Black, Soler and Geiger Lead The Way in 9-1 Win

Corey Black Throwback Jersey

BIRMINGHAM – Starter Corey Black allowed just one run over six innings pitched, Jorge Soler hit a home run in his return from the disabled list and Dustin Geiger drove in three with three hits as the Smokies pounded out 16 hits in a 9-1 win in Birmingham against the Barons on Sunday evening.

The Tennessee (11-7, 44-43) victory snapped a three game losing streak and put them back in first place in the Southern League North second half standings. The Barons (10-7, 39-48) saw their winning streak end at five straight with the loss and moved back into second place in the second half race.

Black (4-5, 2.72) started the game with a walk to the Birmingham lead off man and also gave up a hit in the first. His defense turned a double play behind him, but a run would score on the play. The Barons picked up a run and a hit and took advantage of one Tennessee error in the first to take a 1-0 lead.

The Barons, however, managed just one other hit in the game against Black. The Smokies starter allowed a run on two hits and walked four. Black also struck out six while pitching through the sixth inning for the third time this season. He threw 88 pitches with 47 counting for strikes in the quality start.

Trailing 1-0 in the fourth, the Smokies would rally for five runs on eight hits to take a 5-1 lead. The rally started with a lead off single to left by Charlie Cutler and continued with a single to right from Jonathan Mota. Those two singles were just the start for the Smokies. Jae-Hoon Ha followed Mota with a single to right and Cutler scored to tie the game at 1-1.

Mota went to second on Ha’s RBI single and moved to third on a single by Dustin Geiger. With Mota at third, Ha at second and Geiger at first, Anthony Giansanti broke the 1-1 tie with an infield hit to short. Shortstop Dan Wagner made a diving stop on the Giansanti grounder, but Mota trotted in and scored. Ha, however, took too long of a turn at third while moving over from second and would be caught between third and home for the inning’s first out.

With one out, the inning continued with a single by Pin-Chieh Chen and two Tennessee runs scored to make it a 4-1 Smokies lead.

The fourth inning rally then continued with a Stephen Bruno single, but was cooled when newly acquired prospect Addison Russell was called on out on strikes. Russell was 0-for-5 in his Tennessee debut. Things picked up again when Soler delivered a RBI single to right and Tennessee took a 5-1 lead.

The Smokies collected seven straight hits to start the fourth and had eight total in the inning. Soler’s single knocked Beck out of the game and Bryan Blough finished the inning out of the bullpen.

Beck (4-7, 3.59) allowed five earned runs on 10 hits over three and 2/3 innings. He walked one and struck out two while suffering the loss.

Tennessee led 5-1 through the fourth, but added to their lead with a Geiger double in the fifth. The double scored Mota who led off the inning with a single to left. Geiger was 3-for-5 with a run and three batted in for the Smokies in the victory. He batted in the eighth place in the line up, two spots below Mota who was 3-for-4 with three runs.

Soler drove in another run with his first home run as a member of the Smokies. His homer came in the sixth and gave the Smokies a 7-1 advantage. Soler missed most of the season’s first half while battling hamstring injuries in both legs. Sunday marked his first game back with the Smokies since May 15.

The final two Smokies runs were driven in by Geiger in the ninth. He doubled in Cutler and Mota to extend the Tennessee lead to 9-1. Both runs were allowed by reliever Kevin Vance. Vance allowed two hits, two runs and walked one in the ninth.

Andrew McKirahan and Frank Batista finished the game for Tennessee out of the bullpen. McKirahan gave up two hits, but kept the Barons scoreless over two innings of relief work. Batista gave up a hit and struck out two in the ninth while pitching in a non-save opportunity.

The victory pulled the Smokies within a game of evening the five game series at 2-2. The Barons took the first two games and lead two games to one going into game 4 on Monday night at Regions Field.

The first pitch of Monday night’s game is scheduled for 8:05 PM ET and will be thrown by Barons starter Miles Jaye. Jaye is 0-7 with a 6.93 ERA over 13 starts this season for Birmingham. Pierce Johnson is scheduled to start for the Smokies. He is 2-1 with a 3.44 ERA over seven games and six starts this season for Tennessee. Johnson last pitched on July 2 against Montgomery and did not allow a run over seven and 1/3 innings. He allowed just one hit and struck out five.

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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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