Barons Roughed up Saturday as Smokies Even Series
KODAK, Tenn. - 16 opposing hits and a starter who has yet to suffer a loss this season were the killers in the Birmingham Barons (59-69) 8-2 Saturday night loss to the Tennessee Smokies (53-78) from Smokies Stadium.
It wasn't until the fifth inning when the excitement picked up. The Barons struck first in the top half with a Luis Basabe double down the left field line to score Zach Remillard and go up 1-0.
That would be the high point of the night for Birmingham. In the bottom half of the inning, Tennessee came alive with four runs on four hits to take a 4-1 lead.
With two runners on, Connor Myers laid down a bunt up the third base line. Third baseman Ti'Quan Forbes fielded it, but his throw to second baseman Laz Rivera covering first was in the base path and got away from everyone. Both runners came in to score and the Smokies went up 2-1, never looking back.
They got two more runs in the inning on RBI singles from Vimael Machin and Zack Short to make it 4-1.
The Smokies tacked on two more in the bottom of the seventh on back-to-back RBI singles from Tyler Payne and Jared Young to make it out of hand at 6-1. Coming into the day, the Barons were 5-51 on the season when trailing after seven innings.
Birmingham got as close as 6-2 on a Ti'Quan Forbes RBI single in the eighth, but Tennessee immediately responded. In the bottom half with Myers on first, Alec Hansen's attempted pickoff was wide of first and advanced Myers. The throw from Laz Rivera into third was wide of the bag, hit the tarp and allowed Myers to come all the way around and score from first. Tennessee got another run in the inning on a solo home run from Machin to make it 8-2.
Still scoreless in the bottom of the second, Flores worked himself out of a runners on the corners, no outs jam by striking out three consecutive Smokies. Flores would pitch six innings with no walks and five strikeouts but took his eighth loss of the season.
Smokies southpaw starter Luis Lugo was effective, going six innings and allowing just one run en route to his sixth win of the season. The Smokies used three relievers for the final three innings and gave up no earned runs, struck out four and didn't allow any walks.
Barons outfielder Blake Rutherford finished with a hit and run scored Saturday night. The base knock now means he has hit safely in 13 of his last 16 games and he's scored 10 runs in the month of August.
Machin has enjoyed great success against Birmingham this season and Saturday proved no differently. After his two hits and two RBI in the win, he now has 18 hits, seven RBI and a .346 batting average.
Birmingham will resume their five-game series with the Smokies Sunday afternoon, starting at 4:30 p.m. CT. Left-hander John Parke (3-3, 2.55) will take the hill and make his 12th start of the season.
WJQX-FM 100.5 will be the home of the Barons on Sunday. Fans can tune into the Coca-Cola Pregame Show starting at 4:15 p.m. CT.
The Birmingham Barons are the proud Double-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox. The Barons will open the home portion of their 2019 season, which celebrates the 25th anniversary of Michael Jordan's lone year in baseball, against the Tennessee Smokies at 7:05 p.m. April 10 at Regions Field. For ticket information, game schedule, promotions calendar or additional information about Regions Field, please visit barons.com or call (205) 988-3200.
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