Webster Takes Tough Loss, Lookouts Fall 4-3

CHATTANOOGA— The Chattanooga Lookouts were unable to survive a back-and-forth scoring affair Sunday evening against the Birmingham Barons, falling 4-3 after Birmingham took a one-run lead in the 6th inning.

Webster struck out the side to begin the game and the Lookouts offense delivered in the bottom half of the inning to give the starter a lead to work with early.

Right fielder Brian Cavazos-Galvez doubled to left field, setting up a sacrifice bunt from centerfielder Nick Buss to move the leadoff-man to third base. Cavazos-Galvez trotted home on the next swing of the bat from J.T. Wise as the first baseman squeaked a homerun over the yellow tape in left-centerfield.

Webster and Barons' starting pitcher Nester Molina cruised through the next three innings with the Lookouts leading 2-0, but Webster ran into his first jam of the contest in the top of the 5th inning. Birmingham was able to manufacture a run behind a leadoff hit and stolen base from centerfielder Jared Mitchell.

Mitchell singled through the left side and swiped second base, setting up a sacrifice bunt from catcher Damaso Espino to bring Mitchell within 90 feet of home plate. Birmingham's Tyler Saladino was hit by a pitch to load the bases and Mitchell scored on a fielder's choice in the following at-bat.

A foul-out to left fielder Kyle Russell ended the extended 5th, but the Barons would return in the 6th with two more runs. First baseman Seth Loman singled but was out on a fielder's choice, allowing Jon Gilmore to reach base. A hit-and-run on a 0-1 pitch brought Gilmore around to score as Mitchell pulled a single into right field. Mitchell then scored his second run of the contest with yet another hit-and-run from the Birmingham squad, this time courtesy of a single from Espino.

Webster exited after the 6th inning, giving up just seven hits while striking out seven. The prospect allowed three earned runs while showing better command of his fastball since his opening-night, three-inning outing.

"I was pretty happy with my performance," Webster said. "I had my fastball command working for me and that's all I can ask for. The sinker is working really good for me. I just have to keep throwing it and running it in on their hands so they hit it into the ground."

Lookouts reliever Jon Michael Redding cruised through the 7th, retiring the side in order, but an error to begin the 8th produced the only blemish in the righty's three-inning appearance. A throwing error charged to Pedro Baez, just the third Lookouts' error of the season, allowed former Lookout Corey Smith to reach first. Smith came around to score, extending the Barons' lead to 4-2.

Chattanooga answered back with a run in the bottom of the 8th. Luis Nunez tripled to begin the inning and a sacrifice fly from Buss, his second sacrifice of the day, brought the Lookouts within one, but Birmingham reliever Santos Rodriguez was able to slam the door shut to earn his second save of the season.

"Today's game was a tough loss," Buss said. "We had opportunities to win this one. We played hard but it didn't work out for us today."

The Lookouts will meet up with the Barons again Monday night for the second game of the series. South-paw Aaron Miller is set to start for Chattanooga while right-hander Simon Castro will get the ball for Birmingham.