Southern League Northsiders Down Southsiders, 6-3, in Kodak

P.J. Higgins Two RBI Put Smokies Ahead for Good

By Matthew Peterson / Tennessee Smokies | July 2, 2019 10:09 PM

KODAK - The Tennessee Smokies (39-43, 6-7) snapped a four-game losing skid with a 6-3 win over the Birmingham Barons (35-47, 8-5) at Smokies Stadium on Tuesday night. 

Starter RHP Alex Lange (W, 2-0) impressed in his third quality start for the Smokies, hurling his fifth consecutive quality start between Advanced-A Myrtle Beach and Tennessee. The Chicago Cubs' 30th overall pick in the 2017 has tossed 18 combined innings and allowed five earned runs in a Smokies uniform. 

Vimael Machin and Jhonny Pereda got on base with an error and a single to set the table for Christian Donahue to score the first run of the game in the second. Donahue sent Machin home with an RBI-ground out. After a multi-RBI performance last night, Wynton Bernard added another run in the second when he singled to center, bringing Donahue home. 

Lange opened up with four hitless innings, but Joel Booker collected Birmingham's first knock with an infield single on a hard ground ball to third base. Next, Nate Nolan knotted the game up with a two-run blast to left-center field. 

The Smokies did not take long to regain their lead. A pair of walks and a single loaded the bases for P.J. Higgins. Hitting .300 since the All-Star break, Higgins flicked a ball into left field for a single, sending two runs across the plate. Then, Machin took advantage of having runners aboard with a base hit off RHP Lincoln Henzman (L, 2-3). The Smokies added three runs in the fifth, extending their lead to 5-2. 

Birmingham made their move in the eighth inning. Gavin Sheets singled in a run to bring the Barons within two. LHP Jordan Minch (H, 4) punched out Ti'Quan Forbes ending the side and avoiding any further damage. Minch struck out a season high five hitters in relief.

A sacrifice fly from Connor Myers in the bottom of the eighth put the nail in the coffin for the final run. RHP Bailey Clark (S, 3) hung a zero on the scoreboard in the ninth to give the Smokies their first win of the series. 

The Smokies welcome fans to Smokies Stadium Wednesday night at 7:00 pm EDT for their Independence Day Celebration. RHP Thomas Hatch (4-8, 5.13) starts for America/Tennessee, while the British/Birmingham counter with LHP Matt Tomshaw (3-4, 3.31). The Smokies will wear special Independence Day jerseys that will be auctioned off to fans.

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

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