The Carolina Mudcats are in last place.

Mudcats outfielder Dave Sappelt
  • Photo by Nikolaus © 2010 Carolina Mudcats
  • Mudcats outfielder Dave Sappelt

Former Mudcat turned Mudcat-killer Lee Mitchell homered, tripled and singled for four RBI, leading the Jacksonville Suns to an 8-5 win over visiting Carolina in the opener of their five-game series.

The result left the Mudcats nine games behind the first-place Tennessee Smokies in the Southern League’s North Division race with 23 games left in the season.

The loss came on a day the Mudcats had six transactions including one really big one, as outfielder and SL batting leader Dave Sappelt has been promoted to Louisville along with left-handed reliever Jeremy Horst. Outfielder Denis Phipps has returned from Lynchburg to take Sappelt’s spot, while right-hander Nick Christiani was also promoted from the Carolina League club. Also two pitchers — right-hander Daryl Thompson (shoulder) and lefty Matt Fairel (elbow) have been sent to the Arizona League for rehab.

Steven Cishek (3-1) was the winning pitcher for Jacksonville on Thursday night, while Travis Webb (6-8) took the loss.

Denis Phipps homered with three RBI for the Mudcats, while Kris Negron homered and singled.

Vinny Rottino also homered for the Suns.

Carolina’s next home game will be Wednesday night against the Mobile Bay Bears.

Thursday’s game
Mudcats at Jacksonville, 7:05 p.m.

James Avery (R, 0-1, 6.97) vs. Tom Koehler (R, 13-2, 2.85)