Matt Szczur (Lower Cape May Regional) went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts for the Tennessee Smokies (Cubs) as they lost 3-1 to the Birmingham Barons (White Sox) Thursday in Game 1 of a best-of-five playoff series in the double-A Southern League.

Szczur batted leadoff and played center field.

Darren Ford (Vineland) did not play for the Indianapolis Indians in their 6-5 loss to the Durham Bulls (Rays) in Game 2 of their best-of-five playoff series in the triple-A International League on Thursday.

In Game 1 on Wednesday, Ford went 0-for-3, striking out three times, in a 2-0 loss. He played left field and batted ninth.

A.J. Holland (Holy Spirit) did not pitch for the Lynchburg Hillcats in a season-ending 3-2 loss to the Potomac Nationals in Game 2 of their Class-A Advanced Carolina League playoff series Thursday.

Potomac swept the best-of-three series, 2-0.

Holland also did not pitch Wednesday in a 14-inning, 2-1 loss to the Nationals.

Independent leagues (unaffiliated with MLB)

Alexi Colon (St. Augustine Prep) did not play for the Schaumburg (Ill.) Boomers in their regular-seaosn finale Thursday, a 5-2 loss to the Joliet Slammers in the Frontier League.

On Wednesday, Colon went 0-for-3 with a walk and a run scored in a 9-3 loss to the Slammers.

Colon hit.255 with five home runs, 31 RBIs, five triples and 35 runs scored in 80 games during the regular seaosn. His on-base percentage was .332.

The Boomers, who finished with a league-best 59-37 regular-season record, begin a best-of-five playoff series against the Florence Freedom on Saturday.

I've worked at newspapers since 1985. Mostly in N.J., but with an eight-year pit stop in N.C. I've been at The Press since 1997.