CHATTANOOGA — The Tennessee Smokies used a strong pitching performance and timely hitting to defeat the Chattanooga Lookouts 5-0 at AT&T Field Thursday evening.
The Smokies (39-26, 73-61) broke through in the fourth inning. Arismendy Alcantara tripled to straightaway center field to start the frame. Alcantara came in to score on a sacrifice fly from Javier Baez. After Justin Bour struck out, Christian Villanueva blasted a solo home run, his 17th of the season, over the fence in left to make it a 2-0 game.
Tennessee added some insurance in the top of the eighth inning. After Brett Jackson flew out, Matt Szczur singled and Alcantara notched a two-base hit. Javier Baez was intentionally walked to get to Bour. The first basemen laced a bases clearing double over the center fielder’s head to extend the lead to 5-0.
Tennessee sent Neil Ramirez, the player to be named later in the Matt Garza trade with Texas, to the mound for his first start for the Smokies. The right-hander was on a strict pitch count of 70 tosses. Ramirez did not factor in the decision as he worked 4.2 scoreless innings allowing just one hit and two walks with five strikeouts.
The duo of P.J. Francescon (2-0, 4.34) and Yeiper Castillo allowed just one base runner, a walk in the fifth, with four strikeouts preserving the one-hitter. The lone hit allowed by Tennessee pitching was a leadoff single by Jeremy Moore in the fourth inning.
The Smokies will look to win their fourth straight game tonight at 7:15 p.m. Buddy Bailey will call upon righty Eduardo Figueroa (1-2, 2.89) to oppose Lookouts right-hander Garrett Gould (2-4, 4.89).
-From Contributed Reports