Smokies' bats go silent, lose 1-0

JACKSONVILLE, Fl. (release) - The Jacksonville Suns (24-16, 58-49) defeated the Tennessee Smokies (24-16, 58-51) 1-0 Friday evening, using seven scoreless innings from starting pitcher Anthony DeSclafani (3-2, 4.36) to shut down the Southern League’s top lineup.

Jacksonville broke a scoreless contest in the bottom of the fifth inning after Figueroa allowed a leadoff walk followed by a single to put runners at first and second with no outs. Michael Main put the Suns on the board with a RBI-single to left field to give Jacksonville the 1-0 lead.

The Smokies put runners at second and third with two outs in the ninth inning when Christian Villanueva hit a bloop single to shallow center field, followed by a Rubi Silva double to the left field wall. The next batter, Brett Jackson, lined out to second baseman Derek Dietrich to end the game.

Tennessee threatened to bring across the game’s first run in the top of the fourth inning when second baseman Arismendy Alcantara led off the frame with an infield single. DeSclafani escaped trouble, however, as the right-hander induced a ground ball along with two strikeouts to end the top half of the inning.

The Smokies put runners at first and second in the seventh inning after back-to-back one-out singles from Villanueva and Silva, but a Brett Jackson strikeout and Rafael Lopez fly out ended the threat.
Smokies’ starter Eduardo Figueroa (0-1, 1.80), making his Double-a debut, pitched five innings and took the loss but allowed just one earned run on four hits while walking two batters and striking out two.
The Tennessee offense went 0-8 with runners in scoring position Friday evening and left seven men on base.

Michael Brady earned his 18th save of the season in his 20th attempt, pitching a scoreless ninth inning.

Tennessee will send right-hander Dae-Eun Rhee (3-0, 2.13) to the mound while Jacksonville will counter with left-hander Adam Conley (10-4, 3.22). First pitch from Bragan Field in Jacksonville is set for 7:05 p.m. EST.

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