BIRMINGHAM – Barons starter Miles Jaye held the Smokies to a run on eight hits over nine full innings pitched and the Barons defeated the Smokies 7-1 at Regions Field on Monday night.
For Jaye (1-7, 6.19) it was the third complete game of his career and his first victory this season. Jaye scattered eight hits and struck out three. His only run allowed was a solo home run in the ninth to Jorge Soler.
The Barons (11-7, 40-46) moved back into first with the victory, while Tennessee (11-8, 44-44) slid back into second in the second half standings.
Pierce Johnson, coming off his best start in a Smokies uniform his last time out, allowed three runs over four innings and took the loss. Johnson (2-2, 3.79) walked three and struck out six while throwing 84 pitches.
Johnson kept the Barons off the board in the first, but allowed a solo home run in the second as the Smokies fell behind 1-0.
Birmingham’s Josh Richmond started the second inning with a solo shot to left. It was his eighth home run of the season and the third allowed over eight games for Johnson this year.
The Barons added to the lead with two more in the fourth and led 3-0 when Johnson left the game before the fifth.
Johnson started the fourth with a walk, but then got Richmond to ground into a double play. However, with two outs in the inning, Chris Curley followed with a solo home run to right. The inning continued with a double by Jeremy Farrell and a single from Jaime Pedroza. Pedroza’s single scored Farrell and the Barons took a three run lead.
Jeff Antigua followed Johnson in the fifth and walked Trayce Thompson to start the inning. Antigua got Black to pop out for the first out, but then gave up a RBI double to Rangel Ravelo. Later in the inning Ravelo scored on a ground out by Kevan Smith. The Barons rallied for two runs and had one hit in the fifth and led 5-0 midway through the game.
Antigua pitched through the sixth and left with two runs allowed over two innings. He walked two and struck out two in his appearance.
Hunter Cervenka and Lendy Castillo pitched the final two innings for Tennessee. Cerevenka kept the Barons scoreless in the seventh and allowed just one hit. Castillo allowed two run (one earned) on two hits and struck out two.
Birmingham added two more runs with two hits and a Smokies error in the eighth. Farrell drove in both runs with a RBI double and the Barons took a 7-0 lead.
Jaye took his shutout effort into the ninth, but saw it slip away when Soler clubbed a solo home run to start the final inning. The home run was his second in as many days and his 10th extra base hit of the season. Soler is 13-for-33 with a .818 slugging percentage in a Smokies uniform this season.
The win clinched a series victory for the Barons as they took their third game of the five game series.
The two club will play the finale of the series on Tuesday night at Regions Field. Eduardo Figueroa (0-0, 4.43) is scheduled to start for Tennessee. BIrmingham is set to counter with lefty Scott Snodgress (5-6, 4.05). The first pitch is set for 8:05 PM ET.