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Barons blank Smokies, 2-0, in series opener

(Tennessee Smokies) The Tennessee Smokies lost 2-0 to the Birmingham Barons on Tuesday night in Birmingham. Tennessee held the Barons offense in check for the majority of the game, but the Smokies were unable to drive in a run.

Birmingham scored the first run of the game on a solo home run in the bottom of the third inning, making it 1-0 Barons. They would add to their advantage with another solo shot in the sixth inning, putting the Smokies in a 2-0 hole. Yasiel Balaguert led the Tennessee offense with a 2-for-4 day at the plate. Zack Short, Ian Rice, P.J. Higgins and Trent Giambrone all recorded a hit for the Smokies. Jeffrey Baez drew two walks.

Matt Swarmer started on the mound for Tennessee. Swarmer pitched 6.0 innings, allowing two runs on four hits and one walk. He also struck out six in the start. Swarmer handed the ball to Brad Markey to start the seventh inning. Markey threw one inning, giving up one walk and no hits. He struck out two batters in his first game with Tennessee this season.

Markey appeared in 34 games with the Smokies last season and had spent the previous part of the 2018 season in Triple-A Iowa. He was relieved by Jordan Minch to start the eighth inning. Minch pitched a scoreless frame, allowing just one hit.

Tennessee and Birmingham are set to play the second game of the series on Wednesday at 8:05 p.m. ET. Thomas Hatch (6-5, 3.93 ERA) is tabbed as the Smokies starter and Matt Tomshaw (4-6, 6.14 ERA) will make the start for the Barons. Hatch is coming off 6.0 innings against Biloxi, where he allowed four runs on seven hits. He is holding batters to a .220 average in the month of August and right handed hitters have compiled just a .225 average against Hatch this year.

Written by Blake Von Hagen, Broadcast Assistant for the Tennessee Smokies

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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