By: Kyle Crooks / Jacksonville Suns
KODAK, Tenn., – The Jacksonville Suns (24-38, 53-78) were topped by the Tennessee Smokies (32-30, 71-60) 5-3 courtesy of a multi home run performance by Ryan Dent Saturday night from Smokies Stadium.
Starling Peralta (W, 3-1) earned the victory for Tennessee in a scoreless third of an inning in relief. Tyler Higgins (BS, 1) (L, 0-2) took the loss out of the Suns bullpen in a third of an inning allowing two runs (both earned) on two hits (one home run) while not walking or striking out a batter. PJ Francescon (S, 22) tossed a scoreless ninth in relief for Tennessee en route to a save.
In the top of the first the Suns got on the board after Kenny Wilson led off the frame with a ground rule double, to then get knocked home by Matt Juengel’s RBI single pushing Jacksonville ahead 1-0.
In the last of the second frame, Tennessee generated runners on the corners for Pierce Johnson’s RBI squeeze bunt that tied the game at one.
Flashing to the bottom of the fourth, and Ryan Dent (HR, 3) blasted a solo home run to left centerfield that moved the Smokies in front 2-1.
In the top of the eighth the Suns generated runners on the corners with one out, against Smokies bullpen arm Corey Black. Viosergy Rosa then brought home the tying run after his RBI single sent home Wilson from third. After a walk to Eudy Pina loaded the bases, a walk generated by Elliot Soto leaped the Suns ahead 3-2.
Moving to the last of the eighth, the Smokies placed two runners on now facing Suns reliever Tyler Higgins. Dent (HR, 4) then lashed his second home run of the night, a two-run shot, which moved Tennessee ahead 5-3.
Scott Lyman in his start for the Suns lasted six frames allowing two runs (both earned) on seven hits (one home run) while walking and striking out two. Alex Burgos out of the bullpen for the Suns worked an inning and two-thirds scoreless innings relinquishing two hits while not allowing a walk and not striking out a batter.
Smokies starter Pierce Johnson lasted seven frames surrendering one run (earned) on five hits while walking three and striking out eight.
The Suns and Smokies will continue their series Sunday night from Smokies Stadium with a first pitch set for 5:05 p.m. ET. Suns will send out left-hander Jarlin Garcia (0-2, 5.84 ERA) while the Smokies will counter with righty Felix Pena (5-8, 3.97 ERA).
Suns fans can also listen to Sunday’s game on the Suns Baseball Network, 1600 AM & 102.3 FM “The Beach” or through http://www.jaxsuns.com, MiLB.com, or the TuneIn radio app, coverage will start with a special “Suns Sunday” edition of the Memorial Hospital Suns Pregame Show beginning at 4:35 p.m. ET.
The 2015 season of Suns baseball is presented by EverBank, the official banking partner of the Jacksonville Suns. Sponsorships, group outings, and season/individual game tickets are currently available by calling the Suns front office at (904) 358-2846.
Hear the highlights of tonight’s contest: