Burg and Suns Walk-Off Smokies 8-7


JACKSONVILLE – Kris Bryant hit his league leading 22nd home run of the season in the seventh, but the Smokies wasted a five run third inning lead and a three run lead in the seventh as they lost the finale of a five game series 8-7 in Jacksonville on Monday night. Alex Burg hit a game winning home run in the tenth for the Suns.

Burg’s home run was his fifth of the season and came with one out in the inning off reliever Arodys Vizcaino. Vizcaino (1-1, 3.09) was the fifth and final pitcher in the game for the Smokies (30-34) who lost the game and the series to the Suns (34-31). Jacksonville took the final two games of the series and won both games in the final at-bat.

Tennessee led 4-0 after the third, but the Suns rallied back to pull within one with three runs in the fourth and one more in the fifth. The Smokies plated two runs in the seventh to take a 7-4 lead, but a three run Jacksonville eighth tied the game at 7-7. Burg’s home run was the difference and was his only hit of the game.

Anthony Giansanti, who came into the game 9-for-his-last-24, singled and scored in the second and the Smokies took a 1-0 lead. Suns starter Angel Sanchez got Dustin Geiger to groundout to start the inning and then struck out Rubi Silva. With two-outs, Giansanti singled and then moved to third on a single from Jeudy Valdez. A passed ball then allowed Giansanti to race in and score the games first run.

Tennessee matched their two out, two hit and one rally in the second. with a four run outburst in the third. Elliot Soto started the rally with a bunt single to third and Bryant kept it going with a single to left. Charlie Cutler followed with a groundout, but Geiger came up and delivered a two-run single and the Smokies took a 3-0 lead. Rubi Silva then ripped a double to right, but Giansanti followed with a groundout to third.

With two outs in the inning Valdez managed to reach on an infield single and Geiger scored from third. The Smokies scored their final run when pitcher Joe Gardner singled to score Silva and the Smokies took a 5-0 lead.

Sanchez left during the third and would leave the game with five runs (four earned) allowed over two and 2/3 inning pitched. He walked one and struck out two.

Gardner’s hit was his first this season and his fourth as a professional in Minor League Baseball. Unlike his previous three hits, his single in the third was his first run scoring hit.

Gardner pitched through the fourth and into the fifth before leaving the game. He allowed a three-run home run to Joe Benson in the fourth and left the game with four runs allowed over four and 2/3 innings.

Benson’s three-run home run in the fourth was his second three-run blast in as many days. It was also his fifth home run of the season. At the time it cut the Tennessee lead to 5-3, but a run scored by rehabbing Major Leaguer Rafael Furcal cut it down to 5-4.

Furcal reached on a two-out single off Gardner and later scored on an Austin Nola single. Gardner retired the first two he faced in the fifth, but allowed one run and two hits before leaving the game in the inning. P.J. Francescon finished the inning by getting Austin Barnes to pop out to end the frame.

Francescon pitched the sixth as well and kept the Suns without a run. He did not allow a run and struck out one over an inning and a 1/3.

With reliever James Nygren pitching, Bryant led off the seventh with a home run to left and came on the first pitch of the inning. Cutler then reached on a single, but Geiger struck out and Silva grounded out immediately after the two hits to start the inning. Giansanti then came through with a run scoring single to right and the Smokies took a 7-4 lead.

Nygren allowed two runs on three hits and struck out one over two innings pitched. He followed Greg Nappo who kept the Smokies without a run and to two hits over two and 1/3 inning in place of the starter Sanchez.

Reliever Hunter Cervenka worked a scoreless seventh for the Smokies and allowed one hit in the inning. The same, however, was not true in the eighth as Cervenka and Jeff Lorick would combine to allow three runs on two hits in the inning.

Cervenka started the eighth by retiring Austin Barnes with a ground out, but then walked Benson. Rich Poythress then singled past Bryant at third and Benson moved to third. Cervenka was pulled out of the game and simultaneously ejected after arguing with the plate umpire regarding the final pitch of Benson base on balls at-bat.

Lorick entered the inning in place of Cervenka and inherited a runners at second and third jam. Lorick started his appearance by walking Brent Keys to load the bases. The next batter was Alfredo Silverio and Lorick hit him with a pitch to force in a Jacksonville run. Lorick came back with a strikeout of Burg, but then gave up a game tying, pinch hit two-run single to Wilfredo Gimenez and the Suns tied the game at 7-7.

Lorick finished the ninth and did not allow another run. He was charged with a blown save and allowed a run on two hits over one and 2/3 innings. Lorick also walked two, struck out two and allowed two inherited runners to score.

Vizcaino worked the ninth and allowed Burg’s game winning home run. He allowed one hit and one run in the loss.

Smokies pitchers combined to walk six and strikeout five in the loss. They also gave up 10 hits and eight earned runs.

Jacksonville pitchers allowed 15 hits, walked two and struck out 10 in the victory. The Suns also stranded 10 runners on base. The Smokies were 4-for-14 with runners in scoring position.

Jacksonville took the finale of the series 8-7, and won the five game set 3-2.

The Smokies return to Smokies Park on Wednesday, June 11 for the first of five against the visiting Mississippi Braves. Wednesday’s game features an All-You-Can-Eat special for fans. For more information call the Smokies at (865) 286-2300 and visit smokiesbaseball.com.


Categories: Game Recap

Author:Greg Young

Greg Young brings five years of Minor League Baseball experience to the Smokies Radio Network, having previously served with the High-A Modesto Nuts of the California League. He began with the Nuts as a Broadcast Assistant in 2007 before being promoted as the team's new Director of Broadcasting the following year, a position he held through the 2011 campaign. During his time with Modesto, Young also worked at KESP AM-790 as a Sports Anchor. Over the years he has worked as a broadcaster for Comcast Hometown Network and their coverage of the San Jose Giants (High-A, California League) and Fresno Grizzlies (Triple-A, Pacific Coast League), in addition to high school football and basketball. Young began his broadcasting career with the Major Indoor Soccer League's California Cougars in 2006 and was the club's inaugural broadcaster before being promoted to Director of Media Relations and Broadcasting the next year. Young is a 2005 graduate of Sacramento State University, earning a Communications degree with an emphasis in Digital Media. During his senior year, Young was Sports Director for the university's student-run radio radio station KSSU, and also did play-by-play for the school's baseball, football and basketball teams while attending Sacramento State.


Subscribe to our RSS feed and social profiles to receive updates.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,684 other followers

%d bloggers like this: