For the third straight season, the Smokies have made the Southern League Championship Series. Unfortunately, tonight they gave up five runs with two outs in the third inning and fell to the Mobile Bay Bears (Diamondbacks), 6-3.
Smokies veteran Marco Carrillo, who is playing in his fourth straight season in Tennessee, got the start tonight and got into major trouble after two were out in the third. Although he surrendered a lead-off double, he looked to be getting out of it after he struck out the next two batters. But then he hit the next batter on a ball he bounced up to the plate. After a walk, a two-run single and a three-run home run, the Smokies 1-0 lead had become a 5-1 deficit that they never recovered from. Carrillo's final line was 2.2 innings pitched, allowing five runs on four hits and a walk. Carrillo struck out those two batters.
Oswaldo Martinez relieved Carrillo and while he got out of the third inning with no further damage, in the fourth inning he allowed a rare unearned run on a lead-off home run after catcher Steve Clevenger dropped a foul pop up.
Center fielder Jae-Hoon Ha gave the Smokies an early lead on a solo home run in the top of the first inning. Ha was 2 for 4.
The only other runs the Smokies scored tonight came off of a two-run pinch-hit home run by Ty Wright in the fifth inning.
The Smokies will try to even up the best-of-five series tomorrow night in Mobile at 7:05 Central Time. As always, you can listen to the game with our friends at the Smokies Radio Network.