By Adam Kline / Tennessee Smokies
KODAK, Tenn. – A strong start from Dallas Beeler wasn’t enough as the Jackson Generals hit four home runs on their way to a 6-1 win over the Tennessee Smokies, in front of 3,202 at Smokies Park on Sunday evening. With the loss, the Smokies drop to 12-12 in the second half and 47-47 overall. Jackson improves to 14-9, 56-37.
Tennessee wasted little time scoring Generals starter James Paxton plating one run in the opening frame. Following back-to-back bunt singles, Justin Bour laced a two-out single to right field to score Junior Lake and give the Smokies an early 1-0 lead. With the RBI single, Bour increased his league-leading RBI total to 70.
Smokies starter Dallas Beeler kept the Generals off the scoreboard until the fourth inning when Joe Dunigan hit his first home run of the game to tie the game at one.
Tennessee reliever Kevin Rhoderick replaced Beeler in the seventh and walked the first batter he faced. Following a sacrifice bunt by Gabriel Noriega, Stefen Romero doubled to right-center to give the Generals a 2-1 lead.
Dunigan struck again in the eighth when he smashed his second home run of the game to give the Generals a 3-1 advantage.
Jackson scored three more times in the ninth off reliever Casey Harman. Romero hit a two-run homer and on the very next pitch Chih-Hsien Chiang hit his fourth home run of the season to put Jackson up 6-1.
The Generals pitchers, Paxton, Jonathan Arias and Carter Capps retired 14 of final 16 Smokies batters to come to the plate. Paxton (4-3) got the win allowing one run on eight striking out six.
Beeler fired six innings of one-run ball, scattering six hits and striking out two, but did not factor in the decision. Rhoderick (2-5) took the loss for Tennessee tossing two innings, surrendering two runs on two hits and fanning four.
Tennessee and Jackson will square off in Game 3 of their four-game series at 7:15 Monday night at Smokies Park. Right-hander Ty’Relle Harris (0-1, 1.13) will start for the Smokies against Jackson will counter with righty Brandon Maurer (6-2, 3.78). Fans can bring their four-legged friends to Monday’s game for the Dog Days of Summer, presented by Frontline/Heartgard, Pilot Food Marts and PetSafe. It’s also $1 Hot Dog night, sponsored by Oscar Mayer/Pilot and WATE TV-6. For tickets or more information call (865) 286-2300 or visit http://www.smokiesbaseball.com.
LISTEN TO GAME HIGHLIGHTS: July 15, 2012 Generals 6 Smokies 1