JACKSONVILLE, FL (smokiesbaseball.com) -- The Smokies used 11 hits over the first four innings to build a lead and came away with a 6-1 victory over the Suns on Tuesday night at The Baseball Grounds. The win improves the Smokies to 13-6 on the year and ensures them a winning road trip.
The Smokies came out of the gate with steam, as they put together three straight base hits in the first inning to bring in their first run of the game. In the top of the third inning, Tennessee pounded RHP Joe O’Gara (1-1) for four runs on consecutive five hits, including an RBI double off the bat of Rebel Ridling. The hit extended Ridling’s streak to seven straight games. RHP Trey McNutt (1-1) allowed his first and only run of the game in the bottom of the third. With one out, McNutt walked Kevin Mattison, who immediately stole second base. He was driven home on an RBI base hit to left field by Chris Gutiierrez, and the Smokies were on top 5-1 after three innings.
After O’Gara induced two straight ground outs to start the fourth inning, Ryan Flaherty belted a single up the middle and came into score on an RBI triple off the center field wall by Matt Spencer. Jacksonville threatened with two men on and one out in the bottom frame, but McNutt was able to get Jorge Padilla to hit into a double play and end the inning.
On the night, McNutt allowed just one run on seven hits through five innings of work. He walked one batter and also struck out four. This is McNutt’s first Double-A win. Four Smokies pitchers came out of the bullpen to hold the Suns scoreless on just four hits through the final four innings.
The Smokies continue their five game series against the Suns on Wednesday afternoon at 1:05 PM. RHP Alberto Cabrera (2-0, 5.06) will make his fourth start for the Smokies, and the Suns will give the ball to LHP Darin Downs (0-0, 1.50). The Smokies will return to Smokies Park on Thursday, April 28th, as the Smokies will host the Carolina Mudcats in a five-game series through May 2. Tickets can be purchased at www.smokiesbaseball.com or by calling (865) 286-2300.