Jackson, Tenn. - The Jackson Generals, the Double-A affiliate of Major League Baseball's Arizona Diamondbacks, got hooked by a tough Pensacola pitching staff on Saturday and could never wriggle free, falling 4-3 at The Ballpark at Jackson.
The defeat is the second for Jackson (12-9) in three games with the Blue Wahoos (16-7), giving the visitors the upper hand as the series enters its fourth day on Sunday.
Much like Friday evening, Pensacola's bats warmed up early, taking two runs off Generals starter Emilio Vargas through the first three frames. Luis Arraez hit his way aboard to begin the game and later scored on an RBI single from Ernie De La Trinidad. Pensacola first baseman Caleb Hamilton hammered a solo home run in the third to make the lead 2-0, though Vargas worked through the difficulty to eventually complete 5.2 innings. The 22-year-old Dominican finished with two runs allowed on five hits, striking out seven without walking a batter. Lucas Luetge (1-1, 1.54 ERA) entered with the game tied 2-2 and got the final out in the sixth before things came apart in the seventh.
Luetge began the night without a run allowed in his first ten appearances of the year, but his boat finally took on water in his second outing of this series. He gave up a leadoff walk in the seventh and an ensuing single that put two men aboard, and a sacrifice bunt followed to push both runners into scoring position. Arraez then delivered a two-run double to re-gain the lead at 4-2 for the visitors. Tyler Mark would face the minimum in the eighth and ninth innings to keep the Generals within striking distance late.
Jackson's offense didn't offer much early against Pensacola right-hander Brusdar Graterol, who hustled through the first four frames damage-free, helped by a bases-loaded, inning-ending double play in the third stanza. Graterol hit Jamie Westbrook with a two-out pitch in the fifth inning, and the Generals' offense blinked to life, with Jeffrey Baez and Jazz Chisholm contributing consecutive RBI doubles to draw even with Pensacola.
Baez and Chisholm each finished with a pair of hits, something no other General could manage. Chisholm would club a monster solo home run off Dusten Knight (S, 5) in the eighth inning, but that was the only hit against Pensacola's right-handed closer in three innings of work. Ryan Mason (1-0, 0.00 ERA) earned the win with a scoreless sixth inning.
NEXT GENERALS GAME:
2:05 pm CT Sunday (4/28) vs. Pensacola Blue Wahoos (Minnesota Twins)
The Ballpark at Jackson - Jackson, Tenn.
RHP Sam Lewis (1-1, 2.41 ERA) vs. LHP Devin Smeltzer (2-1, 0.72 ERA)
Broadcast Link: Jackson Generals Baseball Network
UP AND COMING AT THE BALLPARK:
April 25-29 vs. Pensacola Blue Wahoos (AA, Minnesota Twins)
…featuring Education Day (Monday, April 29)!
The Jackson Generals, a West Tennessee franchise since 1998, are the Double-A minor league affiliate of Major League Baseball's Arizona Diamondbacks. The Generals play at The Ballpark at Jackson, Tennessee's 2017 & 2018 Pro Sports Field of the Year. Purchase your tickets to see the defending Southern League champions today by calling 731.988.5299 or visiting JacksonGeneralsBaseball.com!
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.