KODAK — The Tennessee Smokies (51-73, 18-37) had no answer for Jacksonville’s (61-63, 31-22) pitching in a 2-0 defeat at Smokies Stadium on Saturday night.
Jacksonville’s starter LHP Trevor Rogers (W, 1-1) exceeded on both fronts dealing 10 strikeouts in seven innings while giving up just two hits. He also recorded his first professional hit and RBI. On a sharply lined a ball to center field, he singled in Bryson Brigman and the game’s first run in the fifth. Then in the sixth, Lewin Diaz homered for the second straight game when he rainbowed a ball over the left field wall to double the lead.
RHP Erick Leal (L, 2-4) suffered the loss for the Smokies despite holding the Jumbo Shrimp to two runs in 5.2 innings of production. 2.1 perfect innings from reliever Michael Rucker kept the Smokies within two runs. Rucker extended his season-long scoreless streak to 13.2 innings.
Offensively, the Smokies’ bats were dormant and sent the minimum to the plate in five innings. Ian Rice snapped a seven game hitting drought with a single over the head of the second basemen and ended up being one of the three Smokies to file a hit.