BIRMINGHAM – Dae-Eun Rhee allowed three runs in the first and the Smokies were held without a run by three Birmingham pitchers in a 6-0 shutout loss to the Barons at Regions Field on Friday night.
The shutout loss was the sixth this season for the Smokies (10-6, 43-42). Tennessee was 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position and stranded 10 men on base in the loss.
The Barons (9-6, 38-47), in front of a sellout Independence Day crowd, rallied for three runs on just two hits in the first against Rhee (5-4, 3.27).
Trayce Thompson walked with one out in the first and later went on to steal second. That stolen base was followed by a RBI single to center from Rangel Ravelo and Birmingham jumped out in front 1-0. Rhee walked the next batter he faced in the first, but then got Michael Earley to hit a potential double play to short. The Tennessee defense failed to complete the play and only got one out in the inning. A run scored on the misplay and another came in later in the inning Chris Curley brought in Ravelo with an infield hit to second.
The Barons led 3-0 after the second, but Rhee would settle down and keep the Barons off the board for the next four innings. He also allowed a home run to Kevan Smith in the sixth. It was a solo shot that came with two outs in the inning and it put the Barons up 4-0.
Rhee walked three and allowed two hits in the first. He followed the opening frame with a perfect second and did the same in the fourth. The Smokies starter walked four, struck out two and allowed just three hits in the loss.
Mike Recchia (4-2, 2.83), meanwhile, cruised his way through six scoreless innings and earned the win. He walked three, struck out seven and gave up just four hits.
Birmingham relievers Jarrett Casey and Cody Winiarski combined to pitch the final three innings and allowed just two hits between them. Casey pitched the seventh and eighth while walking only one batter. Winiarski worked a scoreless ninth and struck out one.
Rhee was followed by Tony Zych in the seventh. He pitched the final two for Tennessee and allowed two runs on five hits. Four of the five and both runs were scored in the Birmingham eighth. Dan Black drove in one with a single to left and Smith drove in the other with a single to center.
The game was played in front of 8,500 fans at Regions Field. It was also played in two hours and 27 minutes, nearly three hours shorter than Tennessee’s game the previous night.
Jae-Hoon Ha had a single in the third and extended his current hitting streak to 11 straight games.