PEARL, Miss. — Jake Marisnick and Kyle Jensen both homered for the Jacksonville Suns (24-15) in a 3-1 victory over the Mississippi Braves (25-17) at Trustmark Park.
Suns starter Sam Dyson (1-3) also picked up his first win in 2013 with five solid innings as Jacksonville regained the top spot in the Southern League South division by half a game over Mississippi. It marks the first time the Suns have held sole possession of first since April 28.
Marisnick came to the plate in the top of the first inning with nobody on base and drove a pitch from Braves starter Michael Lee (3-2) over the center field wall for his third home run of the season. The Suns’ center fielder also drove in Jacksonville’s second run of the game in the third on an RBI single, finishing his night 2-for-4.
The Braves scored their lone run of the game off Dyson in between Marisnick’s hits, plating what was then the tying run on Jaime Pedroza’s RBI groundout in the bottom of the second. It was the only blemish for Dyson, who limited Mississippi to just the one run on six hits and did not walk a batter.
Once Dyson was removed after five frames, the Suns’ bullpen came on and stymied the Braves to help Jacksonville earn its fourth straight victory. Mike Ojala, Collin Cargill and Arquimedes Caminero all fired scoreless frames, with only Cargill allowing a base runner in the seventh.
Through two games in the series, the Suns’ bullpen as a whole has allowed just three hits and no runs in six innings. Stretching back to the final two games of the series in Mobile against the BayBears, the relief corps is working on a scoreless streak of 12 and two thirds innings, surrendering just four hits and a walk in the process.
Kyle Jensen, given a day off on Friday night in the series opener, homered in the top of the eighth inning to close out the scoring. The blast was Jensen’s seventh of the season and provided a two-run cushion that the Suns would not relinquish.
Michael Brady earned his seventh save with a one, two three bottom of the ninth inning, striking out Jose Martinez to end the game and put Jacksonville back atop the standings.
Christian Yelich finished his night at the plate 1-for-4 for Jacksonville, with his lone hit a triple in the fifth inning.
The Suns can secure a series victory with a win on Sunday afternoon in game three of the five-game series. Jacksonville will go for its fifth straight triumph behind right-hander Matt Neil (1-2, 4.09), while the Braves attempt to snatch first place back by sending lefty Alex Wood (2-2, 0.82) to the hill. First pitch is set for 2:00 p.m. ET.