The Chattanooga Lookouts had some quality pitching and defense Thursday night at AT&T Field. But there wasn't enough offense in a 3-2 loss to the Tennessee Smokies.
The Lookouts, now 35-37 overall and 0-2 in the Southern League's second half, have been held to three or fewer runs in four consecutive games. Meanwhile, three Lookouts pitchers combined to hold the Smokies to six hits Thursday.
In the bottom of the eighth Chattanooga put runners on the corners with nobody out against reliever Trey McNutt. Brian Cavazos-Galves drove in a run with a broken-bat groundout to make it 3-1, but the inning puttered out after that.
Facing closer Frank Batista in the bottom of the ninth, Miguel Rojas singled, Blake Smith singled and Jan Vazquez moved the runners to third and second with a sacrifice bunt. Pinch-hitter Bobby Coyle then walked to load the bases for Rafael Ynoa, who drove in Rojas with a single to right field, making it 3-2.
With the bases still loaded and two out, Cavazos-Galves fought off some pitches but struck out to end the game.
The Smokies (36-35, 2-0) took a 1-0 lead in the first inning against Chris Reed. Arismendy Alcantara got into scoring position with a one-out single and scored two batters later on a wild pitch.
Tennessee was able to add to its lead in the fifth when Chad Noble led off with a double and later scored on a single by pitcher Austin Kirk for a 2-0 advantage.
Kirk left the game in the bottom of the sixth with one on and two out, having allowed one hit in 5 2/3 innings. His relief, Tony Zych, gave up a hit to J.T. Wise, the first batter he faced, and followed that with a four-pitch walk of Ozzie Martinez to load the bases for Rojas, who popped up to end the threat.
The Smokies got another run in the top of the seventh against reliever Kyle Cofield.
Andres Santiago (3-5, 4.92 ERA) is scheduled to start tonight for the Lookouts, with Kyle Hendricks (7-2, 2.07) set to go for the Smokies.
Contact John Frierson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6268. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/MocsBeat.
John Frierson is in his seventh year at the Times Free Press and seventh year covering University of Tennessee at Chattanooga athletics. The bulk of his time is spent covering Mocs football, but he also writes about women’s basketball and the big-picture issues and news involving the athletic department. A native of Athens, Ga., John grew up a few hundred yards from the University of Georgia campus. Instead of becoming a Bulldog he attended Ole ...