JACKSON – Matt Loosen struck out five and allowed just one run over six innings, Dustin Geiger hit a game-tying RBI double in the sixth and Anthony Giansanti launched a solo home run in the ninth as the Smokies won their second straight game 4-2 in Jackson against the Generals on Wednesday afternoon.
Loosen (4-2, 4.73) kept the Generals (2-5, 33-43) scoreless through four before allowing a solo home run in the fifth. Jackson’s Dario Pizzano put his club on top 1-0 with his fifth home run of the season to start the Jackson fifth.
The home run was the eighth allowed by Loosen over 13 starts this season. It was also the only run allowed by the Tennessee starter in the fifth and the game. Loosen struck out five, walked one and scattered five hits over six innings pitched.
The Smokies (5-2, 38-38) answered Jackson’s one run fifth with three of their own off reliever Cam Hobson in the sixth. Stephen Landazuri started for the Generals and did not allow a run over five innings.
Stephen Bruno ignited Tennessee’s three run and four hit sixth with a lead off single to center. Christian Villanueva followed with a single to right and Bruno advanced to third. Charlie Cutler followed with a fly out, but Geiger delivered with a RBI double and the Smokies tied the game at 1-1.
Villanueva moved to third on the double and scored moments later on a bunt to second by Rubi Silva. Silva was later caught at the end of a non-force out double play grounded into by Giansanti, but Geiger managed to score on the play and the Smokies took a 3-1 lead.
Hobson (4-6, 3.48) stayed in for the seventh and would allow three runs on four hits over three innings pitched. He did not walk a batter and struck out three in the loss.
Steven Shackleford pitched the ninth for the Generals and allowed a home run to Giansanti. The Smokies leftfielder was 1-for-4 in the game and his home run was his second of the season. It also added valuable insurance in the late innings before the Generals got a run in their half of the ninth.
Jeff Lorick followed Loosen and allowed just one run over two innings. He gave up a hit and also struck out one while holding the Smokies lead.
Frank Batista finished the game out of the bullpen for Tennessee and earned his first save of the season.
The win brought the Smokies back to .500 for the first time since May 28 when they were 26-26.
The Smokies lead the series two games to none and look for the clinch in game three scheduled for an 8:05 PM EST first pitch on Thursday night.
Right-hander Corey Black (2-5, 3.30 ERA) is scheduled to start for Tennessee against Generals right-hander Victor Sanchez (3-3, 4.26).