Pearl, MS – Dae-Eun Rhee turned in his third straight quality start, but that was not enough as the Smokies scored just twice on five hits in a 4-2 loss to the Braves at Trustmark Park in Mississippi on Sunday night.
Rhee allowed just two runs on four hits over six innings and did not earn a decision. He left with the game tied 2-2 in the sixth. Rhee struck out one and walked two in his fourth quality start of the season.
Tennessee (23-20) reliever Jeff Lorick allowed two runs (one earned) in the seventh and took the loss. Lorick (0-2, 7.52) allowed three hits in the inning, including a go-ahead two-run double to Mississippi’s David Rohm.
Chasen Shreve earned the win for the M-Braves (24-19). Shreve (2-0, 2.28) pitched the seventh and held the Smokies without a run or hit. The Mississippi bullpen completely blanked the Smokies over the final three innings. Neither Shreve, James Hoyt or closer Shae Simmons allowed a baserunner between the seventh and ninth innings.
Simmons (S, 12) closed the game with a perfect ninth and finished one strikeout while earning the save.
The Braves took a 1-0 lead in the third after Mycal Jones doubled in starting pitcher J.R. Graham. Graham reached earlier in the inning on a single to right off Rhee. Jones’ double was his only hit of the game and his fifth double of the season.
Rubi Silva tied the game at 1-1 in the fourth with a RBI single that brought in Kris Bryant. Later in the inning a sacrifice fly from Jae-Hoon Ha scored catcher Rafael Lopez and the Smokies took a 2-1 lead.
The Smokies had three hits and scored three times in the fourth. They left two men on base in the fourth and five total in the game. Through four games in the series, the Smokies have stranded 23 men on base and are 5-for-25 with runners in scoring position.
A two-out double by Cedric Hunter in the sixth scored the tying run off Rhee. Hunter’s double plated Jones who reached earlier in the inning when Rhee issued a one-out walk to him.
The 2-2 tie was broken in the seventh when the Braves collected two runs on three hits. Lorick started the inning in place of Rhee and allowed a single to the first batter he faced, Matt Kennelly. Kennelly was eventually put out at second when Kyle Kubitza grounded into a force out. Kubitza would later move to second on a single through the middle from Elmer Reyes and moved to third on a passed ball. Reyes also moved up on the play and with two in scoring position, Lorick allowed the game-changing double to Rohm.
Mississippi led 4-2 after the seventh and their bullpen took over from there. The Smokies were held without a hit or base runner from the end of the sixth through the end of the game. Silva was the last batter to reach safely in the game. He walked with two outs in the Smokies half of the sixth.
The loss was Tennessee’s fourth straight and dropped them to 6.5 games back of first place Huntsville in the Southern League North Standings.
The series continues with game 5 set for an 8:00 PM ET start in Mississippi. The Braves will be looking for the sweep of the Smokies. Pierce Johnson will start for Tennessee, opposite Mississippi’s Jason Hursh.
Tennessee returns home to Smokies Stadium on Wednesday, May 21 for a five-game set with the Mobile BayBears, the Double-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Information for the upcoming homestand, including promotions, can be viewed by clicking here.
Tickets for the remainder of the Smokies’ 2014 home slate are still available and can be purchased by clicking here, or by calling the Smokies Ticket Office at (865) 286-2300.