PENSACOLA (Team Release) - Kris Bryant broke a scoreless tie in the seventh with a solo home run and the bullpen did the rest as the Smokies shutout the Blue Wahoos 1-0 at Pensacola Bayfront Stadium on Friday night.
The home run was Byrant's second in as many games and his second in his first six at-bats to start the year. Bryant finished the game 1-for-4 with three strikeouts for the victorious Smokies (1-1).
Pensacola (1-1) reliever Daniel Corcino (0-1) allowed the deciding seventh inning home run. Corcino suffered the tough luck loss and was otherwise brilliant in his relief appearance following the one inning Major League rehabilitation start by Cincinnati Reds pitcher Jonathan Broxton.
Corcino struck out eight, walked one and allowed just two hits over six innings. He retired 12 straight Tennessee batters between the second and sixth innings.
The Smokies had only four base runners reach safely over the first six innings before Bryant's home run. Of those four base runners, only one reached safely via a hit. The Smokies had just five hits in the victory and struck out 14 times.
Tennessee's offense struggled, but they were carried by strong pitching from the relief staff. Smokies pitchers combined to allow just four hits and struck out eight. P.J. Francescon was brilliant in relief of starter C.J. Edwards and earned the victory.
Francescon (1-0) scattered two hits, walked one and struck out two in his appearance. Armando Rivero (S, 1) pitched a scoreless eighth and stranded two in the ninth while picking up his first save.
Edwards struck out four while allowing just one hit over four scoreless innings.
Broxton started for the Blue Wahoos and pitched a scoreless first. He was followed by Corcino who allowed just one run over six solid innings. Ryan Dennick retired one batter in the eighth and Jamie Walczak followed to finish the game.
The series continues on Saturday in Pensacola for game three of the five game set. Chicago Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta is scheduled to pitch for the Smokies on Saturday as part of a Major League rehabilitation outing. First pitch is at 7:30 pm.
The Smokies start their home schedule, and a 10 game home stand, at Smokies Ballpark on Wednesday, April 9 against the Chattanooga Lookouts. Tickets are available by visiting smokiesbaseball.com and by calling (865) 286-2300.