Barons hand Smokies sixth straight loss, 9-7
KODAK — Looking to get back on the winning track, the Tennessee Smokies were unable to score late and lost their third straight game to the Birmingham Barons, 9-7. The loss, in front of 6,497 at Smokies Park on Thursday’s Safe Kids Health and Awareness Day, was Tennessee’s sixth consecutive defeat and drops their record to 15-17.
After last night’s high-scoring 14-inning affair, both teams continued where they left off, plating five runs combined in the first inning. The scoring started with Trayce Thompson hitting a sacrifice fly to left field, scoring Keenyn Walker, who reached on a line drive to left field to begin the game. Walker then stole second base and advanced to third on Marcus Semien’s ground ball single to center field. Marcus Semien then scored on an Andy Wilkins single to right field, making the score 2-0.
In the Smokies’ first inning, Arismendy Alcantara reached after getting hit by the pitch. He then stole second base and advanced to third on a throwing error by catcher Miguel Gonzalez. Rubi Silva hit a RBI-triple to right field and later scored on a Rafael Lopez two-run home run to right field.
Trailing 5-3, the Smokies would get on the board again in the fourth inning after a Jonathan Mota two-run home run to left field, scoring Lopez who walked to begin the inning. Tim Torres then doubled and later scored on a fielder’s choice by Ronald Torreyes. The score then was 6-5 in favor of the Smokies.
After Birmingham scored two runs to take a one-run lead, the Smokies would once again try to mount a comeback in the late innings. Torres reached on a single to begin the inning and then Elliot Soto hit a double to left field, scoring Torres from first. That double tied the game at seven.
With Trey McNutt (1-3) pitching, Saladino walked to lead off the ninth inning and then was out at second on a force out at second base after Earley tried to bunt him over. Gonzalez hit a go ahead double, scoring Earley from first. Gonzalez reached third on a throwing error by Alcantara. The next batter, Cody Puckett, hit a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Gonzalez.
In the bottom of the ninth inning, Alcantara singled on a ground ball to second base and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Rubi Silva then grounded out, moving Alcantara to third base. Ty Wright stuck out swinging and Lopez popped out to short to end the game.
Smokies starter Alberto Cabrera went 4.1 innings, giving up six runs on 13 hits. He walked three and struck out five. Kevin Rhoderick came in and pitched three innings, giving up a hit, a run, two walks and struck out two.
The Smokies and Barons will continue their five-game series tonight at Smokies Park at 7:15. Birmingham will send lefty Scott Snodgress (4-1, 4.25) to the mound and Tennessee will counter with southpaw Eric Jokisch (3-2, 3.34).