Five-run fifth inning shoots Generals past Smokies, 6-5

Hernandez bashes lead-taking three-run homer; Beer hits two RBI doubles

Generals infielder Ramon Hernandez (Pam Dietz)

By Tyler Springs / Jackson Generals | August 20, 2019 12:14 AM

Jackson, Tenn. - The Jackson Generals, the Double-A affiliate of Major League Baseball's Arizona Diamondbacks, swung a four-run deficit into a one-run advantage on Monday night, beating the Tennessee Smokies 6-5 at The Ballpark at Jackson.

The Generals (71-53) earned their 27th comeback win of the season, improving to 56-8 when scoring four or more runs. Jackson now leads Tennessee (51-75) in their season series, nine to eight, with three games remaining.       

 

Matt Peacock's start was going well through the first three innings, but the Generals' right-hander got sidetracked in the fourth when issuing a pair of two-out walks. Tennessee's Jared Young followed with a two-out RBI single to center field that gave the Smokies the 1-0 edge before Peacock was able to get out of the inning, but the cracks in his armor had begun to show. Tennessee started the fifth with three straight singles, including a run-scoring knock from pinch-hitter Ian Rice for a 2-0 lead. Roberto Caro continued the barrage with a sacrifice fly that plated Connor Myers for a 3-0 Tennessee advantage, and two batters later, Vimael Machin made it 4-0 with a run-scoring single that brought in Rice.

 

After seeing 95 pitches against Smokies starter Luis Lugo in the first four innings, the Jackson offense took on MLB rehab reliever Allen Webster in the fifth frame. Webster retired the first two men he faced before Daulton Varsho injected life into the Generals, smashing a double high off the sixteen-foot wall in the left-center field gap. Pavin Smith drove in Varsho to break up the shutout with an RBI single, and Seth Beer doubled in Smith for the Generals' second run. Renae Martinez earned a walk to put two men on base and chase Webster, drawing Tennessee reliever Ben Hecht into the game. Ramon Hernandez lit into Hecht's second pitch, hammering a 402-foot, three-run homer over the center field wall as the Generals exploded into the lead at 5-4.         

 

In the sixth, Jayson McKinley (1-0, 4.50 ERA) made his 2019 debut with Jackson by striking out three Smokies while stranding a man, but the seventh presented a greater challenge. McKinley walked lead-off man Roberto Caro, who promptly stole second base to get into scoring position, and Tennessee's Tyler Payne poked a full-count, two-out single up the middle to bring home Caro and tie the game at 5-5. The Generals answered in the bottom half with back to back doubles from Smith and Beer, taking a 6-5 lead that they would not relinquish. Ryan Atkinson and West Tunnell (S, 3) threw scoreless eighth and ninth innings, respectively, as Jackson took a 2-0 lead in the series. Smith collected three hits while scoring twice and driving in a run, while Beer and Hernandez drove in multiple runs. All three collected four total bases in the winning effort.

 

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. Next June, The Ballpark at Jackson will host the 2020 Southern League All-Star Game, and you can purchase 2020 season tickets 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.

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