Lange sharp in first AA start, but Smokies fall

Tennessee Smokies’ Roberto Caro attempts a bunt during Saturday’s game against Montgomery in Kodak.

KODAK — It was a solid debut for former first round pick Alex Lange, but the Tennessee Smokies couldn’t make it count.

The Smokies fell 5-2 to the Montgomery Biscuits in front of 5,646 fans Saturday night at Smokies Stadium.

Lange has just been with the team since Thursday after getting called up from High-A Daytona. Lange was the No. 30 overall pick in 2017 out of LSU. This was just his 12th start of the 2019 season and first Double-A start.

Charcer Burks led off the bottom of the third with a double on a fly ball to center field that just barely missed the diving glove of Montgomery’s Josh Lowe. Burks was batted to third on a perfect sac bunt from Christian Donahue. A double into left field from Connor Myers allowed Burks to trot across home plate.

The Biscuits (2-1 second half, 46-27 overall) 1- answered back in the top of the fifth. Brett Sullivan led off with a walk and was brought home with a two-run homer from Robbie Tenerowicz that landed in the bottom row of the Calhoun’s Party Deck. Montgomery led 2-1.

Tennessee (1-2, 34-38) tied the game 2-2 with an RBI single into deep center field from Jhonny Pereda that brought in Higgins in the bottom of the sixth.

Lange’s day was done after six innings. Lange finished with four hits, two runs, two walks and five strikeouts.

In the top of the seventh, the Biscuits retook command after Tenorowicz led off the inning getting hit by a pitch. A single from David Rodriguez put Tenerowicz on third and he was batted home by a base hit from Rene Pinto.

The score sat there until the bottom of the ninth when Pinto all but put it away for Montgomery with a two-run homer that brought in David Rodriguez.

Tommy Lance (2-2) was stuck with the loss for Tennessee, going two innings with two hits, one run, one walk and four strikeouts.

Paul Campbell (2-0) recorded the win on the hill. He gave up five hits in six innings’ work with two runs, two walks and three strikeouts. Phoenix Sanders recorded his eighth save of the season with 1.1 innings, one hit and one strikeout.

The Smokies and Biscuits pick up game four of their five-game series tonight inside Smokies Stadium. First pitch is at 5:30 p.m.