By: Adam Kline
KODAK, Tenn. – The Tennessee Smokies scored four runs in the first four innings of Monday’s affair with the Jacksonville Suns, but were unable to hold the lead and fell to the Suns, 5-4, at Smokies Park. With the loss, in front of 3,136, the Smokies drop to 18-11 in the season’s second half, 52-46 overall.
For the third consecutive night, the Smokies and Suns were delayed to start the game. Following a 53-minute weather delay, the Smokies scored first in the third inning off Jacksonville starter Bryan Evans. John Andreoli led off the inning with a double and scored a batter on Rafael Lopez’s single, giving the Smokies a 1-0 lead.
In the fourth inning, the Smokies put a three spot up to make the score 4-0. Justin Bour got the scoring started with his 10th home run of the season and then Christian Villanueva, Rubi Silva and Andreoli reached on singles to load the bases with one out. Lopez then hit his 18th double of the season to score Villanueva and Silva.
Jacksonville would take advantage of two errors on Christian Villanueva to score two unearned runs in the sixth off Tennessee starter Kyle Hendricks to narrow the Smokies’ lead, 4-2.
Hendricks once again had a solid outing for Tennessee, going seven innings and giving up four hits, two unearned runs, and struck out six. He did not issue a walk.
Jacksonville jumped ahead in the eighth inning, when Mark Canha hit a three-run home run off reliever Zac Rosscup (2-1) to give the Suns a 5-4 lead.
Tennessee will head to Huntsville, Ala. to play a five-game series against the Stars starting on Tuesday, July 23. The team will return to Smokies Park on Sunday, July 28 for a five-game set with the Birmingham Barons. For tickets and more information, visit http://www.smokiesbaseball.com or call (865) 286-2300.
MARK CANHA POSTGAME INTERVIEW
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