Like Monday, Birmingham posted an admirable comeback in game two of their second-half series opener in Chattanooga. However, their comeback occurred too early in the game, as the Lookouts climbed back to win a tightly contested ballgame. The Lookouts' first victory of the half arrived courtesy of the long ball.
Like Monday, Birmingham posted an admirable comeback in game two of their second-half series opener in Chattanooga. However, their comeback occurred too early in the game, as the Lookouts climbed back to win a tightly contested ballgame. The Lookouts' first victory of the half arrived courtesy of the long ball. Birmingham sent Emilio Vargas to the hill and, despite his strong swing-and-miss material last night, failed to restrict the four-bagger.
In the bottom of the second, Chattanooga started things off with two solo home runs. Similar to the night before, Birmingham bounced back strong with a four-run fourth, highlighted by four straight-base knocks, earning them two runs. Then, following back-to-back popouts with the bases loaded, Ian Dawkins roped a first-pitch ambush double down the left-field line to drive in Tyler Neslony and Craig Dedelow. Consequently, Chattanooga's Eduardo Salazar received the hook as the Lookouts looked to the bullpen to finish the frame.
The somewhat early pull proved to be a wise decision, as the Lookouts' reliever, Spencer Stockton, pitched very well against the Southern League's best offense. Overall, Stockton threw 3.0 shutout innings without allowing a hit, walking three, and striking out none. In the batter's box, Birmingham remained quiet against Chattanooga's bullpen, while the Lookouts' bats boosted their lead versus the Barons' bullpen.
The Barons turned to the pen following a shaky fifth inning for Emilio Vargas. Specifically, a two-run home run to equalize the game at four, followed by a single and hit-by-pitch, ended the night for the right-handed pitcher. His finale line showed an up and down night, as 4.1 IP and 7 strikeouts are rather promising, but five hits allowed with three flying over the fence ruins strong outings. In his place, Justin Jirschele called on Felix Paulino. After last night's extra-inning victory, which required a season-high six pitchers, Jirschele needed a big outing from Paulino and received just that.
Although his night could've gotten off to a better start, as, yet again, the Lookouts launched their third solo home run of the night. As a result, Chattanooga reclaimed the lead in the sixth and never looked back. For the most part, that offensive onslaught Birmingham enjoyed in the fourth never returned. However, they teased another comeback in the ninth, putting runners on the corners with just one out. Unfortunately, D.J. attempted a bunt, despite being 2 for 3 to that point, and popped it straight up in the air.
Finally, Chattanooga's Stevie Branch finished off his two-inning save by fanning Jose Rodriguez on an elevated fastball at his eyes. In the end, Birmingham lost game two of the series and the second half by a score of 5-4.