In a game where the first pitch was thrown thirty-nine minutes behind schedule, Smokies left-hander Luis Martinez (5-6) threw 6 1/3 scoreless innings turning the game over to the bullpen. Following the seventh, another downpour hit Smokies Park ending with a 3-0 Smokies victory over the Huntsville Stars Monday.
The win moved them into a tie with the Chattanooga Lookouts in a race for the Eastern Division’s first half crown. The winner receives an automatic berth into the Southern League Playoffs in September.
Martinez allowed five hits and four walks while striking out four. His counterpart for the Stars, Mike Jones (0-3), took the loss yielding 2 runs on 2 hits in three innings of work.
Dan Moylan had the Smokies’ lone RBI for the game when he drove in Skip Shumaker with a third inning single. Papo Bolivar and Moylan scored the next two runs in the third on wild pitches by Huntsville’s Jeff Housman. Despite the two wild pitches, Housman did strike out seven batters in his four innings of work.
Chattanooga lost to Mobile 4-3 in 10 innings, which put them in a deadlock with the Smokies.
The Tennessee Smokies needed a late rally Tuesday to beat the Huntsville Stars, 7-5, in an afternoon game at Smokies Park. Jason Shelley (1-2) was victimized by the home run ball in the bottom of the eighth and took the loss for the Stars.
Javier Colina put the Smokies ahead on a three-run home run in the bottom of the eighth, his fifth of the year. Corey Erickson followed Colina with his tenth home run of the year to seal the Smokies’ victory and keep them on top of the Eastern Division. Colina finished the game with three hits, and five RBI’s.
Smokies starter, Jeremy Cook allowed three runs on seven hits in four innings of work. Nick Stocks (1-0) pitched the top of the eighth to pick up the win, while Carmen Cali picked up his sixth save.
Huntsville starter, Chris Saenz, pitched seven solid innings, yielding three runs on seven hits while striking out six. Shelley allowed four runs in just 1/3 innings of work.
Dan Moylan also contributed three hits and an RBI for the Smokies.
The Smokies took the day off Wednesday, and will be played in a charity golf tournament benefiting Sevier County United Way.
Tennessee will return to the park on Thursday for a 7:15 p.m. game, as the Jacksonville Suns come to town for a four-game series to end the Southern League’s first half. Jeremy Cummings (5-1) will try to go for the Smokies in his last start before having surgery on his non-pitching hand.

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