The good thing from the Chattanooga Lookouts' Friday night game against the Birmingham Barons is that the box score will show that they out-hit the visitors 8-6. The bad thing is that they couldn't put up the runs to show for it.
Birmingham's Brandon Hynick did a good enough job of keeping the Lookouts' hitters off-balance to earn the win as the Barons won 3-2 in front of 3,576 fans at AT&T Field. The game was delayed for 35 minutes due to inclement weather.
The loss spoiled a solid debut by Chattanooga starter Aaron Miller. Miller, ranked as the No. 2 prospect in the Dodgers' organization, allowed two runs and three hits while striking out five in six innings. First baseman Jerry Sands, playing in only his second game since being promoted from Class A Great Lakes, went 4-for-4 with a homerun.
Lookouts manager Carlos Subero was complimentary of both of his new faces.
"Jerry's hot, I guess," Subero said. "He came down from low-A and we had heard good things about him, but hadn't seen him much. I'm glad for him -- I hope this gives him confidence and it carries over.
"Aaron did a good job. He threw the ball well, had good command of his fastball and threw a good slider."
Hynick was just as solid for Birmingham (25-49), striking out nine in seven innings and allowing only the one run, although the Lookouts had runners in scoring position in his final four innings.
"He did a good job of not staying to a pattern," Subero said.
The Lookouts held a 1-0 lead after Sands' second-inning blast, but Birmingham tied the game when Jared Price connected on a double that was misplayed by Chattanooga center fielder Trayvon Robinson. They added a run the following inning on a single by Jim Gallagher.
A ninth-inning error by Robinson aided in the Barons' final run.
"It's going to happen," Subero said of the defense mishaps. "It's part of the game, but we're going to keep going like we do. We've played great defense all year, but errors and mistakes are going to happen at any level."
Chattanooga did make it exciting in the bottom of the ninth. After back-to-back singles by Sands and Jaime Pedroza, a sacrifice fly by Mike Rivera cut the lead to 3-2 with only one out, but after a pop out, Robinson flew out to deep center to end the game.
"It was an exciting final. With a couple of things different it could have gone either way," Subero said. "In a close game, mistakes are going to get magnified, but that's part of the game."
Chris Withrow (3-3, 4.75 ERA) will take the hill in tonight's game against the Barons, who will start Dylan Axelrod (0-1, 4.50).