Mudcats lose seventh straight on road
By Steve Roush
Published in Sports on July 27, 2006 2:08 PM
SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. -- Jesus Cota homered for the sixth time in seven games to lead Tennessee past Carolina 6-5 on Wednesday night at Smokies Park.
Cota, who homered twice on Tuesday, drilled a two-run shot against Trevor Hutchinson (0-3) staking the Smokies (19-14) back into the lead 5-4. Cota has hit eight home runs in his 70 July at-bats, and now has 13 this season.
Carolina (12-21), which lost its seventh straight road game, rallied from 3-0 down to move ahead 4-3 in the top of the third against Ross Ohlendorf (8-6).
Patrick Arlis started the frame with a double, was singled to third by J.C. Muniz, then scored on a safety squeeze by Hutchinson. Tony Schrager tripled Muniz in to make it 3-2, then one out later Kevin Randel hit his team-best 11th homer to right field.
Following Cota's blast in the bottom of the third, Jerry Gil took Hutchinson deep in the fifth, his 14th, for a 6-4 Smokies lead.
In the eighth, last-place Carolina had one final shot to halt its road skid. The Mudcats filled the bases with one out when Josh Pressley grounded out against relief pitcher Clint Goocher to score a run, but after a walk to Brett Carroll to reload the bases, Arlis grounded hard to Danny Richar at second base.
With the victory, the Smokies pulled into a first-place tie with Chattanooga in the Northern Division.
Manu Olivera pitched three hitless relief innings after Hutchinson, fanning two.
Jose Garcia (3-3, 2.23) starts tonight for Carolina against Tennessee's Greg Smith (3-3, 4.62) at 7:15.
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