by Mike Potter
Juan Francisco (pictured) blasted two homers, but there weren't enough men on base when he hit them as the Carolina Mudcats dropped the finale of their five-game road series with the Tennessee Smokies.
Ty Wright and Geovany Soto - on a Major League rehab assignment with the Chicago Cubs - each homered as the Smokies won 6-4 to keep a share of the lead in the Southern League's North Division.
Casey Coleman (11-5), the league's victory leader, was the winning pitcher.
Alex Maestri got his third save of the season with his performance in the ninth. The Smokies were up 6-3 when the Mudcats loaded the bases loaded when he got a one-out, three-pitch strikeout of Zack Cozart which led to the batter's ejection.
Maestri then hit Francisco for the slugger's fourth RBI of the game before getting Todd Frazier to ground out.
Francisco now has 22 homers and 71 RBI on the season.
Carolina, in last place in the division, trails Tennessee and Chattanooga by seven games with 30 remaining.
The Mudcats open a five-game road series with the West Tenn Diamond Jaxx on Thursday at 8:05 p.m. with Luis Montano (0-1, 6.00) on the hill.