By Andrew Green
KODAK – Chicago Cubs right-hander Jake Arrieta fired nearly four scoreless frames as part of a Major League Rehab Assignment, while four Lookouts pitchers combined to silence Smokies hitters and shut out Tennessee 1-0 in front of a crowd of 6,224 on Thursday afternoon at Smokies Stadium.
The Lookouts evened the series with the victory and improved to 3-4 in the 2014 campaign, while the loss moved the Smokies to a 2-5 mark to start the season.
Arrieta (3.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 SO) fired the first 3.2 scoreless innings of the contest, yielding just three hits while striking out four in his second rehab outing with the Smokies. The right-hander also pitched for Tennessee on April 6 at Pensacola and tossed three frames, allowing a lone unearned run in that appearance.
Lookouts starter Tyson Brummett (4.0 IP, 1 H, 4 BB, 2 SO), along with relievers Craig Stem (2.0 IP, 1 H, 2 BB, 2 SO), Mike Thomas (2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 2 SO) and Pedro Baez (1.0 IP, 1 SO) joined forces to keep the Smokies bats at bay, combining to give up just four hits. Thomas earned his first victory of the year to improve to 1-0, while Baez notched his second save of the year. Smokies right-hander Dae-Eun Rhee (4.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO) suffered the loss after allowing the lone run on four hits in 4.2 innings of relief to fall to 0-1.
Thomas would run into trouble in the eighth, when the Smokies had their best chance to break the squared contest and got their leadoff baserunner on. 2B Stephen Bruno doubled off the base of the center field wall and following an intentional walk to 3B Kris Bryant took third on a flyout to center. Thomas would then buckle down and set down the next batter to end the threat and preserve the scoreless draw.
The Lookouts would then strike in the subsequent half inning for the only score they would need. Jon Garcia started the rally with a single to left and was then replaced by Casio Grider, who stole second and took third on a fly out to set the stage for SS Ozzie Martinez. The infielder would come through with a base knock into left to plate Grider for Chattanooga’s only tally.
Tennessee also filled the bases in the very first frame by taking advantage of three straight free passes with two outs. Brummett however, restored his command and induced a groundout to second to thwart the potential peril.
Martinez (3-5, 1 RBI) recorded a game-high three base hits in the contest, including the game-winner, while C J.C. Boscan (2-3, 1 BB) collected two knocks. No Smokies batters accumulated two or more hits, however Bruno’s two-bagger extended his on-base streak to six contests.
Tennessee and Chattanooga will face off again Friday evening for the third game of the series, with first pitch set for 7:15 p.m. Right-hander Ivan Pineyro (0-1, 2.25) is expected to take the hill for the Smokies, while right-hander Andres Santiago is set to oppose Pineyro for the Lookouts.
It’s the first Fireworks Friday of the year at the ballpark, with one of the best fireworks shows in town taking place at Smokies Stadium following the conclusion of Friday’s contest. Fireworks Friday is presented by Pepsi, Coors Light, WIVK and WVLT.
Tickets for that contest and the remaining games of Tennessee’s ten-game homestand are still available, and can be purchased at www.smokiesbaseball.com, or by calling the Smokies Ticket Office at .