Smokies lost at extra innings


Loss is team’s second extra-inning defeat this week; Carpenter solid in six-inning start

Josh Vitters' 2-for-4 night Wednesday included this double in the second

KODAK, Tenn. – Free baseball has not been a good thing for the Tennessee Smokies in this week’s series with the Carolina Mudcats. A shaky bullpen and multiple errors late spelled doom for the Smokies in a 6-4 loss in 10 innings Wednesday night to Carolina at Smokies Park. The loss, the team’s second in three games this week, puts Tennessee at 21-12 on the year.

Things looked promising early on for the Smokies Wednesday. A RBI groundout by Robinson Chirinos put Tennessee up 1-0 after one. Tony Thomas followed three innings later with one of his own to give the Smokies a 2-0 lead.

Scoring was minimal in the game until the eighth inning, when the Smokies bullpen gave up three runs to Reliever Ryan Buchter was unable to follow up on his scoreless seventh as he issued two walks and committed a throwing error in the eighth, giving way to fellow reliever Marcos Mateo.

Mateo was unable to record an out in the frame due to some unfortunate luck. The first of his two induced ground balls resulted in a throwing error by third baseman Josh Vitters to first. The second, a failed fielder’s choice by Mateo on a throw home to Chirinos, tied the game at two. Yonder Alonso followed with a two-run double off reliever Alex Maestri to give the Mudcats a 4-2 lead.

Tennessee capitalized off a free pass and throwing error from Mudcats reliever Philippe Valiquette, to tie the game at four. Chirinos came around to score following a leadoff walk and Matt Spencer followed, coming home on a Nate Samson sacrifice fly.

The rally would be for naught though as Carolina put two runs up in the 10th off reliever Scott Maine (1-1) to go up 6-4, the damage coming on a Kris Negron two-run single. Joe Krebs (1-1) picked up the win for the Mudcats, with Jordan Smith (S, 4) picking up the save.

Lost in Wednesday’s loss was the strong showing by Carpenter. Shaking off a dismal start last week, Carpenter held the Mudcats to one run on five hits in six innings of work. He walked two and struck out two, and did not allow a single hit with runners in scoring position.

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