The Tennessee Smokies lost their postseason opener, 9-5, to the Rocket City Trash Pandas Tuesday night at Smokies Stadium. With the win, the Trash Pandas claimed a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three North Division Playoff series, while the loss left the Smokies one defeat away from elimination as the series heads to Rocket City Thursday night.
Rocket City jumped out to an early lead against Smokies starter Riley Thompson (L, 0-1). Two pitches into the game, Preston Palmeiro launched a two-run blast to give the Trash Pandas a lead they never relinquished. Thompson surrendered seven runs, including a pair of homers, in 4.1 innings.
Tennessee cut into what was at one time a seven-run deficit with a three-run sixth inning. Cole Roederer hit his sixth home run in 10 games to make it a game again. Yonathan Perlaza went deep in the ninth to pull the Smokies within four runs, but that was it for their rally.
The Smokies will play the second game of the series Thursday night at Toyota Field in Madison, Alabama. First pitch is scheduled for 7:35 pm ET. Game three (if necessary) of the series will also take place at Rocket City on Sept. 23. Fans can catch the action at https://www.milb.com/tennessee/fans/audio-listen-live.