From the Smokies--
MOBILE, AL. - The Tennessee Smokies (32-32) fell to the Mobile BayBears (34-28) 3-2 Tuesday afternoon, falling to .500 for the first time since May 15th. Smokies starter Eric Jokisch (4-6) took the loss, pitching 6.2 innings and allowing three runs (two earned) while striking out seven and walking none.
After three consecutive 1-2-3 innings, Jokisch found trouble in the bottom of the seventh. A wild pitch allowed Jon Griffin to reach first base on a strike out. Keon Broxton took advantage of the mistake. On a 2-0 pitch in the next at-bat, Broxton roped a two-run home run to deep center field, breaking the tie and giving Mobile a 3-1 lead.
The BayBears put runners on first and second with two outs, prompting manager Buddy Bailey to bring on Tony Zych in relief. Zych induced a ground ball to third baseman Christian Villanueva, who ran to the third base bag to retire the side.
Tennessee rallied in the top of the eighth inning after back-to-back singles by Szczur and Arismendy Alcantara put runners at first and second. Two batters later, Mobile second baseman Mike Freeman was unable to throw out Ty Wright after Freeman slipped and fell. The infield single allowed Szczur to score from second and cut the Mobile lead to 3-2. Rubi Silva struck out in the next at-bat with a runner at third base to end the inning.
The Smokies made things interesting in the top of the ninth. With one out in the ninth, Jonathan Mota delivered a single on a soft fly ball to right field. A Rafael Lopez groundout moved Mota to second base with two outs, bringing Ronald Torreyes to the plate. Torreyes singled to center fielder Ender Inciarte, but Inciarte threw to the plate in time to throw out Mota and give the BayBears the win.
Trailing 1-0 in the top of the third inning, Jonathan Mota extended his hitting streak to seven as the first baseman hit a bloop single to left field. Shortstop Elliot Soto followed with an infield single, putting runners at first and second with Jokisch coming up to bat. Jokisch sacrificed both runners into scoring position for Matt Szczur. After striking out in his first at-bat, Szczur delivered in his second at-bat as he drilled a RBI single to center field, bringing in Mota and tying the score at one.
Tennessee will return to Smokies Park on Thursday for the first game of a five game series against the Mississippi Braves. Alberto Cabrera (5-3, 4.08) will climb the mound for Tennessee. First pitch from Smokies Park is set for 7:15 ET.