The Lookouts are fast proving themselves a red-hot road team. After taking four out of five from the Jacksonville Suns on a swing through the Sunshine State, Chattanooga returned to the friendly confines of AT&T Field Mondsay evening, where they dropped the first of a five game set against the Birmingham Barons by a 4-3 score.
While the Lookouts got out to a 2-0 lead in the first, the Barons used a three-run fifth and sixth and added one in the eighth to post their fifth win of the season.
Chattanooga (5-6), who had only committed two errors up to this game, found themselves doubling that number with two committed in this game alone.
The Lookouts and Brian Cavazos-Galvez continued their hot hitting streak, jumping on Barons' starter Nestor Molina in the bottom of the opening frame. They would bang out seven hits in this game, one shy of Birmingham (5-6).
Molina (1-1) ended up the winning pitcher, while Chattanooga's Allen Webster (1-2).
Cavazos-Galvez led-off with a double, his third in two games, to spark the early offense. He moved to second on a Nick Buss sac bunt to third and then found home plate as the former end of a J.T. Wise homerun over the left field wall. The round tripper was Wise's second of the season.
Birmingham threatened in the second, Jon Gilmore slapped a one-out single and Jared Mitchell drew a walk. It all came to naught as Damaso Espino grounded in to a Jake Lemmerman - Luis Nunez - Wise (6-4-3) double play to end the Baron's half of the inning.
The visitors did come alive in the top of the fifth. Mitchell singled on a line drive to right and then stole second off Lookout starter Allen Webster.
Espino laid down a bunt single moving Mitchell to third. Kenneth Williams was out number one on a strikeout.
Tyler Saladino took a fastball to the helmet to load the bases. Drew Garcia grounded into a 6-4 force out, scoring Mitchell and leaving the corners occupied with Barons. The inning ended with Lookout Kyle Russell fielding a foul fly along the left field wall.
Birmingham came alive again in the top of the sixth. Seth Loman sent a one out single into center field but was forced out at second on Gilmore's grounder to Lemmerman at short. Mitchell then smacked his third double of the season, scoring Gilmore form first.
Espino followed with a single to center field scoring Mitchell and giving the Barons a 3-2 lead.
In the top of the eighth former Lookout Corey Smith reached on the Lookouts fourth error of the young season. Next up, Loman singtled off the right-center field wall, moving Smith to third.
Gilmore grounded out to second, but Smith scored making the score 4-2.
Chattanooga came back in their half of the frame to plate a run on a Nunez triple and a Nick Buss sacrifice fly, bringing the Lookouts to within one at 4-3.
Birmingham 000 012 010 4 8 1
Chattanooga 200 000 01X 3 7 2
Current Series: The Birmingham Barons are in town for a five game series, ending Thursday, against the Lookouts. Game two will be Monday night at 7:15, gates open at 6 p.m. Tickets are available. Probable Starters: Barons - LHP Jose Quintana (0-1, 2.31) and Lookouts - RHP Ethan Martin (0-0, 3.12)
Lookouts Field Notes:
- The Lookouts have a total of two defensive errors this season, which is easily the best in the Southern League.By comparison, the Barons are tied for thees lead in the SL for most errors with 13. The Lookouts have only one unearned run as of Sunday's game.
- As of Sunday's game, the Lookouts offense is tied for the most runs this season in the Southern League with 45.
This Day in Baseball History: 1947 - Jackie Robinson goes hitless in three at bats in his debut but handles 11 chances at first base, a new position for him, in a 5-3 win over the Boston Braves. Coach Clyde Sukeforth, interim manager and the man credited with first scouting Robinson, guides the team to two wins before stepping down.
(Staff Writer Dennis Norwood can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org)