By Roger Hoover / Smokies Radio Network
The Tennessee Smokies will look to extend their winning streak to four games on Sunday, taking on the Jackson Generals at Smokies Park.
Yesterday Tennessee won 4-2 over the Generals in the opener of the series, as Dae-Eun Rhee out-dueled Mariners top pitching prospect Taijuan Walker.
With last night’s win, the Smokies are now a game and a half back of Jackson for first place in the second half North Division standings, and can guarantee at least a split of the series with a win today.
Starting tonight for Tennessee is right-hander Dallas Beeler. This season with Tennessee, Beeler is 4-6 with 3.99 ERA. Starting for Jackson is left-hander James Paxton, who is 3-3 with a 3.46 ERA this season.
Here are more notes on tonight’s game, direct from the official Tennessee Smokies game notes compiled by Cody Chrusciel:
SETTING THE SCENE
Winners of three straight games, the Smokies host the Generals tonight in game two of their four-game series. The Generals, who Baseball America tabbed as the most talented team in minor league baseball entering the season, won the North Division first-half title and enter today with a half-game lead over Chattanooga in the second half with the Smokies just 1.5 games off the pace. The Smokies are 6-10 against the Generals this season and have won three of the last four meetings. The teams are slated to meet 24 times in 2012. Each of Tennesseee’s last six series have been decided in the final game. A win today would be Tennessee manager Buddy Bailey’s 300th career victory in the Southern League.
LAST TIME OUT
Juan Apodaca and Mike Burgess homered as the Smokies won last night’s series opener, 4-2. After Jackson took a 1-0 lead in the second, the game went into a 32-minute weather delay. Once play resumed, Apodaca launched a three-run homer in the second to give Tennessee a 3-1 edge. Jackson’s Kalian Sams homered to cut the Generals deficit to 3-2 in the top of the fourth, but Burgess lifted a solo homer in the bottom of the frame to cap the scoring. Dae-Eun Rhee (6-4) allowed two runs over five innings to earn the win over Mariners’ top prospect Taijuan Walker (5-5), while Tony Zych and Marcus Hatley (4th save) combined to toss four scoreless innings in relief.
SMOKIES STRIKE BACK
After being held to just 20 runs in their first 12 meetings with the Jackson Generals in 2012, the Smokies erupted for a season-high 15 runs on a season-high 13 hits in a 15-4 win in game one of a doubleheader on May 14 at Smokies Park. The next day, the Smokies plated 10 runs in a 10-8 win against the Generals.
Tennessee’s last 13 home runs have come at Smokies Park. Overall, 24 of Tennessee’s last 26 home runs have come at home. Their last road homer was on June 23 at Chattanooga.
Fans can listen to the game on the Smokies Radio Network, with the “Voice of the Smokies” Mick Gillispie entering his sixth season as Tennessee’s Director of Broadcasting. The 2010 Southern League Broadcaster of the Year is assisted by Cody Chrusciel, Roger Hoover, Jonathan Guess, and Adam King. Chrusciel and Hoover will host the Pilot Oscar-Mayer Pregame Show beginning at 4:45 p.m. on the Smokies Radio Network.
Tonight’s broadcast will air on the Smokies Radio Network’s flagship station The Sports Animal WNML AM 990, FM 99.1 and 99.3 plus the Smokies mobile app. Click the link below to listen live online.