Jacksonville Sports Day

SUNS: Wahoos Homer Past Jacksonville in Series Opener

Pensacola Blue Wahoos center fielder Phillip Ervin had three hits and a pair of the visitors’ five home runs in a 9-0 win over the Jacksonville Suns in front of 4,064 at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville Thursday night.

The game lasted scoreless until a third-inning, two-out solo home run by Blue Wahoos third baseman Alex Blandino down the left-field line against Suns right-hander Hunter Adkins (1-5). It was the only run through the first five innings, as Adkins struck out seven batters while holding Pensacola (10-11 second half, 51-40 overall) to three hits and no walks.

Blue Wahoos right-hander Tyler Mahle (4-1) pitched six scoreless innings, stranding at least one base runner in five separate innings, and alllowed four hits and two walks with two strikeouts in his first start in Jacksonville.

Pensacola grew its lead against the Suns bullpen, beginning in the sixth inning. Against right-hander Tyler Bremer, Ervin doubled to center field, and second baseman Brandon Dixon walked. After a wild pitch, right fielder Sebastian Elizalde hit a sacrifice fly to right field, and left fielder Juan Duran hit an RBI groundout for a 3-0 lead.

In the seventh inning, Bremer walked Pensacola first baseman Eric Jagielo and allowed a double to catcher Chad Wallach, before pinch hitter Taylor Sparks lifted a three-run home run to left field. Two batters later, Ervin hit his first home run to left field, extending the lead to 7-0. That ended the outing for Bremer, who gave way to right-hander Tyler Higgins.

Jagielo and Ervin added solo home runs in the eighth and ninth innings, respectively, against Higgins, who pitched the final 2 2/3 innings.

Center fielder Alex Glenn and third baseman Brian Anderson each had two hits for the Suns (11-10, 41-50) who remained in a first-place tie with Mobile in the Southern League South Division second-half standings.

The Suns continue their series with Pensacola at 7:05 p.m. Friday, when right-hander Patrick Johnson (4-5) is scheduled to face Blue Wahoos right-hander Rookie Davis (6-3).

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