Smokies stay alive in playoffs with 9-2 win over Barons
Kodak, Tenn. (WATE) – The Tennessee Smokies powered their way to a 9-2 win over Birmingham on Saturday night at Smokies Park-- keeping their hopes alive for a Southern League championship.
Tennessee still trails the North Divison playoff series 2-1, with Game Four set for Sunday at Smokies Park.
The Smokies got on board first when Javier Baez hit a two run home run off Barons starter Spencer Arroyo, scoring Matt Szczur and give the Tennessee a 2-0 lead.
Leading 2-1 in the fifth, John Andreoli led off the frame with a double, advanced to third on a fly out by Taylor Davis and scored on a sacrifice fly by Szczur to extend Tennessee's lead, 3-1.
Tennessee starter Eric Jokisch gave the Smokies just the start that they needed.
The lefty gave up a run in the eighth inning and would be pulled after allowing two runs on five hits, striking out four in his 7.2 innings of work. Reliever Armando Rivero would limit the Barons' threat, getting the final out in the eighth.
The Smokies would put the game out of reach in the bottom of the eight with six runs on RBI singles by Justin Bour and Christian Villanueva.
The big blow came off John Andreoli's bases-clearing double against Ryan Kussmaul to give Tennessee the 9-2 advantage.
Smokies closer Frank Batista closed out the game, getting the final three outs in the ninth.
(The Tennessee Smokies provided information for this report)