Highlighted by second inning home runs by Chris O'Brien and O'Koyea Dickson, the Chattanooga Lookouts defeated host Huntsville Stars, 4-3, Thursday in the first game of the Southern League North Division playoffs.
Daniel Mayora went 4-for-4 for the Lookouts, Jeremy Hazelbaker was 2-for-4 and pitcher Andres Santiago had a double and scored later on a suicide-squeeze bunt by Angel Sanchez.
O'Brien extended his hitting streak to nine straight games and has hit five home runs in the last nine games. He now has a career-high eight home runs for a season along with RBIs (54) and hits (95).
Game 2: The two teams meet Friday night in Huntsville at 7:15 EDT for Game 2 of the best of five series. Game 3 is set for 7:30 p.m. in Chattanooga.
The Lookouts outhit the Stars, 10-to-5.
RHP Santiago, who threw a no-hitter in his last start, earned the win as he went 6.0 innings, giving up two runs on four hits, walking two, fanning three and allowing a home run to Hector Gimenez.
Reliever Mike Thomas gave up one run in his two innings of work before Jhan Marinez got the first two batters he faced in the home half of the ninth and Daniel Couloumbe struck out Nick Ramirez on three pitches to end the game.
Santiago (7-8) has won three in a row, including a no-hitter last week, and four of the last five starts.
Jacksonville took a 5-4 win over Mobile in the first game of the SL South Division playoffs.
Andres Santiago picked up the win for the Lookouts.
- Photo2 by Tim Evearitt