Smokies give up 4 early runs, lose at Jackson

(Game summary, Tennessee Smokies) The Tennessee Smokies (51-75, 18-39) gave up an early four run lead to the Jackson Generals (71-53, 32-33) in a 6-5 loss on Monday night at The Ballpark at Jackson. 

For the first time in six games, the Smokies plated the first run. After a two-out walk by Vimael Machin, Jared Young roped the Smokies first hit of the game to centerfield to score Machin and give Tennessee a 1-0 lead.

The Smokies continued to pepper Generals’ starter RHP Matt Peacock as they plated three more runs on five singles in the fifth inning. Ian Rice stepped in as a pinch hitter for Smokies starter LHP Luis Lugo and delivered an RBI to score Gioskar Amaya. Roberto Caro followed up with a sacrifice fly and Machin ran in one more with an RBI-single of his own to push the score to 4-0. 

Lugo dealt four scoreless innings in his ninth start of the season with the Smokies. He only gave up three total hits and tied a season-high of seven strikeouts in a no decision.

RHP Allen Webster took over in the fifth for Lugo and failed to survive the inning. After securing the first two outs, Webster allowed three straight base hits that scored two runs on RBIs by Pavin Smith and Seth Beer. Jackson put an exclamation point on the frame with a three-run shot by Ramon Hernandez that gave the Generals a 5-4 lead. 

The back-and-forth ballgame continued as Tennessee knotted things up in the seventh. Caro drew a leadoff walk on RHP Jayson McKinley (W, 1-0) and stole his 31st bag of the season to put a man in scoring position with no outs. Tyler Payne cashed in with a single that scored Caro and tied the game at five a piece. Payne now has driven in a run in three of his last four games.

The Smokies lead lasted just six minutes as the one-two punch of Smith and Beer struck again for the Generals. Both doubled off RHP Tommy Nance (L, 2-4)  to lead off the inning and push Jackson back in the lead, 6-5.

RHP Ryan Atkinson and RHP West Tunnell (S,3) tossed scoreless eighth and ninth innings to secure a 6-5 win for the Generals in game two of the series.

Game three of the series between the Smokies and the Generals is set for Tuesday night. RHP Cory Abbott (6-8, 3.38), will make his team-leading 24th start of the season with the Smokies. On the other end, RHP Emilio Vargas (4-3, 4.16) will get the ball for Jackson. First pitch is set for 7:05 EDT. 

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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