Riddle sets streak mark, but Generals top Suns, 11-1
Suns shortstop posts Southern League's season-long hitting streak and best by a Sun in the Marlins affiliation era
July 29, 2016
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Jacksonville Suns shortstop J.T. Riddle hit safely in his 18th straight game, posting the longest hitting streak in the Southern League this season and the longest by a Sun in the Marlins affiliation era, but Jackson Generals left-hander Ryan Yarbrough went seven shutout innings in the visitors' 11-1 win in front of 5,527 at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville Friday night.
Yarbrough (10-4) allowed a second-inning single and faced the minimum through the first 6 2/3 innings before Riddle reached on a ground ball to third baseman Brock Hebert. The infield single gave Riddle the longest individual hitting streak for Jacksonville as a Marlins affiliate (2009-present). Yarbrough allowed three hits and no walks with five strikeouts.
Suns right-hander Jake Esch (10-8) worked around three hits and a walk in the first two innings. With two outs in the third inning, Esch walked right fielder Tyler O'Neill and designated hitter Leon Landry before Generals first baseman Ryan Casteel lined an RBI single into center field for a 1-0 lead. In the top of the fourth inning, Jackson catcher Marcus Littlewood hit a leadoff single, center fielder Ian Miller hit a one-out double to right field, and shortstop Benji Gonzalez hit an RBI single to center field. Esch hit third baseman Brock Hebert with a pitch to load the bases before being removed for right-hander Tyler Higgins. Right fielder Tyler O'Neill hit an RBI single to right field and Landry hit a sacrifice fly to give the Generals a 4-0 lead. Esch was charged with four earned runs on seven hits and three walks with one strikeout in 3 1/3 innings. His two shortest starts this season (he went 1 2/3 innings May 4) have come against Jackson.
The Generals (19-14 second half, 65-38 overall) added a run in the fifth inning, when second baseman Tim Lopes hit a leadoff single and scored on Miller's sacrifice fly. In the sixth inning, Suns right-hander Ryan Chaffee allowed a leadoff triple to Hebert and hit O'Neill with a pitch, before allowing RBI singles to Landry and Lopes to make it 7-0. Jackson's last four runs came against right-hander Tyler Kinley in the ninth inning, including Gonzalez's RBI single and O'Neill's two-run double. Riddle hit a ninth-inning sacrifice fly for the only run scored by Jacksonville (15-19, 45-59).
UP NEXT: The Suns conclude their series with Jackson at 6:05 p.m. Saturday, when Suns left-hander Matt Tomshaw (2-2) is scheduled to face Generals right-hander Paul Blackburn (6-4). Gates open at 5 p.m., and the first 1,000 fans receive a Randy Johnson Jacksonville Expos Replica Jersey, courtesy of Winn-Dixie. The Fur Circus presented by Memorial Hospital will bring their en-FUR-taining tour to the Baseball Grounds.
ABOUT THE SUNS: The Jacksonville Suns are beginning a new era of affordable family fun under new ownership in 2016. With a FUNdamentally Different promotional schedule and a new lineup of ticket and group options for this season, there is a reason for everyone to get part of the action by calling the Suns at (904) 358-2846 or visiting www.jaxsuns.com.