(Tennessee Smokies) Tennessee defeated the Mississippi Braves on Monday afternoon 3-2, to win the series. The Smokies used early runs and a solid pitching performance to pick up the series victory.
Michael Rucker received the start for the Smokies and was able to shut down the Braves in his outing. Rucker gave up two solo home runs but that was it as his breaking ball caught the Braves off guard. Rucker went six innings, allowing two runs on four hits and struck out a season high eight batters.
The Smokies wasted no time in getting on the board in the bottom of the first. After Zack Short singled and Jason Vosler walked, Yasiel Balaguert doubled in both of them to right field to put the Smokies up 2-0. After a solo home run by Mississippi cut the lead to 2-1, the Smokies answered back in the bottom of the second. Trent Giambrone singled to start the inning and then moved to third on a stolen base and wild pitch. Rucker helped himself out with one out as he hit a sacrifice fly that scored Giambrone.
Scott Effross relieved Rucker in the seventh inning and pitched a scoreless and hitless inning while striking out one. Tommy Nance replaced Effross in the eighth inning and pitched a scoreless inning of his own. Nance lowered his ERA to 2.63 with the scoreless outing. Craig Brooks closed the game out for the Smokies with a scoreless ninth inning. It was Brooks third save of the season.
The Smokies will be back in action on Wednesday as they take on the Blue Wahoos in Pensacola at 7:35 p.m. ET. Trevor Clifton is the projected starter for the Smokies as he looks for his fourth win of the season. Daniel Wright is the projected starter for Pensacola as he looks for his third win of the season.