Smokies lock-up playoff berth

Smokies lock-up playoff berth


Kodak, Tenn. (WATE) - The Tennessee Smokies have advanced to the Southern League playoffs for the fourth time in five years, beating the Montgomery Biscuits 6-0 on Monday night at Smokies Park.

The win, combined with a Birmingham loss, gave the Smokies the 2nd Half Southern League North Division title.

The win also snapped a four-game Smokies losing streak

Tennessee (37-24, 71-61) got on the board early as they scored two runs in the first inning off of BayBears starter Andrew Chafin (10-7). Matt Szczur and John Andreoli led off the game with back-to-back singles and then Javier Baez hit a single of his own to score Szczur. Two batters later, Christian Villanueva hit a sacrifice fly to score Andreoli.

In the third inning, Baez hit a sacrifice fly of his own to score Szczur again. Szczur reached on a fielding error and moved from first to third on an Andreoli walk and a wild pitch.

Baez kept the offensive attack going in the seventh inning as he hit a two-run home run that went an estimated 415 feet out of Smokies Park. It was Baez's 18th home run of the season and his 35th overall this season between Hi-A Daytona and Double-A Tennessee.

Reliever Armando Rivero pitched a clean eighth inning and recorded a strikeout and Frank Batista pitched the ninth in a non-save situation. Batista gave up a hit but struck out one in his inning of relief.

Baez finished the game 2-for-3 with a home run and four RBIs. Jonathan Mota also collected a RBI in the win.

The Smokies played in the Southern League Championship series in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

(The Tennessee Smokies contributed to this report)

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