PENSACOLA - Dustin Geiger hit a solo home run in the ninth, but the Smokies failed to score again in the final frame and lost their second straight game 3-2 to the Blue Wahoos at Pensacola Bayfront Stadium on Sunday night.
Geiger was 2-for-3 with a run and one batted in in the loss. Zeke DeVoss had a double in the first and Jonathan Mota was 2-for-4, but overall the offensive struggles continued for Tennessee (1-3). The Smokies had eight hits, but stranded six men on base, including two in scoring position in the fifth.
Ivan Pineyro started for the Smokies and allowed just two runs, including one earned, over four innings. He walked three, struck out three and gave up just four hits. Pineyro (0-1) made a costly throwing error in the fourth that eventually led to the go-ahead run for the Blue Wahoos (3-1).
Pensacola starter Jon Moscot did not earn a decision, but kept the Smokies to a run on six hits over 4 and 1/3 innings. He walked one and struck out six. Reliever Sean Black (1-0) followed Moscot in the fifth and would eventually get the win after holding Tennessee without a run over 1 and 2/3 innings.
The Smokies did score first in the game with one run coming across in the second. Kris Bryant started the inning with an infield single to third and later scored on a single to center from Mota.
Tennessee led 1-0 until Moscot helped his cause and tied the game in the third. He doubled to start the inning and was moved to third after a bunt hit by Devin Lohman. Moscot scored moments later on a sacrifice fly to center from Yorman Rodriguez.
Pensacola broke the tie in the fourth with help of a throwing error by Pineyro. Pineyro walked Pensacola catcher Rossmel Perez to start the fourth, but then struck out Juan Duran. Brodie Greene followed and hit a comebacker back to the mound. Pineyro took the grounder and attempted to turn a double play, but errantly threw the ball into center field. Perez moved to third and scored later in the inning on a Rodriguez single to shallow left.
Pineyro left after the fourth and Jeff Lorick followed by pitching the fifth and sixth. Lorick did not allow a hit or a run. He walked one and struck out two.
Frank Bautista pitched the seventh and eighth. He retired the first two he faced in the seventh, but then gave up a two-out double to Donald Lutz. After a Travis Mattair walk, Perez came through with a single to score Mattair. Bautista eventually got out of the inning with a strikeout of Duran. Bautista allowed one run on four hits over two innings.
The Blue Wahoos led 3-1 until Geiger hit a solo home run in the ninth off Pensacola's Drew Hayes. it was Geiger's first home run of the season and his second hit of the game. That solo blast led off the ninth, but Hayes (S, 2) finished the inning by retiring the next three Smokies batters. He struck out Wes Darvill to end the game while picking up his second save.
The series concludes on Monday in Pensacola with game five of the series. The Blue Wahoos lead the series 3-1. First pitch is at 7:30 pm.