I think when we banned Upton gifs, we had something else in mind. Oh well, no matter. This is an Upton-free zone tonight.
Brooks Raley started and took the loss. He gave up four runs on seven hits over four innings. He walked two and struck out three.
Yoanner Negrin had a successful season debut. He threw two hitless shutout innings of relief. He walked one and struck out two.
Cedar Rapids native Ryan Sweeney had a successful debut with the Iowa Cubs. He was 3 for 3 with a double and a walk. Sweeney scored once and had one RBI. First baseman Brad Nelson was 1 for 3 with a double and a walk. He scored Iowa's first run.
A long pitchers duel got blown open in the twelfth inning when the Smokies scored eight times and stuffed the Pensacola Blue Wahoos (Reds), 9-1 in twelve innings.
The Smokies pitchers only allowed five hits through the twelve innings. Starter Eric Jokisch allowed the only run in the fourth inning after a walk, a bunt and a two-out single. Jokisch went six innings and gave up only three hits. However, on the other two singles Jokisch allowed, he picked the runner off of first both times. Jokisch walked two and struck out seven.
Kevin Rhoderick followed with a scoreless inning, giving up just one hit. Marcus Hatley went two hitless innings, striking out four and walking one. Frank Batista pitched two innings and got the win. He gave up one hit and walked one batter. Batista struck out two. Finally, Brian Schlitter tossed a scoreless bottom of the twelfth. He hit the first batter he faced, but faced the minimum when he ended the game with a double play.
Right fielder Matt Szczur broke the tie with a two-run, bases-loaded single. He would bat again in the twelfth and hit another RBI single. He finished the game going 2 for 7 with one run scored and the three RBI.
Center fielder Rubi Silva had the only Smokies offense before the final inning when he hit a solo home run in the fifth. Silva finished 1 for 6.
Left fielder Jae-Hoon Ha was 3 for 5 with a run scored and two RBI. He also stole a base. Third baseman Christian Villanueva got a tough RBI in the 12th when he was hit on the arm with the bases loaded. He stayed in the game and later scored. Villanueva was 2 for 5.
The Daytona Cubs won their second in a row by spearing the Brevard County Manatees (Brewers), 4-2.
Austin Kirk pitched the first three innings. He gave up two runs, one earned, on four hits. He walked two and struck out two.
With Daytona trailing 2-0, Kirk gave way to Yao-Lin Wang, who was pretty awesome tonight. Wang got the win after pitching three shutout innings, giving up only one hit and one walk. He struck out four.
Frank Del Valle pitched the final three innings to nail down the save, but not without some drama. After striking out the first two batters of the inning, he gave up a single and hit a batter to bring the go-ahead run to the plate. But he struck him out, too, to end the game. Del Valle only allowed that one hit and one earlier walk. He struck out six.
After Daytona took a three-run lead in the fourth inning, the score was 3-2 until right fielder Jorge Soler crushed his first home run of the year into the wind over the left field fence. Soler was 2 for 3 with a walk. He scored twice and had just the one RBI.
Timothy Saunders was 3 for 4. Stephen Bruno was 2 for 3 and scored Tennessee first run after being hit by a pitch.
Kane County Cougars
The Kane County Cougars fell behind 8-1 after three innings, but they clawed back and sent the game into extra innings where they lost their third straight game to the Quad City River Bandits (Astros), 13-10 in 11 innings.
Jose Arias had a really rough season debut, giving up seven runs over 1.2 innings. He was touched for seven hits and one of the seven runs was unearned. He didn't walk anyone and struck out two.
Steve Perakslis gave up three runs in the eleventh inning and got the loss. He pitched two innings and allowed the three runs on three hits and a walk, all in the eleventh inning. Perakslis struck out two.
Outfielder Oscar Zapata played the biggest role in the Cougars comeback. He hit a two-run home run in the fifth inning and a two-run, game-tying triple with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. He earlier had an RBI single in the second inning, which gives him five on the game. He was 3 for 6 and only scored that one run.
Third baseman Jeimer Candelario was 2 for 6 with a double and two runs scored. Left fielder Pin-Chieh Chen went 2 for 6 with a triple and he scored once. Second baseman Gioskar Amaya was 2 for 6 with a double and two runs scored.