M-Braves stop Smokies for second straight win

Published 10:30 am Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Mississippi Braves got a couple of insurance runs in the ninth inning Monday, then cashed in the policy.

After the M-Braves scored twice in the top of the ninth to take a four-run lead, Tennessee’s Jae-Hoon Ha hit a three-run homer in the bottom half and the Smokies put the tying run on base.

Reliver Ryan Kelly got a game-ending groundout, however, and the M-Braves escaped with their second straight win, 4-3, in the series opener in Knoxville.

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Jose Peraza went 3-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored for the M-Braves, and Kyle Wren was 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI.

Jose Peraza

Jose Peraza

It was Peraza’s second straight three-hit game. He has six multiple-hit games in his last nine starts, and is hitting .465 in that stretch.

Peraza singled and scored on Cedric Hunter’s ground-rule double in the first inning Monday, then singled again in the fifth and scored on Wren’s double.

Peraza also had an RBI single in the top of the ninth to give Mississippi a 3-0 lead. Mycal Jones, who had walked and gone to third on Peraza’s hit, stole home to make it 4-0.

The M-Braves, though, had to sweat out the win.

Kelly replaced Jorge Reyes to start the ninth inning and sandwiched a pair of strikeouts around a base hit by Jonathan Mota.

Luis Flores then delivered a pinch-hit single, and Ha blasted his three-run homer to center field to pull the Smokies within a run.

Stephen Bruno then reached on an error before Kelly finally got the last out with a ground ball.

Jason Hursh (8-6) allowed four hits over six shutout innings to earn the win.

The teams continue their five-game series tonight at 6:15 p.m. in Knoxville, Tenn.