Rhee Carves Biscuits In 6-1 Victory

Dae-Eun Rhee

Tennessee starting pitcher Dae-Eun Rhee struck out a season-high ten batters in seven solid innings of one-run ball, while center fielder Jae-Hoon Ha broke open a one-run lead with a bases-clearing double in the second-to-last frame to give the Smokies a 6-1 series opening victory over the Montgomery Biscuits on Sunday evening at Smokies Stadium.

The win keeps the Smokies in first place in the second half North Division standings and improves their record to 8-3 since the midpoint of the campaign. The Biscuits fell to 5-6 in the second half and 40-41 overall in 2014.

Rhee (7.0 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 10 SO) fell one punchout shy of a single-game career-high with his ten strikeouts over seven innings of work, yielding no walks to earn his fifth victory of the season. It was also the eighth quality start of the year for the right-hander, who upped his 2014 record to 5-3 on the season.

The South Korea native got hot early, tallying two strikeouts in each of his first three frames, following with one in all four of his final innings on the mound. The 25-year-old last recorded double-digit strikeouts on August 19, 2011, when he fanned 11 Dunedin Blue Jays while pitching for the High-A Daytona Cubs, which is Rhee’s single-game high.

The relief corps combination of P.J. Francescon (0.1 IP, 1 H), Hunter Cervenka (0.2 IP) and Frank Batista (1.0 IP, 1 SO) would follow Rhee by joining forces for the final two frames. Francescon and Cervenka each notched holds for their efforts, while Montgomery starter Dylan Floro (6.0 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 SO) suffered the loss to drop to 7-6 on the season.

The Biscuits began the scoring with a single tally in the fourth thanks to the longball. With two outs in the frame, Alejandro Segovia smashed a 2-0 fastball over the left field fence, his fourth of the year, to make it a 1-0 Montgomery advantage.

Tennessee would then answer right back with a pair of scores in the subsequent half inning. Three straight base knocks from 1B Dustin Geiger, RF Jonathan Mota and C Luis Flores would load the bases for SS Elliot Soto, with two runs coming home when Soto reached on a throwing error to give the Smokies a 2-1 lead.

The advantage would eventually increase to five courtesy of a four-run eighth inning. DH Charlie Cutler led off with a base knock, while Flores and LF Kevin Brown followed with base hits to load the bases for Soto, who would draw a bases-loaded walk to send home Cutler. All three runners would then come across on CF Jae-Hoon Ha’s double to right-center, with the ball dropping out of the reach of the diving two outfielders to move the Smokies ahead 6-1 and cap the scoring.

Cutler (3-4, 1 R) and Flores (3-4, 1 R, 1 2B) led the Smokies with three hits apiece, and Brown (2-4, 1 R) collected a multi-hit effort in his Double-A debut after being transferred to the Smokies from Single-A Boise earlier in the day. The trio of Segovia (2-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI), SS Jake Hager (2-4) and C Luke Maile (2-4) each recorded two base hits each to pace the Biscuits bats.

Tennessee and Montgomery are scheduled to square off in the second game of their series on Monday evening, with first pitch slated for 7:15 p.m. in Kodak. The Smokies are set to give the ball to RHP Matt Loosen (4-2, 4.73), while LHP Grayson Garvin (0-3, 3.65) is expected to toe the rubber for the Biscuits.

Once again fans get plenty of bang for their buck with McGhee Tyson Airport Low Fare Monday, with all hot dogs, popcorn, small Pepsi products and programs available for just one dollar each. Tickets for that contest and the remaining 2014 Smokies home slate are still available and can be purchased online at smokiesbaseball.com, or by calling the Smokies Ticket Office at (865) 286-2300.

Listen to Manager Buddy Bailey’s post-game press conference below:

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Categories: Game Recap


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