Rhee, Bryant and Cutler Lead Smokies to 5-0 Win

Courtesy: Roger C. Hoover

Courtesy: Roger C. Hoover

JACKSONVILLE – Charlie Cutler drove in three runs, Kris Bryant hit his league best 20th home run and starter Dae-Eun Rhee pitched seven scoreless innings as the Smokies won their second straight 5-0 versus the Suns at The Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville on Saturday evening.

Rhee (3-3, 3.53) allowed just five hits, struck out one and walked two for the Smokies (30-32) and earned the win. The scoreless start was the first turned in by Rhee this season. It also counted for his sixth quality start over 11 total this season.

The victory was Tennessee’s second in a row and marked their second straight shutout versus the Suns (32-31). The Smokies have won four of their last seven and are 4-3 in June.

Tennessee jumped out in front and gave Rhee a lead to work with two runs and two hits in the fourth. Bryant started the rally with a one out single and was brought in moments later on Cutler’s home run to right.

The home run was Cutler’s second this season and came on a 2-2 pitch from Suns starter Jay Rogers.Cutler was 2-for4 with three runs batted in for Tennessee in the victory. Bryant was 3-for-3 with two runs and one batted in. His home run in the ninth was his league leading 20th of the season and came off reliever Frankie Reed.

Rogers (1-2, 5.60) had allowed just one other hit coming into the fourth. He allowed a two-out double to Bryant in the first, but had retired eight straight before allowing Bryant’s second hit in the fourth. Rogers pitched five full innings and allowed two runs on three hits.

Cutler and the Smokies struck again with another run in the sixth to take a 3-0 lead. This time it came against reliever Matt Montgomery who replaced Rogers after the fifth. John Andreoli started the rally with a lead off bunt single to third. He moved to second on a throwing error on the bunt play and was pushed to third on an Elliot Soto groundout. The Suns then intentionally walked Bryant and Cutler followed with a grounder to short. Major Leaguer Rafael Furcal used the ground ball to retire Cutler at first, but Andreoli scored from third on the play.

The 3-0 lead was enough for the Rhee and the Smokies bullpen. Rhee pitched seven shutout innings and allowed just five hits and two walks. Jeff Lorick followed Rhee in the eighth and retired the side in order. Arodys Vizcaino pitched the ninth and finished with a strikeout in his scoreless frame.

Bryant’s home run in the ninth brought the Tennessee lead to 4-0. A sacrifice fly from Jae-Hoon Ha later in the inning scored Cutler from third to put the Smokies up 5-0. Both runs were allowed by Reed who allowed three hits and two runs in the final inning.

The series continues on Sunday afternoon with first pitch scheduled for 3:05 pm in Jacksonville. Matt Loosen (3-2, 5.01) will start for the Smokies against Jacksonville’s Justin Nicolino (5-2, 3.23).

The Smokies return to Smokies Park on Wednesday, June 11 for the first of five against the visiting Mississippi Braves. Wednesday’s game features an All-You-Can-Eat special for fans. For more information call the Smokies at (865) 286-2300 and visit smokiesbaseball.com.


Categories: Game Recap

Author:Greg Young

Greg Young brings five years of Minor League Baseball experience to the Smokies Radio Network, having previously served with the High-A Modesto Nuts of the California League. He began with the Nuts as a Broadcast Assistant in 2007 before being promoted as the team's new Director of Broadcasting the following year, a position he held through the 2011 campaign. During his time with Modesto, Young also worked at KESP AM-790 as a Sports Anchor. Over the years he has worked as a broadcaster for Comcast Hometown Network and their coverage of the San Jose Giants (High-A, California League) and Fresno Grizzlies (Triple-A, Pacific Coast League), in addition to high school football and basketball. Young began his broadcasting career with the Major Indoor Soccer League's California Cougars in 2006 and was the club's inaugural broadcaster before being promoted to Director of Media Relations and Broadcasting the next year. Young is a 2005 graduate of Sacramento State University, earning a Communications degree with an emphasis in Digital Media. During his senior year, Young was Sports Director for the university's student-run radio radio station KSSU, and also did play-by-play for the school's baseball, football and basketball teams while attending Sacramento State.


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