The Jackson Generals were just too good this week at AT&T Field.
Even too good for Lookouts starting pitcher Ethan Martin.
Martin entered Wednesday with a 6-1 record and a 2.92 earned run average, but his final home showing of the first half was derailed by a Kalian Sams grand slam in the fourth inning. The blast to left catapulted Jackson to a 7-4 victory before a crowd of 2,930, and it pushed Chattanooga eight games back of the Generals with 10 to play.
"I didn't have command the whole time, and I just got away with it the first three innings," said Martin, who allowed five hits and five walks before being pulled with two outs in the fifth. "They did their job, and I didn't do mine, and that's what happens."
Wednesday was the last home game of the first half for the Lookouts, who do not return to AT&T until June 21, when they host league newcomer Pensacola.
Martin gave up one hit through the first three innings, but Nick Franklin opened the fourth with a single to left and Chih-Hsien Chiang and Joe Dunigan drew walks to load the bases. Then Sams abruptly gave the Generals (37-23) control at 4-1.
"Ethan was pretty much cruising, and then he hung a slider that wound up costing us four runs," Lookouts pitching coach Chuck Crim said. "That put us behind too quick."
The Lookouts (29-31) took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Nick Buss hit a leadoff double to center, advanced to third on a Luis Nunez sacrifice and scored on Blake Smith's single to left. They wouldn't score again until the eighth, when Jackson had built a 7-1 advantage.
Chattanooga begins a five-game series in Montgomery tonight at 8:05 EDT, with Aaron Miller (3-4, 4.96 ERA) the scheduled starting pitcher for the Lookouts and Kyle Lobstein (3-2, 4.61) for the Biscuits.
The Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday promoted Lookouts reliever Blake Johnson to Triple-A Albuquerque and replaced him with Wes Roemer. Johnson went 2-3 with a 3.38 ERA in 21 appearances, and he worked hitless seventh and eighth innings Monday night when Chattanooga took a no-hitter into the ninth.
Roemer made 54 appearances with the Mobile BayBears during the 2009-11 seasons.
Contact David Paschall at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6524.
David Paschall is a sports writer for the Times Free Press. He started at the Chattanooga Free Press in 1990 and was part of the Times Free Press when the paper started in 1999. David covers University of Georgia football, as well as SEC football recruiting, SEC basketball, Chattanooga Lookouts baseball and other sports stories. He is a Chattanooga native and graduate of the Baylor School and Auburn University. David has received numerous honors for ...