KODAK, TN - The Jacksonville Suns (38-25, 74-59) used production from all spots in the lineup to earn a 9-7 victory over the Tennessee Smokies (32-31, 65-67) on Sunday from Smokies Park. The Suns have now earned the series win with two games left to play.
Hear from Jon Link after picking up the win and driving in a pair of runs on Sunday:
Jon Link (W, 1-0) earned the win in his 2014 Suns debut, allowing three runs (all earned) on eight hits with no walks and four strikeouts in six innings of a winning effort.
James Nygren gave up one run (earned) on three hits with a strikeout in his one inning of relief.
Jheyson Manzueta worked a scoreless inning, only allowing one hit in his Sunday afternoon outing.
Nick Wittgren surrendered three runs (all earned) on four hits in his one full inning to end Sunday's ballgame in a non-save situation.
Felix Doubront (L, 0-1) took the loss for Tennessee, giving up four runs (three earned) on five hits in 4.1 innings of work, walking three and striking out five.
The Suns opened up the scoring on Sunday afternoon with a pair of runs in the top of the first against Felix Doubront. A Viosergy Rosa RBI infield single followed by an Austin Barnes sacrifice fly put the Suns ahead 2-0 after one half-inning of play.
Tennessee got on the board with a run in the bottom of the third. Lars Anderson's two-out RBI single brought in Pin-Chieh Chen to cut the lead in half, with Jacksonville holding a 2-1 edge with three innings in the books.
The Suns were held off the board until the top of the fifth when they scored six times. The Suns scored twice on wild pitches, once on a bases loaded walk to Isaac Galloway, once on a bases loaded hit to pitch by Brent Keys, and got two more on Jon Link's two-run single to take an 8-1 lead in the top of the fifth inning. The base hit for Link was the first of his professional career.
The Smokies got two of those runs right back in the bottom of the fifth. Stephen Bruno's RBI groundout and Addison Russell's RBI single trimmed Jacksonville's lead to 8-3 with five innings complete.
Jacksonville responded with a run in the top of the sixth, using Isaac Galloway's RBI single to take a 9-3 lead.
Tennessee cut the deficit to five by plating a lone run in the bottom of the seventh. Albert Almora scored on Stephen Bruno's RBI single to make it a 9-4 Suns lead after seven innings of play.
The Smokies did not go quietly in this ballgame, scoring twice in the bottom of the ninth. Addison Russell (HR, 12) drilled a two-run homer to left and Taylor Davis chipped in with a RBI double to cut it to a 9-7 Suns lead and cap off the scoring on Sunday.
With the win, the Suns have earned themselves a series victory with two games left to play.
The Suns and Smokies will be back at it on Monday, with first pitch set for 7:15 p.m. ET from Smokies Park. The Suns will start left-hander Justin Nicolino (12-4, 3.05) for his 2014 Suns debut, while the Smokies are yet to announce their starter.
Suns fans can listen to Monday's game on the Suns Baseball Network, 94.1 WSOS-FM or through www.jaxsuns.com, MiLB.com or the Suns iPhone or Android app, beginning at 7:00 p.m. ET with the Memorial Hospital Suns Pregame Show.
The 2014 season of Suns baseball is presented by EverBank, the official banking partner of the Jacksonville Suns. Sponsorships, group outings, and season / individual game tickets are currently available by calling the Suns front office at (904) 358-2846.
Below are two highlights from Sunday's ballgame: