Smokies drop first game of season, 12-4

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (Smokies Baseball) – The Lookouts broke their hitting slump with a five run rally in the bottom of the sixth and never looked back, as they went past the Smokies 12-4 on Saturday night at AT&T field. The Tennessee bullpen gave up a combined nine earned runs in the team’s first loss of 2011.

The Smokies continued to roll offensively early on, as they scored four runs over the first four innings, highlighted by a two-run double by Matt Spencer. They would be their only runs of the game. The bottom half of the Chattanooga lineup manufactured three runs through the first four innings to cut Tennessee’s lead to 4-3 after four frames. They would strike again in the fifth, as an RBI double by Kyle Russell tied the game at four. Russell then advanced to third base on a wild pitch by RHP Hung-Wen Chen (0-1). Elian Herrera’s sacrifice fly sent Russell into score and the Lookouts took their first lead of the series, 5-4.

Chattanooga broke away in the sixth inning for five runs on six hits, capped off by a two-run triple off the bat of Elian Herrera and the Lookouts doubled their lead to 10-4. Tennessee had an opportunity to come back after Mario Alvarez walked the bases loaded, but with two outs, LHP Cole St. Clair came onto strike out Brett Jackson and retire the side. The Smokies would have one runner reach past first base the rest of the way.

Scott Van Slyke led the hit parade for the Lookouts by going 3-for-5 with two runs and a triple. In his first start of 2011, Smokies right-handed starter Alberto Cabrera did not factor in the decision as he allowed three runs on five hits and struck out seven over four innings pitched.

Tennessee is back in action against Chattanooga in the fourth game of the opening series on Sunday afternoon at 2:15 pm. RHP Trey McNutt will start for the Smokies, while the Lookouts go with RHP Nate Eovaldi. The Smokies will kick off their 100-year celebration at Smokies Park on April 13, as they play host to the Montgomery Biscuits. Tickets can be purchased online at www.smokiesbaseball.com, at the Smokies ticket office or by phone at (865) 286-2300.


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