BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - On the same day he was elected to the Southern League All-Star Game, Barons starting pitcher and White Sox No. 2 prospect Frankie Montas hurled a no-hitter in a seven-inning game Tuesday afternoon against the Smokies in Sevierville, Tenn., downing Tennessee 2-0.
It is the first individual no-hitter for a Baron since Luis Andujar tossed one in nine innings against Memphis on August 8, 1995, and the first seven-inning no-no since George Lauzerique threw one against Evansville July 6, 1967.
The right-hander walked three and struck out three over the seven-inning contest. Two double plays, courtesy of shortstop Tim Anderson and first baseman Danny Hayes, helped keep the historic feat intact.
It is the first win of the season for Montas, as the prospect improved to 1-1 and lowered his ERA to 2.50. Montas retired as many as nine Smokies in a row, between a walk in the third and a walk in the sixth. Just one runner was left on base by the Tennessee offense.
The Birmingham offense was fueled by a two-out, two-run Brian Fletcher home run that plated the game's only two runs. The blast was Fletcher's second on the year and came in the fourth inning against big leaguer Jacob Turner, making a rehab start for the Smokies. Christian Marrero scored on the play after getting aboard with a single to right.
Game Two - Smokies 7, Barons 5
After Frankie Montas no-hit the Smokies in game one of a Tuesday twin bill, Tennessee's offense caught fire and out-slugged Birmingham 7-5 to split the two games.
Barons starting pitcher Tony Bucciferro (0-4, 7.92 ERA) was charged the loss while Smokies right-hander P.J. Francescon (2-0, 0.74 ERA) picked up the win in relief. Starling Peralta pitched the final two outs of the game to earn his first save on the season.
Bucciferro was roughed up for five runs on five hits through 2.1 innings in the start. After tossing two scoreless innings, Tennessee batters figured out the right-hander and posted a five-spot in the third. Along with five hits in the frame, the scoring was highlighted by a Kyle Schwarber two-run home run. Sean Hagan was able to come in and stop the bleeding, and kept the Smokies off the board in the fourth.
Birmingham got one run back in the fourth by stringing together three hits. All-Star Joey DeMichele singled on a grounder to second and Chris Marrero singled to center in the following at bat. Christian Marrero capitalized with a runner in scoring position, lining a single to center to plate DeMichele.
The Smokies tacked on two more runs in the fifth to extend their lead to 7-1. Back-to-back doubles knocked Hagan out of the game, and reliever Kyle Hansen took over with no outs and inherited two runners. A single and a sacrifice would score both runs and were charged to Hagan.
A four-run seventh inning provided a spark near the end of the game for the Barons. Back-to-back walks and an RBI single from Marcus Lemon plated the inning's first run. Lemon scored on a wild pitch, and Tim Anderson followed up with an RBI single to center. Anderson crossed the plate on a Chris Marrero hit, but a double play ended Birmingham's hopes of a double header sweep.
The finale of the series is set for 11 a.m. Wednesday. White Sox No. 6 prospect Tyler Danish (4-2, 3.92 ERA) will square off against right-hander Felix Pena (5-2, 3.32 ERA) on getaway day.
The team returns to Regions Field Thursday, June 11 for five games against Chattanooga. The home stand includes a Thirsty Thursday, two chances to enjoy the Courtyard Pregame Buffet, mini bat giveaway, Los Barons Night and a pregame concert by Sho Baraka.
To order tickets, visit Barons.com or call (205) 988-3200. For more information, visit us at www.barons.com, www.facebook.com/birminghambarons or on Twitter: @bhambarons.