Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Suns' First-Half Hopes Depend on Last 2 Series; after Thursday Rainout, Jacksonville Starts in Birmingham Friday

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Suns' First-Half Hopes Depend on Last 2 Series; after Thursday Rainout, Jacksonville Starts in Birmingham Friday

Article excerpt

Byline: Jeff Elliott

The first-half South Division title in the Southern League and a guaranteed berth in the post-season playoffs are on the line for the Jacksonville Suns when they begin their final two series of the first half in a game Friday night in Birmingham.

The Suns lost a chance to gain ground on first-place Mississippi as an all-day rain at the Baseball Grounds forced the cancellation of the final game between the Suns and Mobile BayBears on Thursday. With the teams not scheduled to meet again in the first half, the game will not be made up.

That leaves four teams bunched within a 1 1/2 games of each other pending the outcome of Thursday's games involving Mississippi (at Chattanooga) and Montgomery (doubleheader with Pensacola). Following their five-game series in Birmingham, the Suns return home for the series that could determine the South Division winner when Montgomery comes to the Baseball Grounds.

"There's pressure every day in this league. From here on out, these next 10 games, we've got to win as many as we can," Suns manager Andy Barkett said. "We've got to play better than we've been playing. I've been saying that for a week now and it's sounding like a broken record. Any one of the four contenders can still win this. It's whoever plays the best ball in the final 10 games will get that first half title. I think we'll be fine. We'll hang in there, we'll be OK."

The Suns will have to do so without their talented center fielder, Christian Yelich. The 21-year-old, left-handed hitting standout was placed on the disabled list on Thursday, retroactive to June 4, with a lower abdominal strain. Yelich, the Miami Marlins No. 1 prospect according to MLB.com (No. 2 by Baseball America), was hitting .262 for the Suns but had a slugging percentage of .518, second best in the Southern League. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.