Smokies beat Biscuits 7-3 to win fifth straight game

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (release) -- Jae-Hoon Ha, Taylor Davis and Albert Almora each collected three hits, starter Felix Pena earned his second win on the road and the first place Smokies stretched their win streak to five straight with a 7-3 road win in Montgomery versus the Biscuits on Sunday night.

Tennessee (30-26, 63-62) scored five runs on six hits in the third and added two more on three hits in the fourth. Three different Smokies had three hits in the game and in all Tennessee would pound out 15 hits in the victory while moving three games ahead of the Chattanooga Lookouts in the Second Half Standings.

Pena (2-2, 4.50) started for the Smokies and struckout two in the first while retiring the side in order. He later allowed a run and two hits in the Montgomery (24-32, 59-67) second and the Biscuits took a 1-0 lead after two. First baseman Cameron Seitzer started the inning with a single to right-center and catcher Luke Maile doubled him in to put the Biscuits on top first.

Trailing 1-0, second baseman Stephen Bruno started the Tennessee third with a single up the middle off Montgomery starter Mike Colla (7-12, 4.60). Davis followed with a single through short and a bunt hit to third from Ha loaded the bases with no outs for left-fielder Pin-Chieh Chen. Chen brought in both Bruno and Davis with a single to deep right and the Smokies took a 2-1 lead.

The five run Tennessee third continued with a run scoring hits from Almora and shortstop Addison Russell. Colla allowed five runs and six hits in the third, and would escape with two men left on base.

Ha added to the lead though in the fourth after ripping a two-run home run to left off Colla. Ha’s homer put the Smokies up 7-2 and was his fifth of the season. Davis started the fourth with a single to right and scored on Ha’s blast to left. Tennessee’s catcher was 3-for-4 with two runs scored while batting eighth in the game.

Pena, meanwhile, allowed a run in the second, but would keep the Biscuits scoreless between the third and sixth innings. He pitched into the seventh and left the game with two runners on base after completing six and 1/3 innings. Reliever Zach Cates inherited two from Pena and allowed one to score.

Pena allowed just two runs on three hits in his start. He also walked three and struck out four while earning his second victory with Tennessee.

Cates allowed a run and two hits over one full inning. He finished the seventh and allowed just one inherited runner to score in the inning. Cates stayed in for the eighth and left the game with one runner on base while turning things over to left-hander Jeff Lorick. Lorick allowed one inherited runner to score and gave up a hit in the eighth.

Montgomery scored twice between the seventh and eighth innings, but would be held scoreless in the ninth. Lorick started the ninth with a pop out from Kes Carter and would pitch one full inning with just one hit allowed. Lorick left with one out in the ninth and Frank Batista would come in to finish the game.

While pitching with a four run lead, Batista finished the game by getting the final two Montgomery batters on flyouts. Batista pitched 2/3 of an inning and did not give up a hit.

The victory stretched Tennessee’s winning streak to five straight and was played in two hours and 58 minutes.

Game two of the series is scheduled for an 8:05 PM ET first pitch at Riverwalk Stadium in Montgomery. The pitching match-up features Corey Black (5-7, 3.12) starting for Tennessee opposite Montgomery’s Dylan Floro (9-12, 3.69).

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