Jackson, Tenn. - Tuesday's tilt began with some turmoil and ended with a tough result, as the Jackson Generals fell 5-2 against the Pensacola Blue Wahoos. The loss evens the series 2-2, setting up the second true rubber game of the season tomorrow for the Generals at 12:05 pm CT.
Despite the loss, left-hander Yuhei Nakaushiro gave Jackson a strong chance to stay in the game. The Osaka, Japan native tied his season-high with 3.1 innings of relief, part of 7.1 scoreless innings of relief by the Jackson bullpen. The Blue Wahoos (21-18) scored only in two innings, but they did enough damage therein to take down the Generals (22-16).
The early trouble for starter Josh Taylor (3-3, 4.42 ERA) began with the very first batter of the game, as Pensacola's Alex Blandino blooped a double down the left field line. Two batters later, third baseman Josh VanMeter plated Blandino with his own double, scoring the game's first run for Pensacola. Taylor was able to retire former General Gabriel Guerrero next, but a two-out walk, followed by a pair of singles, scored another Pensacola run. Taylor's struggles brought Nakaushiro on in relief, and the left-hander got a pop-out to end the frame.
With a long night of bullpen work ahead, Nakaushiro steadied Jackson's efforts, tying a season-high with 3.1 innings of scoreless labor. The Generals couldn't get multiple hits in an inning until the fourth, but Rudy Flores was thrown out by left fielder Guerrero at second while trying to stretch a single into a double. Victor Reyes singled two batters later, but on a double-steal, Reyes was caught trying for second base on a throw from Pensacola catcher Joe Hudson.
Following Nakaushiro, Jared Miller struggled through the fifth. The lefthander struck out three, but in between he allowed three hits and two walks, and Pensacola scored three runs therein. The Generals couldn't answer in the bottom half, but they struck back one inning later.
Leading off in the sixth, Kevin Medrano singled, and a base hit by Dawel Lugo moved Medrano to second. Flores lashed the first pitch from reliever Alex Powers off the wall in left field, scoring Medrano. Kevin Cron then got under a sacrifice fly to right field, allowing Lugo to score from third base. However, a pair of strikeouts ended the inning, stranding Flores on base.
Miller Diaz and Daniel Gibson combined to pitch the final four innings of the game without allowing a hit, the second straight night where Pensacola didn't manage a hit beyond the sixth inning. Flores and Lugo each finished with two hits on the night, as Flores moved into first place in the Southern League in batting average (.336).
The Generals will ask Brooks Hall (1-3, 5.06 ERA) to try for the series win in Wednesday's 12:05 pm CT start. Pensacola will call on Deck McGuire (2-2, 3.40). If you can't get to The Ballpark for lunch, listen to the Generals via the Jackson Generals Baseball Network, which you can find online via TuneIn Radio or the TuneIn Radio app. You can also see and hear the game on MiLB.TV and the MiLB First Pitch app.
Wednesday's series finale is also an Education Day at The Ballpark! School children will be admitted for free with their classes, and lunch packs are available for $6.
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.