By Conor Loftus
JACKSONVILLE (Florida Sports Wire)– The Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp (40-49, 8-7) bats were not enough to match the high scoring offense of the Worcester Red Sox (49-40, 10-4) in a 9-8 rain-delayed defeat on Sunday afternoon at 121 Financial Ballpark.
Chi Chi Gonzalez, making his 15th start of the season, started slow allowing two runs in the first inning. After the Woo Sox pulled off a double steal to plate a run, Bobby Dalbec took Gonzalez deep to dead center, the deepest part of the ballpark.
The Jumbo Shrimp wasted little time answering right back in the bottom of the first. Jake Mangum led off with a single, before Jacob Amaya cracked an opposite field home run to draw Jacksonville even at two.
A couple batters later the Shrimp jumped in front 3-2 on a Jordan Groshans’ single to drive in Peyton Burdick.
The struggles would continue for Gonzalez in the second along with the combination of shoddy defense. Stephen Scott and David Hamilton hit back-to-back RBIs for the Woo Sox to reclaim the lead 4-3.
Worcester would extend their lead on a Jerar Encarnacion throwing error, enabling Hamilton to score. Ceddanne Rafaela added on an RBI infield single to cap off a four-run top of the second for the Woo Sox.
Entering the bottom of the third trailing 7-3 the Jumbo Shrimp had their work cut out for them Groshans pulled the Shrimp within two with a double down the right field line scoring Amaya and Xavier Edwards.
Encarnacion, making up for his error, followed up with an RBI double to close the Red Sox lead to 7-6.
After a Jumbo Shrimp error in the top of the fifth allowed a run to score, Nick Sogard provided insurance for the Woo Sox with a bases loaded base hit bringing in Crook to give Worcester a 9-6 cushion.
Mangum started the bottom of the sixth off with a bang, homering to left for his third-round tripper of the year, a solo shot to bring the Shrimp within two runs.
The Jumbo Shrimp would bring the tying run up to the plate in the bottom of the ninth with a runner on first, before mother nature took over causing the second rain delay of the day.
Worcester swept the three-game series. Trailing by seven on Saturday night, the Jumbo Shrimp brought the winning run to the plate in the bottom of the ninth, but their comeback fell short in an 8-5 loss.
Jacksonville heads to Nashville for Tuesday’s 7:35 p.m. ET contest to kick off their six-game series versus the Sounds.
The Jumbo Shrimp will start LHP Enmanuel De Jesus (3-3, 5.27 ERA) and the Sounds will hand the ball to RHP Justin Jarvis (0-1, 10.80 ERA)
(SportsDay’s Conor Loftus writes for the Florida Sports Wire.)
(File photo by Jim Brady, Florida Sports Wire/SportsDay Images)