PENSACOLA, Fla. – The Tennessee Smokies surrendered four solo home runs en route to a 7-3 loss to the Pensacola Blue Wahoos Thursday night at Pensacola Bay Front Stadium. The loss marks the first time the Smokies dropped an opening night game since the 2010 season.
Pensacola (1-0) opened up the scoring in the bottom of the second inning when Travis Mattair broke the scoreless tie with a solo shot off Smokies start Dallas Beeler to give the Blue Wahoos a 1-0 lead.
The Smokies (0-1) battled right back in the top of the third for their first lead as Arismendy Alcantara connected on a two-run home run, his first Double-A blast, to put the Smokies on top 2-1.
The Blue Wahoos added a single run in the third on a home run by Bryson Smith. Beeler yielded two more run in the fourth on a solo home run by Tucker Barnhart and an RBI groundout by Ryan LaMarre to give Pensacola a 4-2 advantage.
Donald Lutz delivered the fourth solo home run of the night in the bottom of the seventh as he took A.J. Morris out of the yard to left field to increase the Pensacola lead to 5-2.
Alcantara picked up his third RBI of the night with a single that scored Elliot Soto to bring the Smokies within two at 5-3. Later in the inning, with the tying run at second base, Justin Bour flied out to deep right field to end the threat.
Pensacola took advantage of a Bour error, adding two unearned runs in the eighth off Smokies reliever Tony Zych. Devin Lohman lined a two-run single to right-center field scoring Brodie Greene and Steve Selsky to push the lead to 7-3.
Chad Rogers (1-0) earned the win going the first five innings yielding two runs on four hits while striking out four. Dallas Beeler (0-1) suffered the loss allowing four runs on seven hits in 5.1 innings.
Tennessee’s offense was led by Alcantara (2-for-3) and Matt Szczur (3-for-4) who combined for five of the Smokies six hits for the game.
The Smokies and Blue Wahoos continue their five-game series on Friday night at 8:00 p.m. ET when Tennessee sends right-hander Alberto Cabrera (0-0, 0.00 ERA) to the mound against Pensacola righty Josh Smith (0-0, 0.00 ERA) at Pensacola Bay Front Stadium.