Jackson, Tenn. - Taylor Clarke quickly silenced the Tennessee Smokies Wednesday, pitching the first six innings in a 2-0 win for the Generals in front of 3,943 on Education Day at The Ballpark at Jackson. A pair of solo home runs was enough offense for Clarke and company, as the Generals moved back into first place in the North Division.
Clarke (4-1, 1.85) continued his stellar stretch, striking out seven and allowing just two hits over six innings to pick up the win. The only walk he surrendered was to Charcer Burks to lead off the game. The Smokies, who scored eight runs each of the past two nights, never had more than one man on base versus Clarke. The right-hander has allowed just three earned runs over 27.1 innings in his last five starts.
Jackson (20-12) once again relied on the home run offensively. Former Smokie Kelly Dugan got the scoring started in the third inning with a solo blast off the video board in right-center field. Rudy Flores added some insurance with a laser that cleared the wall in right in the seventh to put the Generals on top 2-0.
All of Jackson's runs dating back to last Friday in Mobile have come via the long ball. The Generals lead the Southern League with 40 home runs in 32 games.
Behind Clarke, three relievers combined to keep Tennesee (20-13) from scoring. Joey Krehbiel worked the seventh before Daniel Gibson worked around a leadoff walk in the eighth. Gabriel Moya (S, 5) earned his fifth save of the season with two strikeouts in a perfect ninth. The shutout was Jackson's sixth of the season as a staff, which is tied for the most in the Southern League.
The win pushes the Generals on top of the Smokies in the standings. The two Tennessee teams have traded first place over the last three games. Jackson had been atop the division all season prior to Tuesday night's loss.
The Generals can tie up the series on Thursday night! Josh Taylor (3-1, 3.38) takes the hill for the Generals on Thrifty Thursday versus Duane Underwood (2-1, 3.96), who is on the Cubs' 40-man roster. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 pm CT, and fans can catch all the action on Willie 94 FM and 1390 FM in Jackson and on the TuneIn Radio App starting with the Pregame Show at 5:50 pm CT.
Thursday kicks off a Sarge-themed weekend in Jackson! The Generals will celebrate the bulldog's birthday Thursday night, with party hats given out to children in attendance and birthday games being played throughout the night. It's also Thrifty Thursday, featuring $2 deals on general admission tickets, hot dogs, popcorn, 24-oz. Pepsi products, 16-oz. beer, ice cream and fun zone wristbands!
On Friday, May 12 versus the Smokies and Saturday, May 13 versus Pensacola, the Generals will host Sarge's Carnival with Postgame Fireworks both nights! At both games, we'll have carnival rides in the Fun Zone for the kids to enjoy! Saturday's show is brought to you by MobileNation! Friday is also a Leaders Credit Union Food Truck Friday, with the Generals playing as the Hub City Hippos! On Saturday, the first 1,000 fans through the gate will get baseballs autographed by current Generals!
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 jacksongeneralsbaseball.com to secure your seats now!
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.