The Jackson Generals shutout the Chattanooga Lookouts 3-0 in the first game of the Southern League North Division playoffs at Pringles Park in Jackson on a rainy Thursday night.
In SL South Division action, Mobile dropped Montgomery 6-3 to take the first game of their best of five series.
Inning by inning recap of game one.
The Lookouts entered the game without the availability of two proven relievers. Steven “Paco” Rodriguez was promoted to the L. A. Dodgers and Rubby de la Rosa was sent to Great Lakes.
Matt Magill (0-1) did not fool many hitters in the early innings of the contest but he gave up only one run on seven hits over the first six innings. With league Most Outstanding Pitcher Brandon Maurer unavailable due to an innings limit set by the Seattle Mariners, Jackson turned the ball over to James Paxton. Paxton (1-0) shut down the Lookouts with only three hits over 6 1/3 innings.
Magill escaped trouble in the first inning when Brad Miller led off with a single and Francisco Martinez walked. Stefen Romero followed with a single to left but the throw home by Luis Nunez cut down Miller at the plate in a nice tag by Griff Erickson. Catcher Mike Zunino flew out to center, Magill fanned Joseph Dunigan, and the Generals failed to score.
Jackson scored first in the bottom of the third. Miller collected his second single of the game and reached third with two out. Mike Zunino, who was the Mariners top draft choice in the 2012 draft, doubled off the center field wall to plate Miller. Generals 1 Lookouts 0
Rich Polythress was robbed of an extra base hit in the fourth when right fielder Brahiam Maldonaldo made an outstanding catch as he crashed into the wall. Chih-Hsien Chang followed with the sixth hit and Magill that with a one-out walk by Denny Almonte. After falling behind in the count, 3-0, Magill coaxed a pop out for the second out. Facing Miller, who was 2-for-2, for the third time, the right-hander got out of the jam when he grounded out to second.
Paxton continued his mastery of the Lookouts when he struck out the side in the top of the fifth, and he reached nine strike outs after fanning C. J. Retherford in the sixth.
The wind began picking up in bottom of the sixth and the Generals ground crew moved into place. Meanwhile, Chang hit a two-out single off Magill but, with the radar showing rain on the way, Almonte went down swinging for the third out.
Play was halted and the field was covered as the rain began to pour down.
The game resumed at 11:00 p.m. with Chattanooga coming to bat with one out in the top of the seventh inning. Yoervis Medina took over the mound duties for Jackson and set the Lookouts down. Eric Eadington, who replaced Magill, walked the first man he faced, Nate Tenbrink who was sacrificed to second.
Manager Carlos Subero went to the pen and brought in Yimi Garcia who would see his first action since joining the Lookouts from Class-A. He was greeted by Martinez’ double to left that scored Tenbrink with Jackson’s second run. Romero plated Martinez on a double to right but was tagged out when he tried to take third. Zunino fanned. Generals 3 Lookouts 0
Medina threw a scoreless eighth and former Lookouts closer Logan Bawcom finished the job in the ninth.
Jackson’s Game Two starting pitcher is James Gillheeney (0-1, 3.81 ERA), who spent most of 2012 in Single-A. He made five August starts for the Generals.
A mid-season callup, Zach Lee (4-3, 4.25) starts for Chattanooga on Friday night at 7:05 p.m. Lee is a top prospect for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Chattanooga’s parent club.