Davis Powers Smokies Back Into First


BIRMINGHAM – Catcher Taylor Davis crushed a game tying two run home run in the seventh and ripped a three-run double in the tenth to help lead the Smokies to a 7-4 extra innings win versus Birmingham at Regions Field on Saturday night.

The victory moved the Smokies (19-17, 52-53) a half-game ahead of the Barons (18-17, 47-58) in the second half standings. Tennessee entered the game in second and left with a series opening victory and sole possession of first place.

Davis was 3-for-5 in the game with a career high five runs batted in. His home run in the seventh tied the game at 3-3 and was his second of the year. Those two home runs match a personal season best for Davis.

The Smokies were 3-for-12 with runners in scoring position in the victory and stranded nine men on base.

Tennessee led in the game 1-0 through five, but the Barons rallied for three in the sixth to take a 3-1 lead. The Smokies tied things for the first time in the seventh by plating two, but Birmingham answered back with one in the same inning to take the lead again. Both Tennessee runs in the seventh were driven in by Davis and his home run off Birmingham starter Scott Snodgress.

Another Tennesssee run in the eighth made it 4-4 and that is how it would stay until Davis won the game with a bases loaded double to left-center off Nick McCully (4-9).

The Smokies did score first in the game as shortstop Addison Russell blasted his sixth home run of his Southern League season in the fourth. The homer came off Snodgress and was his first hit allowed in the game.

Russell has homered three times over the last two games and has hit all six of his Smokies home runs over his last ten games. The home run was also his seventh overall this season between his play in the Cubs and Oakland Athletics farm systems.

The Smokies led 1-0 after Russell’s home run in the fourth, but Tennessee starter Matt Loosen was not able to hold the lead for long.

Loosen kept the Barons scoreless over five full innings, but would allow three earned runs in the sixth. Rangel Ravelo drove in the first run with a single to left and Christian Marrero drove in the other two with a double to right.

The Barons scored three times in the sixth to take a 3-1 lead and knocked Loosen out the game. The Smokies starter left after Marrero’s double and right-hander P.J. Francescon took over in the game.

Loosen was outstanding over the first five, but found trouble in the sixth. He did not allow a run over those first five and kept the Barons without a hit until the fourth. Loosen struck out seven before leaving the game. He started the sixth by hitting the lead off man with a pitch and that would ignite the Birmingham rally.

The Smokies rallied back to tie the game with a two run seventh. The inning started with a strikeout, but Stephen Bruno singled and Davis then hit his two-run home run to right.

The home run came on the first pitch of the at bat and it tied the game at 3-3 in the seventh.

The Barons continued to trade runs with the Smokies though as in the seventh they scored once to take the lead back. Jeremy Farrell hit a ground rule double to right to start the inning and later scored on a single to center from Jared Mitchell.

Francescon allowed the go-ahead run in the seventh, but that was it for him over two and 1/3 innings. He gave up three hits and walked two in his appearance.

Jeff Lorick finished the eighth for the Smokies and end the inning without allowing a run. He walked one and struck out one in his appearance.

The Barons led 4-3 until the Smokies answered again in the eighth. With reliever Brandon Hardin in the game, the Smokies would get an infield single to short from Jae-Hoon Ha and then a two-out double to left-center from Russell.

Russell was 3-for-5 in the game with two runs batted in. His run scoring double in the eighth tied the game at 4-4.

Hardin allowed just one run on two hits in the eighth. He followed Snodgress after he allowed three runs on four hits over seven innings pitched.

Russell’s RBI double locked the game up at 4-4 and he would come up with a chance in the ninth to break the tie. McCully loaded the bases in the ninth and would strikeout both Albert Almora and Russell to end the inning.

Tennessee Manager Buddy Bailey was ejected from the game in the ninth after arguing Almora’s third strike, check swing and miss called by home plate umpire James Rackley.

Tony Zych worked a scoreless ninth and the 4-4 tie held through the ninth. Zych (4-4) faced only three in the inning and by holding the tie, he set things up for Davis who drove in the winning runs in the tenth with his bases loaded double to left-center.

McCully started the inning by allowing leadoff singles to Christian Villanueva and Lars Anderson. Bruno followed by bunting into a force out and Villanueva would be retired off the bases. A wild pitch thrown by McCully moved both Anderson and Bruno up to third and second respectively. The Barons then opted to intentionally walk Luis Flores with first base open and Davis made them pay with his double to left-center.

The double cleared the bases and gave the Smokies a 7-4 lead. Batista worked the tenth out of the bullpen and retired the side in order to finish the game.

Tags: , ,

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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