Matt Torra (9-13) ended up with seven punchouts in the contest without walking a batter
in his second shutout and fourth complete game of the year. He scattered just four singles over his nine frames while never allowing a man to reach third base. Jonathan Mota started the first with a single and ended up at second with one out which became the closest to a threat that the Smokies (66-68, 34-30) had all night.
Matt Tupman not only put down all the right fingers for Torra, but also had his second straight solid evening at the dish for the BayBears (64-70, 27-37) as he put the visitors on the board with his second-inning double into the right-center field gap, scoring Cyle Hankerd. Hankerd began the frame by singling off Smokies starter Hung-Wen Chen (7-11).
Chen didn’t pitch poorly over five innings, although he got blemished again in the fourth as Tupman doubled with two outs prior to a single to right off the bat of Chris Rahl that brought Tupman to the plate.
Chen gave way to lefty Jayson Ruhlman in the sixth, and he had some issues with Ricardo Sosa and Pete Clifford beginning the frame with singles. After a strikeout of Hankerd, Tupman was walked to load the bases.
That brought David Cales into the contest in a tight spot, but he seemed to be up to the task as he forced Rahl into a fielder’s choice groundout which drove home Sosa. That brought up Torra
- just 1-for-33 at the plate entering the at-bat - and he smacked the first pitch he saw over the wall and outstretched glove of left fielder Ty Wright for a three-run homer. It was just the third three-run dinger by the BayBears this season.
Torra was golden on the mound from there as he finished the 113-pitch effort with 80 strikes, getting Russ Canzler to ground to third to end the contest. There was a scary moment in the ballgame as Bryan Byrne was hit in the head by a pitch in the fourth which forced his exit, but he did walk off the field on his own power.
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