Smokies drop fifth straight, lose to Jackson 6-4

JACKSON, Tenn. (smokiesbaseball) -- Right fielder Mike Burgess doubled and homered, but the Tennessee Smokies (10-14) dropped their fifth straight contest, falling to the Jackson Generals, 6-4, on Saturday night at Pringles Park.

The Generals (17-7) used some clutch two-out hitting to build up a 3-0 lead. Jackson opened the scoring in the bottom of the third when Johermyn Chavez led off with a single and came plateward two batters later on a two-out RBI single off the bat of Francisco Martinez.

Then in the fourth, Joe Dunigan lined a leadoff double to center and was tripled home by Chris Pettit to make it a 2-0 contest before Pettit scored on a Chavez RBI single to extend the Jackson advantage to 3-0.

The Smokies broke through against Brandon Maurer in the top of the fifth when Burgess deposited a two-run homer just over the left field wall to make it 3-2. Burgess’ third home run of the season followed a leadoff single by Matt Cerda, who was activated from the disabled list earlier in the day. Tennessee evened the score at 3-3 later in the frame when Jae-Hoon Ha singled home Mike Brenly, who had reached on a walk.

Jackson jumped back on top, 4-3, thanks to a Dunigan RBI single in the home half of the fifth.

Once Smokies starter Dallas Beeler left the game following the fifth inning, a pair of solo home runs extended Jackson’s lead to 6-3 as Chavez homered with two outs in the sixth and Dunigan connected on his league-leading seventh blast of the season in the seventh.
Burgess struck again in the top of the eighth, doubling home Justin Bour to cut the Smokies deficit to 6-4. That’s as close as Tennessee would come, however, as Stephen Pryor got the final five outs for Jackson to notch his sixth save of the season.

Maurer (1-0) picked up his first win of the season, going five innings and surrendering three runs on six hits. starter Beeler (0-1) suffered his first loss, yielding four runs on eight hits over five innings.

The Smokies and Generals conclude their five-game series on Sunday afternoon at 3:05 p.m. ET when Tennessee sends right-hander Dae-Eun Rhee (1-1, 5.73 ERA) to the mound against Jackson southpaw Danny Hultzen (2-2, 2.08 ERA) at Pringles Park.

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