KINGSPORT, Tenn. —
Matt Smoral was a giant on the mound for the Bluefield Blue Jays in his first Appalachian League start on Monday evening.
The 6-foot-8 lefty struck out eight Kingsport batters in three innings, giving up just one single and three walks, and Richard Urena and Anthony Alford jolted the Bluefield offense into high gear in a 7-2 victory at Hunter Wright Stadium.
The Jays (2-3) wasted no time picking on Kingsport starter Andrew Church. Urena walked and Alford was hit by a pitch to lead off the game, and 6-foot-4 Rowdy Tellez brought both home with a hit to right field.
Urena again led off the third inning by reaching base, this time on a single, and Tellez’ sacrifice fly got him to the plate. Back-to-back singles by Urena and Alford in the next inning increased the Blue Jays’ lead to 4-0.
The Mets’ Brandon Brosher hit his fourth home run of the year in the fifth, quickly cutting the Bluefield lead to 4-2, but Alford hit his first Appy League home run in the next frame with Urena aboard the bases to restore a four-run margin.
Bluefield sent Aaron Attaway to the plate as a pinch-hitter in the seventh, and he lofted a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring James Lynch with the game’s final run.
The Blue Jays finished with 11 hits to win their first road game of 2014, a day after recording just three. Urena and Alford each were 3 for 4 at the plate Monday.
Francisco Rios replaced Smoral on the mound and was awarded the win. Rios went five innings with five strikeouts, four hits, one walk and the two runs. Chase Wellbrock handled the ninth, working around two hits to close out the contest.
Church, charged with four earned runs and 10 hits, took the loss for the Mets (2-3).
The final game in the series is set for 7 p.m. tonight. Bluefield returns home to face Pulaski Wednesday through Friday.
At Hunter Wright Stadium
Bluefield..............201 102 100 — 7 11 1
Kingsport............000 020 000 — 2 7 4
Matt Smoral, Francisco Rios (4), ... and Dan Jansen. Andrew Church, ... and Luis Ortega. WP - Rios (1-0). LP - Church (0-1). HR - Blfd, Alford (1), 6th, 1 on; Kng, Brosher (4), 5th, 1 on. Att - 646.