Jacksonville nips Smokies, 4-3

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (release) -- The Jacksonville Suns (25-16, 59-49) won their ninth consecutive game Saturday night 4-3 over the Tennessee Smokies (24-17, 58-52) at Bragan Field in Jacksonville. The Suns scored four unanswered runs after the Smokies plated the contest’s first two runs.

After being shut out last evening, Tennessee plated two runs in the first inning. Matt Szczur reached on a fielding error and Javier Baez doubled to right to put runners at second and third base with one out. After a Justin Bour RBI groundout, Christian Villanueva pulled a ball just inside the third base bag to score Baez and put the Smokies on top 2-0.

Jacksonville tied the score in the bottom of the fourth inning. Danny Black tripled to start the frame and Derek Dietrich drew a walk. Mark Canha brought home Black with a sacrifice fly to center field that allowed Dietrich to advance to second base. The next batter, Zack Cox, doubled to right field to tie the score at two.

Dae-Eun Rhee recorded the first out of the sixth inning before hitting a batter and walking Cox. Buddy Bailey pulled the righty and called upon Yeiper Castillo. Castillo walked three straight Suns’ hitters to give Jacksonville a 4-2 lead in an inning that saw four bases on balls and a hit batsmen.

Arismendy Alcantara drew a two-out walk and scored when Chris Gutierrez threw a ball hit by Baez down the right field line. Baez was trying to advance to third base and was thrown out to end the game.
Rhee (3-1, 2.93) lost for the first time since August 2012, working 5.1 innings allowing four earned runs on four hits with three walks and three strikeouts.

Game three of the series is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. Sunday evening. Tennessee right-hander A.J. Morris (3-1, 4.33) will get the ball opposing Jacksonville righty Robert Morey (4-7, 4.83).

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