The Chattanooga Lookouts didn’t exactly knock down the walls at AT&T Field with their bats Tuesday night, but they did manage to get enough clutch hits to snap a two-game losing streak with a come-from-behind 5-1 victory over the Rocket City Trash Pandas.
The Lookouts improve to 17-17 at home and 40-36 overall while Rocket City falls to 37-39 overall.
More importantly, Chattanooga is now just a game back of first-place Birmingham in the Double-A South's Northern division after the Barons lost a 7-4 game against Mississippi.
Starting pitching has been an issue for the Lookouts on more than one occasion this summer, but that wasn’t a problem on Tuesday.
Mac Sceroler – pronounced suh-roller – got the start and went five innings as he allowed one run on just four hits while striking out seven and walking three.
He left the game trailing 1-0 as Chattanooga's offense was nonexistent for the first five innings. The lanky right-hander didn’t get a decision, but he pitched well enough to win.
Randy Wynne, a starter early in the season who has now been relegated to relief work in the bullpen, got the win with one perfect inning where he had one strikeout and improved to 3-4 with the victory.
Chattanooga’s bats, limited to two singles in the first five innings against Rocket City starter Aaron Hernandez, came to life to score three runs in the sixth while adding two more for good measure in the seventh.
Catcher Chuckie Robinson, who had two hits in the game, singled with two outs in the sixth and advanced when Yoel Yanqui singled down the line in left. Both scored when Quincy McAfee tripled into the right-field corner. Matt Lloyd then singled to drive in McAfee and the Lookouts had new life with a 3-1 lead.
Lorenzo Cedrola doubled with one out in the seventh and scored following a two-run homer by Drew Mount and the difference was 5-1 after seven.
While Wynne was perfect in the sixth, Braxton Rosby pitched a scoreless seventh before Alexis Diaz finished things off with two scoreless frames at the end.
Robinson and Lloyd both had two hits as the Lookouts finished with eight.
Rocket City countered with five hits, including an RBI-double in the first by David MacKinnon that drove in Orlando Martinez, who had singled with one out.
Torii Hunter Jr. doubled in the second and Ray Patrick Didder doubled in the fourth, but neither were able to score. Martinez was the only Rocket City player with two hits.
While Wynne earned the win for the Lookouts, Hernandez dropped to 2-4 with the loss.
Game two of the six-game series is set for 7:15 on Wednesday. Nick Lodolo had been scheduled to pitch for Chattanooga, but he’s been promoted to AAA Louisville and will be replaced by Dylan Baker.
ROCKET CITY 100 000 000 – 1 5 0
CHATTANOOGA 000 003 20x – 5 8 1
Hernandez, Dietz (6), Marte (8) and Cruz; Sceroler, Wynne (6), Roxby (7), Diaz (8) and Robinson.
(email John Hunt at email@example.com)