From the Birmingham Barons Media Relations:
Birmingham, AL — The Birmingham Barons are back in first place for the first time this season after a 13-3 blowout of the Tennessee Smokies Saturday night in front of 8,106 fans at Regions Field.
The Smokies jumped out to an early 2-0 lead against starter Nick McCully (4-7, 5.66). Stephen Bruno plated the first run with an RBI double and scored on a base hit by Charlies Cutler.
After back-to-back walks to Jared Mitchell and Trayce Thompson by starter Matt Loosen (4-3 (5.21) in the bottom half of the inning, Josh Richmond tied the game at 2-2 with a double down the left field line. The pair of RBI extended his team-lead to 41 on the season. Chris Curley followed with an RBI double of his own, giving the Barons a 3-2 lead. Curley led the Barons with three hits on the night going 3-for-4 with two runs scored.
The Barons exploded for seven run in the fourth inning to take a commanding 10-2 lead. After loading the bases to begin the frame against Loosen, he forced home the first two runs of the inning on a hit-by-pitch against Martin Medina and a walk to Jamie Pedroza. After an RBI groundout by Jared Mitchell, Loosen unleashed a wild pitch scoring Medina from third base. Trayce Thompson followed with an RBI single knocking Loosen from the game.
P.J. Francescon relieved Loosen and promptly allowed a two-run home run to Rangel Ravelo extending his hitting streak to 22 games. The streak is tied for thefourth-longest in Minor League Baseball this season and ranks third in Barons history.
Back-to-back RBI doubles in the fifth by Jeremy Farrell and Martin Medina and a sacrifice fly by Jared Mitchell extended the lead to 13-2.
McCully picked up his fourth win of the season, allowing two runs on three hits over 6.0 IP. Recently promoted RHP Braulio Ortiz made his Barons debut with a scoreless inning.
With the win, the Barons stretched their winning streak to a season-high five games and improved to 10-6 in the second half, overtaking the Smokies for the North Division lead by half a game. The Barons will look to secure a series victory tomorrow afternoon as RHP Chris Beck (4-6, 3.24) takes the hill against RHP Corey Black (3-5, 2.83). First pitch is scheduled for 3:00 PM CDT.