Smokies' Wright drives in seven

Career-high outburst helps Minors' top team improve to 13-2

Ty Wright set career highs with two homers and seven RBIs on Friday. (Jerry Hale/

By John Parker / Special to | April 23, 2010 7:30 PM ET

The Tennessee Smokies improved to a Minor League-best 13-2 on Friday behind two homers and seven RBIs from left fielder Ty Wright in a 16-7 drubbing of the Carolina Mudcats.

The Smokies have won seven straight games and are 9-1 on the road this season.

Tennessee, which leads the Southern League in hitting and runs, got off to a quick start with five runs in the first inning. Highlighted by Robinson Chirinos' two-run homer and an RBI triple from top prospect Starlin Castro, the Smokies sent nine men to the plate.

After delivering an RBI groundout in the first, Wright slugged a two-run shot in the second, delivered an RBI single in the third and cranked a three-run blast in the fifth.

The seven RBIs were a career high for Wright, surpassing the six runs he drove in while playing for short-season Boise on July 31, 2007. It also was his first two-homer game as a pro.

"With [Tony] Campana and Castro on base so much, I'm just trying to be aggressive at the plate," said Wright, who has hit safely in 12 of 15 games this season. "My job is to drive in runs."

Both of Wright's homers came off left-handers, against whom he is hitting .417.

Asked about Tennessee's torrid start, he said the players really haven't thought about it much.

"We're just showing up and having fun, not trying to do too much and just play smart baseball."

Castro,'s No. 22 prospect, followed his first-inning triple with a single in the fifth and a two-run double in the sixth. The 20-year-old shortstop is riding a 10-game hitting streak -- nine of them with at least two hits -- and batting .426 in the young season. In 14 games, Castro has been held hitless just once and has collected multiple hits 11 times.

Smokies starter Craig Muschko (1-0) picked up his first Double-A victory, despite allowing five runs on six hits while striking out six over six frames. All five runs -- and five hits, including two homers -- came in the third inning before the 24-year-old right-hander faced the minimum over his final three frames. He walked one.

Alexander Smit (0-1) bore the brunt of the Tennessee onslaught, yielding nine runs on nine hits over three innings. He walked two and hit two batters.

The loss completed a five-game home sweep of Carolina, the first time the Mudcats have been swept at Five County Stadium since dropping a three-game set to the Jacksonville Suns in June 2005.

John Parker is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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