By Cody Chrusciel / Smokies Radio Network
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Tennessee Smokies (15-18 second half, 50-53 overall) saw their three-game winning streak come to an end with a 6-4 loss to the Jacksonville Suns on Thursday night at The Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville. In the loss, shortstop Junior Lake notched his fifth straight multi-hit outing, going 3-for-5 with a double, a run scored, and an RBI.
The teams traded runs in the first inning with Justin Bour lining an RBI single off the first baseman’s glove before Kyle Jensen evened the score, 1-1, on a bloop RBI single to right in the bottom of the frame. After Lake put Tennessee ahead, 2-1, with an RBI double in the third, Bour connected on a solo home run in the fourth to make it a 3-1 contest. Kyle Skipworth countered with a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth to pull the Suns within one, 3-2.
The Suns (16-17, 49-54) took their first lead of the game in the fifth inning. After Jensen tied the game with an RBI single, Jacksonville jumped on top, 4-3, on a Skipworth run-scoring double. That lead was short lived, however, as Greg Rohan led off with Tennessee sixth with a game-tying home run.
Jacksonville would quickly re-gain the lead in the bottom of the sixth when Donnie Webb laced a leadoff triple to center and scored on a wild pitch by reliever Tony Zych. Jeff Dominguez added a two-out RBI single to put the Suns up, 6-4.
Neither starter factored in the decision. For the Smokies, Dallas Beeler struck out a season-high eight batters, allowing four runs (three earned) on eight hits over five innings. Jacksonville starter Brian Flynn, who made his Marlins organization debut after being acquired by Miami in the trade that sent Omar Infante and Anibal Sanchez to the Detroit Tigers earlier this week, yielded four runs on 11 hits in 5.2 innings of work.
Suns reliever James Leverton (2-0) recorded just one out but earned the win in relief while Zych (0-1) suffered the loss. Jacksonville closer A.J. Ramos worked around a walk in the ninth inning to collect his 14th save of the year.
The Smokies and Suns continue their five-game series on Friday night at 7:05 p.m. at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville when Tennessee sends right-hander Ty’Relle Harris (0-1, 2.70 ERA) to the mound against Jacksonville southpaw Jose Alvarez (3-5, 3.91 ERA).
GAME NOTES: Tennessee right fielder Jae-Hoon Ha left the game on a stretcher in the bottom of the fourth inning after he ran head first into the wall in foul territory. Ha was taken to a local hospital in an ambulance following a 16 minute delay.
LISTEN TO GAME HIGHLIGHTS: July 26, 2012 Smokies 4 Suns 6