JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (SUBMITTED) -- The Tennessee Smokies fell 2-0 in a tight contest in the opener of the series against the Jacksonville Suns at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville on Wednesday night.
The Smokies offense continued having difficulty in bringing runs into score, as Tennessee has been shut out in the past 26 innings, stretching back to the second inning against Huntsville on Monday.
Tennessee starter Chris Archer pitched six and a third innings in his second Southern League start as he took the loss for the Smokies He allowed one run (unearned) on four hits. At times he struggled with his control, issuing five walks but he also had four strikeouts.
2010 Southern League All Star Elih Villanueva picked up the win for the Suns, as he picked up a complete game shut-out victory to improve to 9-4. Villanueva only allowed three hits to the Smokies.
The Suns scored the game’s first run in the bottom of the fifth. A fielding error by Russ Canzler allowed Vinny Rottino to reach first and Greg Burns scored to give Jacksonville the one run advantage.
Archer left the game in the bottom of the seventh with the bases loaded for the Suns and only one out. Marcos Mateo took over on the mound, and the right-hander escaped the jam without allowing any Suns runs to score.
However Jacksonville would strike in the bottom of the eighth, as Matt Dominguez led off the frame with a solo homer off Mateo to increase the Jacksonville lead to 2-0.
The clubs will play the second game of the series on Thursday night at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville. Rafael Dolis (0-1, 3.00 ERA) will make his third start for the Smokies. Jacksonville will throw right-hander Tom Koehler, who is 10-2 this season with a 3.19 earned run average. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 ET and fans can listen to the game on the Smokies Radio Network.
Courtesy: Smokies baseball