MOBILE, AL - Vimael Machin drove in two key runs and the Tennessee Smokies (55-80, 22-44) bats tallied for 12 total hits to seal a 4-3 game one win over the Mobile BayBears (49-83, 22-42) Thursday night at Hank Aaron Stadium.
The Smokies scored first in the ballgame for the 61st time this season. Eddy Martinez kicked off the second inning with a strong double off the wall in center field. It was then Tyler Payne who delivered his seventh RBI of the season with a single to give the Smokies a 1-0 advantage.
Machin added his team-leading 59th RBI of the season in the fourth frame. The Smokies juiced the bases on a pair of walks and a single courtesy of Christian Donahue. Machin skied a ball to the warning track in center field to bring home Connor Myers and extend the Smokies lead to 2-0. Two runners would be stranded in the inning adding to a total of 13 runners left on base by Tennessee.
RHP Jack Patterson was given the late start by Tennessee skipper Jimmy Gonzalez and did not disappoint. He struck out a pair and retired the minimum in three innings on the mound in his first start since returning off the IL today.
RHP Chih-Wei Hu (W, 1-1) picked up were Patterson left off and allowed a pair of runs in the fourth and fifth innings. Jhoan Urena put Mobile on the board with a RBI-double to plate Brandon Marsh. Julian Leon followed the next inning with a solo blast to knot things up at two a piece.
It took just ten minutes for Machin to rid of the tie and give the Smokies another lead. He dropped in his second RBI and base hit of the night off RHP Austin Warren (L, 1-2) to score Donahue and run the score to 3-2.
LHP Manuel Rondon provided solid relief out of the bullpen for the Smokies. He tossed two scoreless innings without allowing a single base runner to preserve the Smokies lead.
Tennessee brought home a key insurance run in the ninth as Payne scampered home thanks to a wild pitch. It proved vital as Roberto Baldoquin took the third pitch he saw off RHP Oscar De La Cruz (S, 2) over the left field wall. However, De La Cruz settled in and retired the final three batters to clinch a 4-3 win for the Smokies.
Game two of the series between the Smokies and the BayBears is set for Friday night. LHP Luis Lugo (6-0, 3.13) will make his 11th start of the season with the Smokies. On the other end, RHP Oliver Ortega (0-3, 11.35) will get the ball for Mobile. First pitch is set for 8:05 EDT. '
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.