Barons' Barren Offense Isn't Enough
On Tuesday, the Barons and Lookouts offered up a southpaw showdown. For Birmingham, they sent their stud lefty Garrett Davila while Chattanooga used Andrew Abbott. Despite the overall poor record in the second half, Chattanooga looked to add to their impressive run as of late, as they just finished taking
On Tuesday, the Barons and Lookouts offered up a southpaw showdown. For Birmingham, they sent their stud lefty Garrett Davila while Chattanooga used Andrew Abbott. Despite the overall poor record in the second half, Chattanooga looked to add to their impressive run as of late, as they just finished taking a series from the Southern League's first-half victors, the Rocket City Trash Pandas. They built upon that momentum early, as a single, steal, and double resulted in a quick second-inning run for the Lookouts.
In the bottom half, Birmingham put two on, but a failed double-steal ended things prematurely. The third inning brought runs in for both sides as the Lookouts launched a towering home run off the Regions Field scoreboard. Magic City answered quickly thanks to a leadoff double by Barons' backstop Evan Skoug, who came around to score soon after that, thanks to a single from Oscar Colas.
Yet again, Davila pitched pretty well for the Barons. Despite the early two runs, he settled to make it into the sixth with a lead thanks to a big two-out rally in the bottom of the fifth. Specifically, a single and consecutive walks forced the bases loaded for none other than... Oscar Colas. After battling hard and fouling a ball back to Good People, Colas knuckled another single over the infielder's heads. As a result, the hottest hitter in the Southern League pushed his RBI total to fifteen.
Birmingham's 3-2 lead didn't last very long, though. Immediately, with Davila still out there, Chattanooga roped a pair of singles and cashed in their third run via sacrifice flyout. Even so, Davila fought till the end, as he not only matched his season long with 5.2 IP, but he also matched his strikeout-high with seven of them. Yoelvin Silven replaced him and, after a four-pitch walk, recovered to escape with the bases jammed.
Nonetheless, his struggles carried into the top of the seventh. Chattanooga started with a quick double, which ultimately scored on a screamer by one of Cincinnati's top prospects, Elly De La Cruz. Another walk and double steal pushed two into scoring position and ended Silven's day. Felix Paulino entered and immediately ended the threat, pushing this game into the bottom of the seventh with the Barons down 4-3.
Fast forward to the ninth, and the newest Baron, Luke Shillin, entered out of the bullpen. After fighting injury issues for two full years, the former 15th-round pick made his AA debut and finished off a harmless frame with his first strikeout. Evan Skoug drew a leadoff walk in the bottom half, and D.J. Burt quickly followed that up with a single. Burt perfectly read a ball in the dirt to advance into scoring position, leaving a base open for Chattanooga to walk Oscar onto. Raudy Read, another scorching hot Baron, popped a ball 100 feet in the air for the second out. Finally, the Barons' valiant effort fell short as Craig Dedelow struck out, leaving the bases loaded.
The tough 4-3 loss adds to Birmingham's brutal losses this season. Nevertheless, they remain within reach of first place, as their series against Chattanooga continues tomorrow night, same time, same place, new day.