(Tennessee Smokies) The Smokies fell to the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp on Tuesday afternoon 5-4 at Smokies Stadium. After getting down early, the Smokes made a valiant effort but were not able to complete the comeback.
After getting his first win of the season in his last outing, Oscar De La Cruz struggled in his start on Tuesday. De La Cruz made it through just 2.2 innings, allowing five runs on five hits. De La Cruz struck out four in the game but also walked five batters.
Making his first appearance since returning to the Smokies from Iowa, Zach Hedges replaced De La Cruz and was able to stop the bleeding and pitch a successful outing. Hedges pitched 4.1 scoreless innings, while allowing just two hits and striking out two.
After Jacksonville got out to an early 5-0 lead, the Smokies fought back in the bottom of the fourth. Jason Vosler hit his fourth home run of the season in the inning, a solo home run that cut the lead to 5-1.
The Smokies rally continued in the bottom of the sixth inning. Vosler doubled to start the inning and Yasiel Balaguert reached base on an error. Eddy Martinez was the next batter, and he cut the lead to 5-4 with one swing of the bat as he homered to left field. Martinez’s home run was his second of the season.
In the seventh, the Smokies had a chance to tie the game up. Jeffrey Baez tripled to right field with one out. Trent Giambrone was the next batter and he hit a ground ball to the pitcher that was fielded and thrown home to get Baez at the plate. That ended the Smokies rally in the seventh.
Scott Effross replaced Hedges in the eighth inning and pitched the final two innings of the game, throwing two scoreless innings and striking out two. However, the Smokies went down quietly in the ninth inning.
The Smokies will be back in action on Wednesday evening as they Jacksonville in the last game of the series. Michael Rucker will be on the mound for the Smokies while the Jumbo Shrimp will counter with Nick Neidert. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. It will be an All You Can Eat Wednesday, presented by Mrs. Grissom’s Salads. Gates will open at 6 p.m.