Biscuits best Smokies, keep 1st place

MONTGOMERY, Ala. ( – The Biscuits beat the Tennessee Smokies on Thursday night, 3-2, to maintain control of the Second Half North Division at Riverwalk Stadium.

The Biscuits, who were opening up their final five-game series of the regular season, sent Chris Kirsch (7-7) to the hill, and the southpaw delivered one of the performances of the year, hurling seven shutout innings and allowing just five hits to go along with no walks and a season-high 10 strikeouts. Kirsch joins Ryne Stanek and Jake Faria as the only three Biscuits pitchers to strike out 10 or more in 2016.

Montgomery gave Kirsch some run support in the third inning thanks to an RBI-single by Willy Adames, who extended his hitting streak to a team-high 12 games. An inning later, Braxton Lee would come through with an RBI-single of his own, before Granden Goetzman added one in the bottom of the seventh off Tennessee starter, Zach Hedges (3-3).

After Kyle Winkler pitched a scoreless eighth, Brady Williams went with Jaye Chapman, and after the closer allowed a one-out, two-run double to David Freitas, the right-hander fanned Ian Happ and got Jason Vosler to fly out to left to seal the win, as well as his 19th save of the season.

The Biscuits are still in first place by 1.5 games with four to go, and can clinch a playoff spot with two more victories. Montgomery will have Hunter Wood (5-2) on the mound on Friday night, taking on Jen-Ho Tseng (6-7) at 7:05 PM.