From a no-hitter to no relief.
Chattanooga's Matt Magill pitched five hitless innings in his Double-A debut on a gorgeous Easter afternoon at AT&T Field, but the bullpen unraveled in a 7-4 loss to the Tennessee Smokies. Jon Michael Redding, Geison Aguasviva and Javier Solano combined to allow seven runs on 10 hits in the four innings following Magill.
Lookouts relievers entered Sunday with a solid 2.20 earned run average.
"Their stuff wasn't as sharp as you would like to see it, but you're going to have games like that," Lookouts pitching coach Chuck Crim said. "We definitely made some bad pitches at times, but we also made some good pitches that didn't go our way."
Redding replaced Magill in the sixth and quickly recorded two outs before allowing a walk to Logan Watkins and a bloop single to right by Jae-Hoon Ha. Justin Bour followed with a bouncer up the middle to tie the game 1-1, and then Matt Cerda ripped a triple to left-center that put the Smokies up 3-1.
Chattanooga rallied from a 4-1 deficit in the bottom of the sixth with three runs, which included J.T. Wise's home run to left-center, but the Lookouts (1-3) gave up three runs in the seventh. The Smokies (3-1) collected three singles in the seventh and also benefited from a Wise error at first and from Aguasviva hitting a batter.
"This team can hit," said Travis Denker, who came off the bench to drive in two runs for the Lookouts. "We can pitch and play defense. We're just starting off a little slow, and anything could have happened in those last couple of innings.
"We're about to get hot, and it's going to be pretty scary."
Magill certainly wasn't scared on the Double-A stage, racking up two strikeouts in the first inning and two more in the second. The 22-year-old right-hander finished with six strikeouts before being pulled.
"I was bummed about having to come out, but it was my first start of the season," Magill said. "It felt really good. I was hitting spots, and I had great defense behind me."
Said Crim: "He was outstanding. He was locked in and making quality pitches for five innings, and it's great for a young guy to come in and do that."
Lookouts manager Carlos Subero said after the game that starting pitcher Chris Withrow, who is missing this series with an abdominal injury, will not be available for the team's first road series, which starts Tuesday in Jacksonville.
Nathan Eovaldi, who started six games last season for the Los Angeles Dodgers, is scheduled to start tonight's 7:15 series finale for the Lookouts. Brooks Raley is scheduled to start for the Smokies.
David Paschall is a sports writer for the Times Free Press. He started at the Chattanooga Free Press in 1990 and was part of the Times Free Press when the paper started in 1999. David covers University of Georgia football, as well as SEC football recruiting, SEC basketball, Chattanooga Lookouts baseball and other sports stories. He is a Chattanooga native and graduate of the Baylor School and Auburn University. David has received numerous honors for ...