HUNTSVILLE – Rehabbing Major Leaguer Emilio Bonifacio misplayed a soft liner to center in the fourth and the resulting error led to the only run allowed by Pierce Johnson in Tennessee’s 1-0 loss in Huntsville in Game 1 of a double header on Saturday night.
The loss dropped the Smokles (14-14, 47-50) a full game out of first behind the Birmingham Barons in the second half standings. It also moved the Smokies into a tie for second with he Stars (14-14, 60-38) in the second half race.
Johnson (2-4, 3.35) allowed one unearned run and suffered the tough luck loss. He walked two and struck out three over five innings. Despite the loss, Johnson saw his record fall to 2-4, and his earned run average to 3.35.
Stars starter Jed Bradley (3-4, 4.34) walked one and struck out three over five scoreless innings and earned the win. Bradley scattered three hits and only saw three base runners reach behind him.
Tennessee managed just four total base runners in the loss and stranded one man on base. They were 0-for-2 with runners in scoring position and grounded into two double plays.
The only run of the game came in the fourth when Hector Gimenez singled to start the frame. A fielding error by Bonifacio allowed Gimenez to third on the play and Hanley Statia brought him in moments later with a single to right. Johnson allowed two hits in the inning and just one unearned run.
Hunter Cervenka pitched the sixth, and what would be final inning of the game. He faced three and struck out two.
Bradley pitched five scoreless and his bullpen would finish the seven inning game with two scoreless innings. Tim Dillard worked the sixth and faced only three. David Goforth (S, 20) pitched the seventh and allowed one hit while picking up the save.