CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (release) -- The Smokies (36-36) dropped their first game of the second half of the season with an 8-7 loss to the Lookouts (36-37) Friday night. In a game that saw three lead changes, Chattanooga scored in five of the eight innings to get its first win of the series.
Trailing 2-0 in the fourth, Tennessee started a rally. With one out, Christian Villanueva singled to left field. Anthony Giansanti was hit by a pitch and after Rafael Lopez struck out, Andres Santiago hit Ronald Torreyes to load the bases for Kyle Hendricks. For the third night in a row, a Smokies pitcher notched at least one RBI. Hendricks lined a 3-2 pitch to left that scored a couple runs that tied the score at two.
The next batter was Matt Szczur. The Smokies outfielder ripped a double to left that put Tennessee on top 3-2, but Buddy Bailey held Hendricks at third base forcing Szczur into a rundown to end the inning.
The Smokies added to their lead in the top of the fifth inning when Arismendy Alcantara drove a 3-2 pitch into the right field bleachers for his 10th round-tripper of the year to extend the advantage to 4-2.
Hendricks retired the first two batters of the bottom of the fifth inning. The righty walked Sean Burroughs and conceded a base hit to Brian Cavazos-Galvez to put the tying run on base. With a 1-1 count to Joc Pederson, the Lookouts outfielder blasted a home run over the fence in right to give the Lookouts the lead back at 5-4.
In the sixth inning, the Smokies defense unraveled. With a runner at first and one out, Alcantara committed his league-leading 21st error of the season to put runners at the corners. First basemen Justin Bour bobbled a potential double play ball to allow a run to score. The next batter hit a bouncer to Villanueva who sailed a throw to first putting Tennessee in a three-run hole at 7-4.
Defense led to a Smokies rally in the seventh inning. Villanueva struck out, but a wild pitch allowed him to reach first base and Jae-Hoon Ha to score. Giansanti tied the game with a double off of the glove of third basemen Bobby Coyle scoring Bour and Villanueva.
Miguel Rojas doubled to lead off the seventh inning and promptly stole third base. After a strikeout and a walk, Osvaldo Martinez lined a single off of the glove of a diving Giansanti to score Rojas and give the Lookouts the decisive eighth run.
Hendricks allowed a season-high five runs (four earned) on seven hits, four walks, and one strikeout in a no decision. Szczur and Alcantara each went 2-for-5, while Giansanti went 1-for-3 with two RBI.
The Smokies will call upon right-hander A.J. Morris (2-0, 4.08) to the mound in game for of the series to oppose righty Duke von Schamann (0-0, 0.75). First pitch is slated for 7:15 pm from AT&T Field in Chattanooga.
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