by Mike Potter
The Carolina Mudcats came up just short in their first game of the second half.
Russ Canzler’s two-run homer in the seventh inning keyed a Tennessee Smokies comeback as they nipped the Mudcats 4-3 Tuesday night at Smokies Park.
Meanwhile the Indianapolis Indians evened their series with the Bulls, rolling to a 9-1 win at Victory Field.
The Bulls play two more at Indianapolis before returning home Friday night against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
Carolina has five more games at Tennessee before returning home on Monday night against the Jacksonville Suns.
Tennessee 4, Mudcats 3
Marwin Gonzalez had three hits including a double to lead the Smokies’ seven-hit attack.
Ryan Buchter (5-0) was the winning pitcher while Jerry Gil (3-2) took the loss.
Matt Klinker was solid in a no-decision for the Mudcats, going six innings and allowing one run on four hits with two strikeouts against one walk.
Sean Henry had an RBI single for the Mudcats, who got doubles from Jose Castro, Mike Costanzo and Denis Phipps.
Indianapolis 9, Bulls 1
The home team jumped on Bulls starter Heath Phillips (6-6) for four homers as the Indians won in a rout.
Erik Kratz and Jonathan Van Every each homered and singled with two RBI while Jeff Clement and Doug Bernier each added homers for Indianapolis.
Hayden Penn (3-2) was the winning pitcher.
Desmond Jennings led the Bulls with a triple and a single.
Bulls at Indianapolis, 1 p.m.
Richard De Los Santos (R, 6-3, 4.46) vs. Brian Burres (L, 1-2, 6.60)
Mudcats at Tennessee, 7:15 p.m.
Travis Webb (L, 2-5, 6.14) vs. Austin Bibens-Dirkx (R, 5-3, 3.76)