KODAK, Tenn. (smokiesbaseball.com) -- Mike Burgess’ two home runs led a 15-hit offensive outburst and sent the Tennessee Smokies to an 11-6 win over the Birmingham Barons at Smokies Park. The win, in front of 3,328, evens the Smokies’ record at 3-3 for the second half, 38-38 overall. The Barons dropped to 3-3, 33-42.
After a scoreless first inning, the Smokies had little trouble with Barons starting pitcher Cameron Bayne, scoring three times in the second inning. Justin Bour led off with a double and advanced to third on a single by Jim Adduci. Matt Cerda sent a sacrifice fly to center to score Bour from third. Mike Burgess crushed a two-run home run to right field to give the Smokies the early lead, 3-0.
Birmingham would score three unearned runs off Tennessee starter Nick Struck to tie the game 3-3.
Down 4-3, the Smokies answered back to score four times in the fifth inning. Cerda led off the inning with a double and advanced to third on a single by Burgess. Mike Brenly singled home Cerda and Jae-Hoon Ha cleared the bases with a three-run blast to give Tennessee a 7-4 lead.
Burgess and Brenly hit back-to-back home runs in the sixth inning to give the Smokies a 9-4 lead. The two home runs were the first time the Smokies hit back-to-back long balls this season.
The Smokies picked up two more runs in the eighth. Burgess walked and Brenly doubled to put runners at second and third. Logan Watkins, who went 2-for-4 and extended his hitting streak to nine games, sent a two-RBI double to right-center to extend the Smokies lead, 11-4
Struck (9-6) picked up his league-leading ninth win of the season going six innings allowing four runs (one earned) on four hits, walking four and fanning three. Frank Batista (S, 12) picked up the save getting out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth and tossing a perfect ninth.
Burgess ended the night going 3-for-3 with two home runs while Brenly added a 3-for-4 night with a home run of his own.
The Smokies and Barons will continue their five-game series on Wednesday at 7:15 at Smokies Park. RHP Dae-Eun Rhee (4-3, 5.04) will toe the rubber for the Smokies and the Barons will counter with RHP Andre Rienzo (1-0, 0.79). For tickets and more information visit www.smokiesbaseball.com or call (865) 286-2300.
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