BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Despite a three-run seventh frame, the Birmingham Barons could not complete the comeback in a 7-3 loss to the Tennessee Smokies in their home opener Wednesday night at Regions Field.
Barons catcher Yermin Mercedes delivered a solo shot, his first at the Double-A level, while second baseman Mitch Roman added a two-RBI triple to help cut into a 4-0 deficit. However, right-handers Bailey Clark and Craig Brooks shut the door with scoreless frames in the eighth and ninth.
The Barons struggled to find their rhythm at the plate against Smokies starter Tyson Miller (W, 1-0). The right-hander allowed just one hit, a second-inning single from Mercedes, in five innings of work.
Miller's counterpart, Barons left-hander Tanner Banks (L, 0-2), retired eight of the first 12 batters he faced before he ran into trouble in the fourth. The left-hander surrendered a one-out walk and single before Tennessee's P.J. Higgins took him deep for a three-run home run to extend the Smokies' lead to 4-0.
Higgins, who opened up scoring with an RBI-single in the second, accounted for all four Smokies RBI.
Barons third baseman Trey Michalczewski went 1-for-4 in the loss to extend his hit streak to four games.
The Barons fell to 3-4 in home openers at Regions Field since the ballpark's inception in 2013 and welcomed a crowd of 6,407 on opening night.
The Barons and Smokies will continue their five-game set at 7:05 p.m. Thursday as Barons right-hander Jimmy Lambert (0-1, 4.50) opposes Smokies right-hander Thomas Hatch (0-0, 0.00). Coverage on WJQX-FM 100.5 will begin at 6:50 p.m. with the Coca-Cola Pregame Show.
- BARONS -
The Birmingham Barons are the proud Double-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox. The Barons will open the home portion of their 2019 season, which celebrates the 25th anniversary of Michael Jordan's lone year in baseball, against the Tennessee Smokies at 7:05 p.m. April 10 at Regions Field. For ticket information, game schedule, promotions calendar or additional information about Regions Field, please visit barons.com or call (205) 988-3200.
Southern League Champions: 1906 • 1912 • 1914 • 1928 • 1929 • 1931 • 1958 • 1967 • 1983 • 1987 • 1989 • 1993 • 2002 • 2013
33-Year Double-A Affiliate of the Chicago White Sox
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.