KODAK, Tenn. (release) -- Juan Apodaca and Mike Burgess powered the Tennessee Smokies’ offense to a 4-2 win over the Jackson Generals Saturday night at Smokies Park. The win, in front of 5,389, improved the Smokies to 12-11 on the season’s second half, 47-46 overall and brought Tennessee within 1.5 games of the first-place Generals (13-9, 55-37).
After retiring the Generals in order in the first inning, the Smokies and starting pitcher Dae-Eun Rhee found themselves down 1-0 after Ralph Henriquez singled home Rich Poythress in the second inning.
Following a 32-minute weather delay, the Smokies answered plating three runs in the bottom of the second. Justin Bour led off the frame with a double and Mike Burgess walked to put two runners on. Apodaca sent a long fly over the right-center fence to give the Smokies lead, 3-1.
Tennessee leading 3-2 in the fourth, Burgess added to the Smokies lead with a solo home run in the fourth.
Rhee (6-4) settled in to allow two runs on five hits, walking two and striking out six.
The Smokies bullpen of Tony Zych and Marcus Hatley (S, 4) combined to pitch scoreless four innings, allowing one hit while striking out six.
Seattle Mariners top minor league prospect Taijuan Walker (5-5) took the loss for the Generals allowing all four Tennessee runs to score on three hits, walking five and striking out six in six innings.
The Smokies and Generals will continue their four-game series on Sunday at 5:00 p.m. at Smokies Park. Tennessee will send RHP Dallas Beeler (4-6, 3.99) and Jackson will counter with LHP James Paxton (3-3, 3.46). Sunday is Alzheimer’s Tennessee Night, fans are encouraged to wear purple or their “We Back Pat” shirts. For tickets and more information visit www.smokiesbaseball.com or call 865-286-2300.