By Cody Chrusciel / Smokies Radio Network
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – The Tennessee Smokies surrendered nine runs in the bottom of the sixth inning as they fell for the first time this season, 10-2, to the Chattanooga Lookouts on Saturday night at AT&T Field.
After the Smokies took a 2-1 lead following an RBI single by Jonathan Mota in the top of the sixth, the Lookouts offense erupted in the bottom of the frame. Reliever Dan Berlind entered for starter Dallas Beeler and the first six Chattanooga batters of the inning proceeded to reach base. A Kyle Russell RBI double tied the game at 2-2 before a single by Blake Smith gave Chattanooga its first lead of the day at 3-2. The Lookouts proceeded to tack on seven more runs in the frame.
Beeler went five innings and allowed just one run on six hits, striking out two without issuing a walk. Lookouts reliever Red Patterson (1-0) earned the win, tossing 3.1 innings and surrendering one run on three hits with four punch outs. Berlind (0-1) took the loss after yielding eight runs on seven hits in 0.2 frames.
The Smokies opened the scoring in the top of the third, stringing together three consecutive one-out singles before a Justin Bour ground out made it 1-0. In the bottom of the third, the Lookouts appeared to take the lead when two runners crossed the plate on a two-out double by Russell, but the Smokies appealed to third base and trail runner J.T. Wise was called out for missing the bag to end the inning.
Tennessee second baseman Logan Watkins continued his hot hitting, going 2-for-5 with a run scored to notch his third straight multi-hit outing to open the season. Smokies center fielder Jae-Hoon Ha finished the night 2-for-4. Five Lookouts collected multiple hits, paced by Russell, Wise, and Nick Buss, who collected three hits apiece as part of Chattanooga’s 16-hit attack.
The Smokies and Lookouts play game four of their five-game series on Sunday afternoon at 2:15 p.m. when Tennessee sends right-hander Dae-Eun Rhee to the mound against Chattanooga righty Matt Magill at AT&T Field in Chattanooga.
GAME NOTES: Jonathan Mota, who started in right field for the Smokies, came on to pitch in the bottom of the eighth inning and retired the Lookouts in order. In five career appearances on the mound, Mota has allowed one run in 4.2 innings… The Lookouts snapped a five-game skid against the Smokies with the win.