Campana, Smokies grab 2-1 lead

Speedy outfielder opens game with first career home run

Tony Campana hit .319 with 48 stolen bases during the regular season. (Tom Priddy/

By Staff | September 11, 2010 8:45 PM ET

After the second pitch of Saturday night's game, it was all Smokies.

Speedy center fielder Tony Campana led off the game with an inside-the-park home run -- the first homer of his three-year career -- to set the tone as Tennessee crushed the West Tenn Diamond Jaxx, 9-2, to take a 2-1 lead in the Southern League semifinals.

Campana, who had not homered in 1,058 regular-season at-bats as a pro, went 4-for-6 with two RBIs and a stolen base. He ranked second in the league with 48 steals during the regular season.

After dropping Thursday's series opener, 8-3, at home, the Smokies have exploded for 20 runs on 30 hits in the last two games. West Tenn has been limited to three runs on 14 hits over the same stretch.

Russ Canzler and Matt Spencer hit back-to-back homers off reliever Aaron Jensen in the sixth. It was the second longball in three playoff games for both sluggers.

Robinson Chirinos continued his postseason tear, going 2-for-2 with a stolen base and a run scored. He is batting .714 in the series.

Tennessee starter Trey McNutt (1-0) gave up one run on four hits while striking out six over five innings.

Veteran right-hander Jarrett Grube (0-1) took the loss, allowing six runs on nine hits over 4 2/3 frames. He struck out seven and walked a pair.

The series returns to Smokies Park on Sunday evening, with Tennessee seeking its second consecutive berth in the Championship Series. The Smokies were declared co-champions when Hurricane Ivan cut the 2004 postseason short and last won an outright title in 1954 at the Knoxville Smokies.

In other Southern League action:

Jacksonville Suns 3, Mobile BayBears 1
Jeff Corsaletti went 3-for-4 with two doubles and two RBIs and southpaw Brad Hand tossed six shutout innings as Jacksonville took a 2-1 lead in the other semifinal series. BayBears starter Wade Miley allowed an unearned run on four hits over 6 1/3 frames but took the loss. Mobile was 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position and left 10 on base. Box score

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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