Dillon Ortman allowed one run and seven hits in six innings to improve his pitching record to 9-3.
"My goal was to stay away from hitters' counts--the 1-0, the 2-0 counts--and work ahead early like always," Ortman said. "I think that was my key."
Ortman got relief help from Jay Wade, who pitched two scoreless innings, and Trey Cochran-Gill, who took care of business in the ninth. "I feel like I made big pitches in big situations," Ortman said.
Auburn improved to 27-24 with the win and 10-16 in the SEC. Kentucky dropped to 29-20 and 11-15 in the league. The teams will play on Sunday at noon CDT to close the series in which UK won the opener 6-3 on Friday.
Auburn coach Sunny Golloway had praise for his starting pitcher. "Dillon was really good on the mound and the guys played good defense for him," he said.
Golloway also liked that his team went against a season-long trend of not coming up with key offensive plays with two outs and runners on base. Seven of his team's eight runs were scored with two outs.
"It is something that has been our Achilles heel," Golloway noted. "We haven't been very good at it and our guys have been grinding and working at it."
The Tigers scored single runs in the opening two innings off of UK?starter Chandler Shepherd, who gave up eight hits before being pulled in the third inning.
Leadoff hitter Grier started the first inning with a single, Haecker singled and Grier scored on a single by Daniel Robert.
In the second inning Keegan Thompson reached first base on a two-out hit and scored from there on a triple by Glevenyak to make the score 2-0.
The Tigers scored four runs in the third inning. Haecker began the rally with a single and moved to third on a double by Blake Austin. After an RBI single by Robert the Wildcats went to the bullpen bringing in lefty Ryne Combs.
Combs walked Tomscha to load the bases, but got Tella to pop up and Ebert to hit a ground ball to the third baseman for a force play at the plate.
The Tigers stretched the lead to 4-0 on an error by UK shortstop Matt Reida on a ground ball by Thompson. Glevenyak then made the score 6-0 with a single up the middle before Thompson was caught in a rundown to end the inning.
The Wildcats got on the scoreboard with back-to-back doubles by Ka'ai Tom and Storm Wilson to lead off the fourth inning, but Ortman recovered and didn't allow any more damage.
The Tigers stretched the lead to 7-1 in the fifth inning on a two-out infield single by Jordan Ebert to score Tomscha, who knocked the ball loose from the catcher on a collision at home plate.
Another error by UK shortstop gave Auburn a run in the sixth inning when Grier, who had doubled, scored from second base on a ground ball by Austin with two outs.
Keegan Thompson will pitch for the Tigers on Sunday. The freshman is 5-3 with a 1.91 earned run average.