There were not a lot of hits Wednesday afternoon at AT&T Field, but there were plenty of baserunners.
Chattanooga whipped reeling Birmingham 7-1 in an exasperating contest that included 15 walks, three wild pitches and a balk. Barons starting pitcher Cameron Bayne failed to last five innings before walking six batters, striking out none, and bringing in two Lookouts runs with wild pitches.
"Honestly, I'm just glad it's over so I can go watch Batman now," Lookouts left fielder Kyle Russell said after reaching via walk, single and double. "These early games are different, because it's hard for us to wake up. This game had already started when it was time for my alarm to go off."
With their seventh win in eight games, the Lookouts (20-12) became the first Southern League team to reach 20 second-half triumphs.
The Lookouts led 2-1 in the fifth inning when Jake Lemmerman drew a leadoff walk and advanced to second on a Bayne wild pitch. Rafael Ynoa then drew a walk, and Nick Buss advanced the runners to third and second with a sacrifice bunt.
With Luis Nunez batting, another Bayne wild pitch scored Lemmerman. Nunez then hit a sacrifice fly to center field to score Ynoa and make it a 4-1 game.
"We added by pieces and had enough to get by," Lookouts manager Carlos Subero said. "It's tough out here. I'm not even playing in it, and it's tough. It's humid, and you've got all this sweat going on. It's a tough game."
The Lookouts struck quickly when Ynoa began their first at-bat with a double to right-center and scored on a Bayne wild pitch. The double extended Ynoa's hitting streak to 18 games.
Birmingham pulled even in the third inning on an Andy Wilkins sac fly to center that followed three consecutive walks allowed by Chattanooga starting pitcher Aaron Miller. The Lookouts regained the lead later in the third when Buss drew a one-out walk and scored on a Nunez double to the left-field wall.
Buss reached base for the 25th consecutive game.
Miller (5-6) gave up five walks in five innings but allowed just two hits and racked up seven strikeouts. Wes Roemer worked the final four innings to pick up his first save, and he struck out five while walking two.
"You can tell when a game is moving slower than you want, especially when it's as hot as it is today," Roemer said. "You want to keep your defense off the field as much as possible, and if you're throwing strikes, you're doing that usually."
Allen Webster (4-8, 4.06 ERA) is scheduled to start tonight's 7:15 game on the mound for the Lookouts, with Spencer Arroyo (4-1, 3.31) scheduled for the Barons.
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 ...