(Tennessee Smokies game summary, submitted) The Tennessee Smokies (20-20) started the road series with a 3-2 win over the Jackson Generals (22-17) at The Ballpark at Jackson on Thursday night.
The Smokies extended their season-long winning streak to four games while halting Jackson’s season-long five game win streak.
For the third straight game, the opposition scored first. Jackson’s Ramon Hernandez put the Generals ahead by with a sacrifice fly to score Pavin Smith in the second inning.
The highlight of the game came from Smokies RHP Oscar De La Cruz (W, 1-1) at the plate. De La Cruz rocketed his first career home run in the sixth inning tying the game. He is the first Smokies pitcher to hit a home run since Eduardo Figueroa did it on June 4, 2014.
De La Cruz wrapped up his third start with two runs on three hits, two strikeouts, and three walks in 6.1 innings, his longest outing of the season.
After a pair of singles from Jared Young and Roberto Caro, Jhonny Pereda’s RBI single drove Caro home to give the Smokies a 2-1 lead. Vimael Machin concluded the three-run sixth inning with a single scoring Young, making the score 3-1. Machin’s hit extended his hitting streak to a team-best five games.
All three Smokies runs in the sixth were charged to RHP Tyler Mark (L, 1-1) who lasted two innings, allowing three runs on six hits.
Ramon Hernandez collected his second RBI of the night with a solo home run in the sixth inning cutting the deficit in half to 3-2. LHP Jordan Minch came on in relief for De La Cruz and kept the Generals off the scoreboard in 1.2 innings of work, which featured two strikeouts.
In the bottom of the ninth, RHP Wyatt Short (S,3) took the mound to pick up the save. After giving up a lead off single to Hernandez, Short caught a break when pinch-runner Ben DeLuzio was gunned down attempting to steal second for the first out. Short deleted the next two batters via strikeout to seal the win.
The Smokies and Generals continue their series tomorrow night at 7:05 pm ET. RHP Tyson Miller (2-1, 0.94) starts for the Smokies while Jackson gives the ball to RHP Kevin McCanna (2-0, 0.00).