MOBILE, Ala. – Tennessee fell in walk-off fashion for the second time in three games to Mobile 4-3 Monday night. The Smokies (32-31) took a 3-0 advantage into the sixth inning, but the BayBears (34-29) would overcome the deficit.
Kevin Rhoderick came on in relief in the ninth inning and retired the first two men. With two outs, the righty walked Dustin Martin, who stole second base. Jon Griffin lined a 3-1 offering into left field with the runner going to give Mobile the 4-3 victory. It was the second time that Rhoderick (0-2) was the victim of a walk-off in this series.
The Smokies got on the board first in the second inning. Catcher Rafael Lopez doubled to right field to lead off the frame. Two batters later Jonathan Mota extended his hitting streak to six with a ground-rule double to right field to put Tennessee on top 1-0.
In the third inning, the Smokies would add another run. With one out, Arismendy Alcantara laced a single to right. The next batter, Rubi Silva, trickled a ball to third basemen Nick Evans who saw it hit off of his glove and bounce into left field. The error allowed Tennessee to gain a two-run advantage.
A.J. Morris did not allow a hit until the fourth inning. After hitting leadoff man Ender Inciarte with a pitch, the righty retired the next two batters. Nick Evans broke up the no-hitter with a single to left. Inciarte tried to score, but a strong, one-hop throw by Anthony Giansanti cut the runner down at the plate to keep Tennessee ahead 2-0.
The Smokies got to Mobile starter Archie Bradley again in the sixth. Christian Villanueva singled through the left side of the infield to start the inning. Lopez doubled for the second time in the game two pitches later. Villanueva crossed home plate on a sacrifice fly by Giansanti to put the Smokies ahead 3-0.
The BayBears would tie the score in the home half of the inning. Nick Ahmed singled to lead off the frame. Morris struck out Bradley, the final batter he would face in the game. Left-hander Zac Rosscup promptly gave up a double to Inciarte. Justin Greene hit his first home run of the season on the second pitch of the at-bat to even the score at three.
Alcantara, Villanueva, and Lopez each went 2-for-4 for the Smokies combining for six of the eight hits and all three runs scored by Tennessee in the game.
Morris worked 5.1 innings allowed an earned run on two hits with four strikeouts. Reliever Trey McNutt worked 1.2 innings of scoreless baseball allowing a hit with two strikeouts.
Righty Alberto Cabrera (5-3, 4.08) gets the start in the final game of the series tomorrow at 2:05 p.m. from Hank Aaron Stadium. Mobile will send left-hander David Holmberg (2-3, 2.57) to the mound.
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