CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (release) -- In his first Double-A start, third baseman Greg Rohan went 4-for-4 with a pair of doubles and two RBIs as the Tennessee Smokies downed the first-place Chattanooga Lookouts, 6-4, on Tuesday night at AT&T Field.
The Smokies victory snaps Chattanooga’s seven-game winning streak and forces a rubber match of the three-game series tomorrow.
Tennessee (6-6 second half, 41-41 overall) took advantage of Chattanooga’s shaky defense, converting four Lookouts’ errors into two unearned runs.
The Smokies opened the scoring just two batters into the contest when Logan Watkins reached on a leadoff error by second baseman Rafael Ynoa and scored on an RBI double to left by Jae-Hoon Ha to make it 1-0. The inning came to an end when Ha was tagged out at the plate trying to score on an Allen Webster wild pitch.
In the top of the third, the Smokies plated four runs to take a 5-0 lead. Watkins again ignited the rally, drawing a leadoff walk and advancing to second on a single by Ha. Junior Lake followed with an RBI single to left to give Tennessee a 2-0 edge. Two batters later, Rohan laced a two-run double to center to put the Smokes up, 4-0. Rohan later scored on Ynoa’s second error of the night to make it 5-0.
Tennessee starter Dae-Eun Rhee ran into trouble for the first time in the bottom of the fifth inning. With two outs, the Lookouts loaded the bases and All-Star Blake Smith drove a full-count pitch over the right field for a grand slam, his 10th home run of the season, to pull Chattanooga within one at 5-4.
The Smokies tacked on an insurance run in the ninth to extend their lead to 6-4 when Ha was hit by a pitch before coming plateward two batters later on a base hit by Justin Bour.
Rhee (5-4) earned the win for the Smokies, working five innings and allowing four runs on four hits with three walks and one strikeout. The Smokies bullpen finished the job as Tony Zych and Ty’Relle Harris combined to toss three scoreless innings before Frank Batista retired the side in order in the ninth to notch his 14th save of the season.
Webster (3-8) suffered his third straight loss for the Lookouts, yielding five runs (three earned) on eight hits with eight strikeouts over six innings.
Ha finished 2-for-4 with two runs scored, collecting his fourth multi-hit outing in his last five contests as the Smokies outhit the Lookouts, 12-7. Watkins, who had a 13-game hitting streak snapped yesterday, drew a pair of free passes and scored twice out of the leadoff spot.
The Smokies and Lookouts conclude their three-game series on Tuesday night at 6:15 p.m. when Tennessee sends right-hander Trey McNutt (4-7, 4.68 ERA) to the mound against Chattanooga righty Zach Lee (0-0, 1.50 ERA) at AT&T Field.
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