KODAK, Tenn. (release) -- The Tennessee Smokies were unable to hold on to a three-run lead and fell to the Mobile BayBears for the second straight night, this time by a 4-3 score. The loss, in front of 6,132, drops the Smokies second half record to 36-25, 70-60 overall.
Tennessee took advantage of Mobile starter Bradin Hagen’s inability to throw strikes in the first, plating a single run in the frame. Matt Szczur and Arismendy Alcantara walked to lead off the inning and both advanced a base on groundout by Javier Baez. Szczur would score on a sacrifice fly by Justin Bour to give the Smokies the early 1-0 lead.
Two innings later, Bour and Rubi Silva hit back-to-back solo home runs to increase the Smokies lead to 3-0. It was Bour’s 17th home run of the season and it was Silva’s 15th long ball of the year.
The BayBears would take advantage of a throwing error by Baez to and score two unearned runs in the seventh inning off Smokies starter Dae-Eun Rhee on a two-run single by Nick Ahmed, making the score 3-2.
Rhee cruised through the first 6.1 innings but ran into trouble before manager Buddy Bailey took him out of the game. The righty gave up five hits, two unearned runs, walked three and struck out two. Rhee would not factor into the decision.
Both Hunter Cervenka and Tony Zych (5-5) worked out of a jam in the seventh inning to preserve a 3-2 lead.
However, Zych gave up four straight hits in the eighth inning before recording an out, which allowed the BayBears to take a 4-3 lead.
Jake Barrett put the Smokies down in order in the ninth inning to notch his 13th save of the season. Matt Gorgen (1-1) picked up the win for the BayBears tossing a scoreless seventh inning.
Besides the two solo home runs, the Smokies only had two other hits on the evening. Szczur and Brett Jackson both finished the night 1-for-3.
The Smokies will look to get back on the winning track on Sunday at 5:00 at Smokies Park. Right-hander Nick Struck (0-1, 3.86) will take the mound for the Smokies and the BayBears will counter with top prospect Archie Bradley (10-5, 2.07). It’s 80’s night at Smokies Park with a postgame concert featuring The Breakfast Club and Myron Noodleman will be making his rescheduled appearance at Smokies Park. For tickets or more information, please visit www.smokiesbaseball.com or call (865)-286-2300.