Abbott Shines as Smokies End Barons Postseason Hopes
KODAK - Seven shutout innings from Tennessee Smokies (54-78, 21-42) starter RHP Cory Abbott (W, 7-8) provided a 4-2 win that eliminated the Birmingham Barons (59-70, 32-28) from playoff contention at Smokies Stadium on Sunday evening.
Smokies ace Abbott produced one of his best starts of the season, tossing seven scoreless frames with six strikeouts to build his total to 156 Ks. He is the first Smoky since 1997 to strikeout more than 150 batters, when future Cy Young winner Chris Carpenter punched out 150. He is also currently at the top of the Southern League strikeout leaderboard.
Coming off a 16 hit performance last night, the Smokies got rolling right away in the first inning. Eddy Martinez hit a line drive to left field sending Zack Short across home plate.
Charcer Burks added a pair of sacrifice flies in the fourth and sixth off LHP John Parke (L, 3-4) extending the shutout lead for the Smokies. Nico Hoerner who had reached base in 23 straight games made it 24 with an RBI-single to push the lead to 4-0 in the sixth.
Birmingham made their move in the eighth. Smokies RHP Michael Rucker ran into trouble giving up a pair of two-out RBI singles. He was able to limit the damage by striking out Damek Tomscha and stranding two Barons.
RHP Craig Brooks (S, 8) had not pitched for Tennessee since June 14, but he helped raise the W flag by striking out the first two and inducing a popout to end the game.
RHP Erich Uelmen (0-2, 7.08) looks to secure the Smokies first home series win since late May, while RHP Blake Battenfield (5-5, 4.41) gets the ball for Birmingham in a 7:00 pm EDT Monday night start at Smokies Stadium. The 2019 promotions conclude Monday with $1 hot dogs and 12-ounce Pepsi products.
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Southern League Stories from August 25, 2019
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