innings, before right-handers Scott Lyman and Hunter Adkins combined for scoreless relief.

With the lead, Ellis faced the minimum until he was removed after six innings. Left-hander Steve Kent began the seventh inning and allowed Suns pinch hitter Moises Sierra’s RBI single to make it 5-4. With one out and runners at first and third bases, Perez popped up a bunt to first baseman Jacob Schrader, who threw to third base for an inning-ending double play.

With runners at first and second base in the eighth inning, Braves right-hander Bradley Roney struck out back-to-back batters, and in the ninth inning he got Pineda’s game-ending ground out with the tying and winning runs in scoring position.

The Suns continue their series with the Braves at 6:05 p.m. Saturday, when Suns right-hander Austin Brice (1-1) is scheduled to face Braves left-hander Sean Newcomb (1-1).

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