Stars shoot down the Smokies, 8-2

KODAK, Tenn. (release) -- In his first at-bat with the Tennessee Smokies, Javier Baez hit a solo home run, but the Smokies were unable to keep pace with the Huntsville Stars’ offense and fell 8-2 Saturday night at Smokies Park. With the loss, the Smokies fall to 10-6 on the season’s second half, 44-41 overall.

Huntsville wasted little time scoring on Smokies starter Austin Kirk, scoring three times in the first inning.

After being promoted to Tennessee this afternoon, Baez, who hit 17 home runs for the Daytona Cubs, hit his first Double-A home run on his first swing with the Smokies, on a 2-1 count, to narrow the Tennessee’s deficit, 3-1.

Kirk (1-3) was pulled from the game in the third inning, but not before the Stars were able to score six runs on seven hits in two-plus innings against the lefty.

Down 7-1 in the fourth inning, Christian Villanueva hit his 11th home run of the season to make the score 7-2. Villanueva finished the game 1-for-4 with an RBI.

Kevin Rhoderick worked two innings in relief, giving up one hit, an earned run and three walks.

Huntsville starter Taylor Jungmann (9-6) picked up the win, going 6.2 innings while giving up seven hits, two earned runs, one walk and struck out seven.

The Smokies and Stars will play the fourth game of their five-game series on Sunday evening at 5:00 p.m. Right-hander Kyle Hendricks (8-2, 2.06) will start for the Smokies, opposed by Huntsville’s Dan Goforth (1-1, 8.31). Sunday’s game is Jimmy Buffet Tribute Night with a food special involving $2 cheeseburgers and discounted Coronas. Stick around after the game for a postgame concert featuring Key West. For tickets and more information, fans can visit or call (865) 286-2300.

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