Lookouts left-handed starter Chris Reed fired seven strong shutout innings to stifle Smokies batters, while second baseman Darnell Sweeney and first baseman Brian Cavazos-Galvez each recorded multi-hit efforts to lead Chattanooga to a 4-1 defeat of Tennessee in front of 5,596 fans on Saturday evening at Smokies Stadium.
The loss snaps Tennessee’s three-game winning streak, and drops their second half record to 2-1, in addition to a 35-37 mark overall. Chattanooga notched their first victory of the second half and improved their 2014 record to 27-46.
Reed (7.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 3 SO) was exceptional in his seven innings of work for the Lookouts, scattering just four hits while striking out three to earn his fourth victory of 2014. After allowing a runner to reach third base in each of his first three frames, the lefty did not allow a Smokies player to get past first for his remaining four innings pitched.
It was the 24-year-old’s best start against Tennessee in his professional career after totaling a 1-4 record in his previous eight matchups, including seven starts. Reed’s only other victory versus the Smokies came on April 11, 2013 at AT&T Field, when he allowed two earned runs in six frames.
Lookouts reliever Blake Smith (1.0 IP, 1 SO) followed Reed to notch his first save of the season, while Smokies starter Corey Black suffered the defeat to fall to 2-5 after allowing two earned runs on five hits in 4.2 frames, adding five strikeouts. Tennessee relievers Tony Zych (1.1 IP, 1 SO) and Hunter Cervenka (1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 SO) combined for the final 2.2 scoreless innings.
Chattanooga again got the scoring started early, plating a single tally in the opening frame. Following Sweeney’s leadoff base knock and CF Noel Cueva’s two-bagger to right, Sweeney was able to come home on 3B Daniel Mayora’s RBI groundout to put the Lookouts ahead 1-0.
The margin would then expand to two in the fourth with another lone run. After RF Casio Grider reached on a force out and advanced to second on a balk, SS Angel Sanchez came through with a run-scoring single to left, doubling Chattanooga’s advantage to 2-0.
It would eventually become a three-run deficit for the Smokies in the sixth. Cavazos-Galvez started the frame with a double to right, before Grider brought him plateward on an RBI base hit to right, increasing the Chattanooga lead to 3-0.
The Lookouts would then add their final run of the night in the seventh. LF Scott Schebler would reach on a force out, and then steal second, before being brought in on Mayora’s run-scoring base hit to center to make it a four-run contest.
Chattanooga’s shutout thoughts would end in the eighth, however, with the Smokies plating their lone run of the contest. C Lance Rymel and CF Jae-Hoon Ha would each draw back-to-back free passes, with Rymel then scoring on 3B Christian Villanueva’s RBI double down the left field line to put Tennessee on the board at 4-1.
Ha (2-3, 1 BB) reached base three times and was the lone Smokies hitter to record a multi-hit effort, while Cavazos-Galvez (2-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 BB) and Sanchez (2-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI) each collected two base knocks for the Lookouts. RF Rubi Silva reached base with a base knock in the seventh, extending his on-base streak to ten.
Tennessee and Chattanooga are slated to face off again Sunday afternoon, with first pitch scheduled for 2:00 p.m. RHP Eduardo Figueroa (0-0, 7.56) is expected to take the mound for the Smokies in game four of the series, while the Lookouts are anticipated to counter by sending RHP Andres Santiago (1-4, 6.09) to the hill.
Fans can take advantage of a special deal on U.S. Cellular Family FUNday at Smokies Stadium, with four tickets, four meal vouchers and two Kids Zone wristbands for just $48 dollars.
Tickets for that contest and the remaining 2014 Smokies home slate are still available and can be purchased online at smokiesbaseball.com, or by calling the Smokies Ticket Office at (865) 286-2300.
Listen to Manager Buddy Bailey’s postgame press conference below: