Smokies third baseman Jeimer Candelario’s go-ahead longball in the sixth proved to be the difference as starter Felix Pena tossed seven solid innings and shortstop Ryan Dent recorded three more hits as Tennessee notched their fifth straight triumph with a 4-3 win over the Jacksonville Suns on Sunday evening at Smokies Stadium. The Smokies raised their second half record to three games above .500 at 33-30, while also boosting their overall mark to 72-60. Jacksonville, meanwhile, fell to 24-38 since the league’s All-Star break, along with a 53-78 overall tally throughout the 2015 campaign. Tennessee’s win also kept the club’s slim playoff hopes alive, having enter tonight seven games back with eight contests remaining in the regular season.
During the contest, Smokies players and coaches wore special Smoky Mountain Service Dogs jerseys that were auctioned and raffled off during the contest to benefit the Smoky Mountain Service Dogs organization. During an on-field check presentation, it was announced the club had raised $10,080 dollars through the auction and raffle for Smoky Mountain Service Dogs. Following a four-for-four effort last night, Dent (3-4) led all Smokies batters with three more base knocks, which led both sides. Over his last two contests, the infielder has tallied seven hits in eight at bats, along with two runs, two homers and four RBI to raised his batting average 24 points in that short span.
The Smokies and Suns are scheduled to continue their five-game series in the final homestand of the year on Monday evening, with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Tennessee is slated to send RHP Ryan Williams (9-2, 3.00) to the hill, while Jacksonville is expected to give the ball to LHP Matt Tomshaw (5-9, 4.31). It’s the last McGhee Tyson Airport Dollar Monday of the 2015 campaign, with great value available to all fans. As part of the festivities, hot dogs, popcorn, sodas and programs will be available for only one dollar each. The Smokies will then conclude their 2015 home slate with Fan Appreciation Night on Tuesday evening, with the first 2,000 fans through the gates receiving a hot dog, bag of chips and drink, while all fans will go home with a special surprise thanks to the Smokies and their partners.
Friday: Smokies 7 Jacksonville 0
Saturday: Smokies 5 Jacksonville 3