By Adam Kline / Smokies Radio Network
KODAK, Tenn. – For the second straight night, the Tennessee Smokies shutout the Huntsville Stars, this time by a score of 4-0 Sunday night in front of 4,059 at Smokies Park. With the win, the Smokies take the five-game series and improve 23-27 on the second half, 58-62 overall. Huntsville drops to 24-26, 59-61.
Tennessee wasted little time scoring off Huntsville starter Jimmy Nelson (1-3). With one out in the first, Logan Watkins singled, stole second and scored on Justin Bour’s RBI single to give the Smokies a 1-0 lead.
In the third, Watkins walked and moved all the way third on an error by Stars centerfielder Josh Prince, following Jae-Hoon Ha’s single. Watkins came in to score on Bour’s groundout to extend their lead, 2-0. Bour’s RBI was his 100th of the season, and becomes the first Smokie since 1999 (Tim Giles) to reach 100 RBIs in a single season.
Matt Cerda led off the fourth inning with a walk, stole second, and scored three batters later on Yoanner Negrin’s double.
The Smokies added another run in the fifth inning. Watkins and Ha led off the inning with walks. Brian Garman replaced Nelson on the mound and after getting Bour to foul out, Junior Lake doubled home Watkins to give the Smokies a 4-0 lead.
Four Tennessee pitchers combined to blank the Stars for the second consecutive night. Starter Yoanner Negrin (1-0) fired five innings, allowing one hit, a walk and striking out four. Zac Rosscup followed with 1.2 solid innings and Casey Weathers added an inning. Frank Batista entered the game in the eighth and got the four Huntsville batters in order to secure his league-leading 21st save of the season.
Following an off day, the Smokies will now head to Birmingham, Ala. to take on the Birmingham Barons in a five-game set at Regions Park starting Tuesday, August 14. Tennessee will return to Smokies Park on Sunday, August 19 for a five-game set with the first-place Chattanooga Lookouts. The five-game series will be part of a 10-game homestand, which will be the final homestand of the regular season. For tickets and more information visit http://www.smokiesbaseball.com or call (865) 286-2300.
LISTEN TO GAME HIGHLIGHTS: August 12, 2012 Stars 0 Smokies 2