Big First Not Enough Against Smokies

Cron becomes first in Southern League to 20 home runs in loss

Kevin Cron's stellar season continued Tuesday with another home run. (Cody Cunningham/Jackson Generals)

By Brandon Liebhaber / Jackson Generals | August 1, 2017 10:48 PM ET

Jackson, Tenn. - The Generals scored three runs in the first inning, but none after in a 5-3 loss to the Tennessee Smokies Tuesday night at The Ballpark at Jackson. Kevin Cron continued his stellar season, smashing his 20th home run of the season in defeat. The Generals are now 5-13 this year against their in-state rival. 

Tennessee (19-19, 55-52) scored first in the opening half-inning. With two on and one out, Yasiel Balaguert drilled a two-run double off the base of the wall in center to put the Smokies on top 2-0.

Jackson (19-19, 56-52) answered right back with three runs in the last of the first. Kevin Cron got Jackson on the board with a two-out solo blast to left-center, making him the first in the Southern League to 20 home runs this year. After a pair of walks, Marty Herum tied the game with an RBI single. Angel Franco put the Generals in front 3-2 with a double to right field, though Herum was thrown out at the plate to end the inning.

Alex Young settled down after allowing two runs in the first, but the Smokies tied the game in the fourth inning. Andrew Ely led off with a bunt single. An error and a sacrifice bunt got him to third before a Young wild pitch allowed him to tie the game at three.

After Young, Joey Krehbiel (1-4, 3.56) pitched the sixth for Jackson. He allowed a leadoff double to Tennessee pitcher Stephen Perakslis, A wild pitch moved him to third before a David Bote sacrifice fly made it 4-3. Perakslis (3-1, 3.03) has two career hits, and both are doubles against the Generals this year. He threw three scoreless innings in relief with four strikeouts to earn the win as well.

It remained a one-run game until the ninth, when Yasiel Balaguert struck again. With one out and nobody on, he took Josh Taylor deep to put the Smokies on top 5-3. Six of Balaguert's 12 home runs and 20 of his 61 RBI this season have come in games against Jackson.

The Generals threatened in the ninth, but came up short against Craig Brooks (S, 2). With one out, Oscar Hernandez ripped his second double of the night down the line in left. He moved to third on an fly out from Emilio Bonifacio, but Victor Reyes struck out to end the game.

Jackson needs a win Wednesday night to even up the series against Tennessee. Joel Payamps (4-5, 6.02) is slated to start for the Generals against right-hander Zach Hedges (7-7, 3.78). First pitch from The Ballpark at Jackson is set for 6:05 pm CT, and fans can follow along starting with the Pregame Show at 5:50 pm CT on Willie 94 FM & 1390 AM.

Bidding is open now for Jackson's special Shark Week jerseys that the team wore Saturday! Game-worn and signed jerseys are being auctioned off, with proceeds going to JACOA! Bid online at The series against the Smokies wraps up with a Thrifty Thursday! Fans can get general admission tickets, hot dogs, popcorn, soda, beer, ice cream and access to the fun zone for $2 all night long! Reserved seats are just $6 as well!

Make sure to get your tickets now to see the 20th season of professional baseball in Jackson, and the first for the team as an affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks! Call the team at (731) 988.5299, stop by The Ballpark or go online to to secure your seats now!  

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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