MONTGOMERY, AL - Tyson Miller's 11 strikeouts and six quality innings for the Tennessee Smokies (28-28) were not enough to get past the Montgomery Biscuits (33-23) in a 3-2 loss at Riverwalk Stadium in Montgomery on Monday night. The Smokies had allowed their opponents to score the first run of the ballgame
MONTGOMERY, AL - Tyson Miller's 11 strikeouts and six quality innings for the Tennessee Smokies (28-28) were not enough to get past the Montgomery Biscuits (33-23) in a 3-2 loss at Riverwalk Stadium in Montgomery on Monday night.
The Smokies had allowed their opponents to score the first run of the ballgame in six straight games. That trend came to an end in the second inning when Eddy Martinez sent a line drive into right field giving the Smokies the early 1-0 advantage. Martinez's RBI single was the first pitch he had seen in game action since being placed on the Injured List on April 11.
Just as Smokies starting pitcher RHP Tyson Miller (L, 3-3) was ready to hit the dugout in the bottom of the second following back-to-back strikeouts, the Biscuit's bats came alive. Montgomery strung together four straight hits, including three doubles, to plate four runs on RBI-knocks from Robbie Tenerowicz, Kevin Padlo and Josh Lowe.
Miller bounced back to dominate the rest of his outing despite giving up the three runs in the second inning. Miller sat down 12 straight Biscuits spanning from the second to the sixth inning. He set his career-high of 11 strikeouts by striking out the side in the seventh.
Offensively, the Smokies bats tried to claw back. In the seventh, Ian Rice cut the deficit to one with a solo homer, running the score to 3-2. One batter later, Charcer Burks tripled off a ball that deflected off of Jesús Sánchez's glove in right field. In a series of wild events to follow, Burks tried to score from third twice. The first time he managed to get back to third on a fielder's choice. When Christian Donahue tried a suicide squeeze bunt, Burks was tagged out by catcher Rene Pinta. With the tying run at second and two outs, the very next batter, Clayton Daniel, singled to right, but Sanchez gunned down Martinez at the plate to end the inning.
The Biscuits used RHP Riley O'Brien (W, 2-3) as a "follower" in the third after LHP Matt Krook opened the first two frames. The righty gave them six complete innings. He gave up one run on three hits while striking out three batters to pick up the win.
Montgomery turned to closer RHP Phoenix Sanders (S, 5) who came in to hold the Biscuit's one run lead in the ninth. After two quick outs, the Smokies were able to load the bases from a Burks single and back-to-back walks. Daniel then put a good swing on the ball with a drive to right-center, but Josh Lowe was able to run the ball down to hand the Biscuits the win.
Game three of the series is set for Tuesday night at 7:35 EDT. LHP Justin Steele (0-5, 7.57 ERA) gets the ball for the Smokies, while Montgomery will turn to RHP Sam McWilliams (3-2, 2.64).