The Lookouts fell into an early 3-0 hole in the first inning behind three straight hits from the first three batters in the order. Martin gave up four hits and a walk in his first frame, but the right-hander was able to blank Birmingham through his next five innings.
Chattanooga chipped into Barons starter Jose Quintana in the third inning. A couple of singles from second baseman Jake Lemmerman and shortstop Rafael Ynoa produced the first Lookouts run of the game, but back-to-back 2-run innings were what put the Looks' on top midway through.
A solo homerun from Pedro Baez, his first of the season, shortened the Birmingham lead to one run, and Travis Denker came around to score on a throwing error charged to shortstop Tyler Saladino to tie the game up at three runs.
The Lookouts jumped out to a 2-run lead in the following inning as Lemmerman struck again for Chattanooga. The righty followed up with a triple into the left field corner to score Denker and Kyle Russell to put the Looks' out on top 5-3.
The Barons threatened one last time in the seventh inning with Geison Aguasviva on in relief, but the double-play combination of Ynoa, Lemmerman and first baseman J.T. Wise ended Birmingham's scoring chances. With just three errors on the season, one courtesy of a catcher's interference call, Chattanooga's defense came through in the clutch again.
"We press really hard on defense," Lemmerman said. "Defense is like Carlos Subero's pride and joy. He wants us to be the best defensive team in the league, and I'm sure in Minor League Baseball. We work hard on it and it shows on the field."
Martin walked away with his first win of the season and Dodgers No. 9 prospect Shawn Tolleson earned his third save of 2012 in two innings of relief to slam the door on Birmingham, taking the Lookouts record to 6-6 on the season. The Barons fall to 6-6 also with the loss to Chattanooga.
"The biggest highlight of the night, going away from our defense which has been great all year, was Ethan Martin," Subero said. "When he gives up a walk and three runs in the first inning, knowing the Ethan from the past, he did not let that snowball. In the second inning he was still a little shaken with a couple of walks, but he was able to put up five zeros in a row. For me, that's the highlight of development tonight."
Southpaw Aaron Miller (1-0, 1.17 ERA) will get the start for the Lookouts Tuesday night in game three of the series. Miller threw five innings against Jacksonville in his last outing, giving up just one hit while striking out 10 to earn his first win of the season. Simon Castro (0-1, 8.00 ERA), the No. 9 prospect in the White Sox organization, will take to the mound for Birmingham. First pitch of the contest is scheduled for 7:15 at AT&T Field.
Defense, Bats Lift Lookouts Over Barons 5-3
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