Third baseman Justin Bour(above)drove in two runs in the Smokies 5-1 win in the first game of a double header against the Jacksonville Suns at Smokies Park. Photo Courtesy: Tennessee Smokies
By Steve Kolbe
The Jacksonville Suns won two of their three games in Tennessee, splitting a double header against the Smokies on Friday at Smokies Park, dropping the first game 5-1 and winning the night cap 3-1. The Suns have won both of their series against the Smokies this season.
In the first game, Jeff Dominguez drove in Chris Gutierrez with a single in the first inning to put the Suns in front 1-0. It would be the only run the Suns would score in the game.
The Smokies scored five runs on four hits in the third inning against Suns starter Matthew Neil. Justin Bour and Mike Burgess each drove in two runs in the inning to build a 5-1 lead.
Matthew Neil (1-4) pitched four innings and lost his fourth straight decision. Eric Jokisch (4-1) allowed just one run on five hits to earn the win for the Smokies.
Tennessee manager Buddy Bailey picked up his 1,600th career minor league win as a manager. He’s one of only four managers to reach the mark.
The Suns bounced back in the second game of the twin bill, taking a 3-0 lead in the fourth, and winning 3-1. Paul Gran hit his third home run of the season on the first pitch he saw in the fourth. It was his second home run in four games. Jeff Dominguez and Kyle Jensen each drove in a run.
Josh Schmidt (3-3) entered the game in the fifth inning and recorded two outs for the win. Suns starter James Leverton pitched four and a-third innings, allowing one run on four hits. A.J. Ramos tossed hitless innings for his eighth save of the season.
The Suns begin a three game series in Huntsville against the Stars on Saturday night. The Suns won two of three against the Stars in the first series of the year.