The Tennessee Smokies won their third straight game over the Chattanooga Lookouts, 4-3, Saturday evening in front of a sold out crowd of 6,393 at AT&T Field.
Cubs top prospect Javier Baez finished the evening 2-for-5 with a home run, two RBIs and two runs scored while right-handed starter Nick Struck earned the win, improving his record to 1-2 (3.95 ERA) with Tennessee.
The Smokies started their scoring early in the top of the first inning. Second baseman Arismendy Alcantara laced a one-out single to left field and Baez followed suit on a mammoth home run to put the Smokies up 2-0.
The two-run bomb was Baez's 19th
home run with Tennessee and 36th
overall. Christian Villanueva launched a solo homer to left field two batters later - his 18th
on the year - and pushed Tennessee's lead to 3-0.
Chattanooga answered in the bottom of the second with just their second run in the series on a Joc Pederson line-drive home run to right field to cut into the Smokies lead 3-1.
Tennessee extended their lead to 4-1 in the top of the fifth inning on a John Andreoli RBI-single, chasing Lookouts starter Chris Reed (4-11, 3.86), who went four-and-a-third innings while giving up four earned runs on seven hits while walking three batters and striking out just one.
The Lookouts tightened things up in the home half of the fifth when - with runners at first and second and no outs - Miguel Rojas singled softly to left field to trim the Chattanooga deficit to 4-2. Rafael Ynoa came to the batters box two spots later and cut the Smokies lead on a RBI-groundout, scoring Griff Erickson and making the score 4-3.
The Lookouts will send Zach Lee (10-10, 3.22) to the rubber for his 26th start of the season while Dae-Eun Rhee (5-1, 3.16) will make the start for Tennessee Sunday afternoon. First pitch from AT&T Field is set for 6:15 p.m.