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Lucas Harrell made a spectacular return to the mound Thursday, combining with three relievers on a one-hitter as the Birmingham Barons opened the season with a 3-0 blanking of the Tennessee Smokies at Regions Park.
Harrell (1-0) did not miss a beat after missing all of last season following shoulder surgery. He retired the first eight batters before Joe Simokaitis reached on an error by second baseman Robert Hudson. Former first-round draft pick Tyler Colvin laced a one-out single in the fourth to end the no-hit bid.
A 22-year-old right-hander, Harrell walked one and struck out four over five innings. In 2006, he combined to go 7-4 with a 3.20 ERA in 20 starts for Class A Advanced Winston-Salem and Birmingham.
Joseph Torres struck out two in 1 2/3 innings, Carlos Torres fanned three of the four batters he retired and Jon Link tossed a perfect ninth for his first save.
David Cook delivered RBI singles in the third and fifth innings, while Miguel Negron went 2-for-4 with a run-scoring single in the eighth for the Barons. Hudson also had two hits and scored twice.
Tennessee starter Justin Berg (0-1) allowed two runs -- one earned -- on six hits and a walk with two strikeouts over 4 1/3 frames.
Steve Conley is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.