With their series evened up at one game apiece, the Tennessee Smokies (19-12, 53-47) will play the middle game of their five-game series against the Huntsville Stars (14-17, 43-56). First pitch is scheduled for 7:43 PM from Joe Davis Municipal Stadium.
WHAT’S AT STAKE: Tennessee’s win kept them in first place in the North Division by a half game over Birmingham. Jackson remains in third place four games back while Huntsville are now in fourth place and trail by five games.
Tennessee: Austin Kirk (2-3, 6.53 ERA): Kirk picked up his second win of the season in his last start on July 20 against Jacksonville. He worked the first five innings allowing four runs on six hits. Tonight’s start will be his second against the Stars and his first one did not go well. Back on July 6, Kirk had arguably his worst start of the season allowing six runs on seven hits in only two innings.
Huntsville: Taylor Jungmann (9-6, 3.78 ERA): Jungmann faced off against Kirk back on July 6 at Smokies Park and got the win allowing two runs over 6.2 innings. That also marks his most recent win after tallying no-decisions in his last two starts. Overall this season against Tennessee, Jungmann is 2-1 with his lone loss coming at home back on April 17 allowing three runs in 5.2 innings. His .218 batting average against is fourth best in the Southern League.
LAST TIME OUT: The Smokies homered three times en route to a 6-1 win to snap their three-game losing streak. Justin Bour and Rafael Lopez each homered in the second inning and Javier Baez added another solo shot in the top of the 4th. Dae-Eun Rhee earned his first win since returning from the DL as he went the first five innings while yielding only one run.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Yeiper Castillo: Castillo tossed another scoreless inning last night out of the bullpen. He has a 1.10 ERA in 16.1 innings in the month of July.
Arismendy Alcantara: Alcantara has gone hitless over his last three games in 12 at bats. The last time Alcantara went hitless in three straight games was April 25-29.
Nick Shaw: Shaw was the only Star to register two hits in last night’s game. He is hitting .285 at home this season compared to just .211 on the road.
Jason Rogers: Rogers extended his hitting streak to five games after a 1-for-3 performance last night. He also has RBIs in each of his last four games.
KEY TO THE GAME: The home run has been a major part of the Smokies offensive arsenal over the past few games. They have hit five home runs in their last three games but four of them have been solo home runs.
TUNE IN: The broadcast will be available on our flagship station, The Sports Animal WNML AM 990 and on FM 99.1 in Knoxville beginning at 7:30 ET with the Pilot & Oscar Mayer Pregame Show. You can also listen to the broadcast in its entirety on smokiesbaseball.com as well as the Smokies mobile app.