Whether by hit or by being hit, Chattanooga Lookouts left fielder Nick Buss is certain to get on base.
Buss reached base Tuesday night for the 24th consecutive game when he was hit in the foot by a pitch in the sixth inning. He was feeling no pain afterward, as the Lookouts mobbed Kyle Russell after Russell's two-run home run to right field in the 10th inning clinched Chattanooga's 5-3 victory over Birmingham at AT&T Field.
"I didn't know that, but I will take it," Buss said when informed of his streak. "Honestly, I'm just psyched that we got the win and that Kyle had that big hit. I think I'm just a little more calm at the plate than I was at the beginning of the season, and it's giving me some better at-bats."
Buss leads the Lookouts with 102 hits and 155 total bases, and the 25-year-old from Los Angeles has a .284 batting average after hitting .249 through the first half of the season. The 2-hole hitter's streak of reaching base dates bacl to June 28.
Another tear continued Tuesday when shortstop and leadoff batter Rafael Ynoa hit a bloop single to center field in the eighth inning to extend his hitting streak to 17 games. A 24-year-old from the Dominican Republic, Ynoa has improved his average to .305 after a .238 first half.
"They've been really doing a good job for us this half, and now it's a matter of that 3-, 4- and 5-hole hitter trying to bring those guys in," Lookouts manager Carlos Subero said. "If you look at Ynoa's runs scored, it really isn't that much for what he's done. Ynoa and Buss have been huge for us, and it's great when you have two swinging the bat well at the same time."
Said Russell: "It's nice when you have guys on base, because all you need to do is put the ball in play and you can get RBIs."
Luis Nunez's two-out homer to left in the eighth inning for the Lookouts (19-12) tied the game at 3.
Chattanooga starting pitcher Matt Magill was flawless through three innings, retiring all nine Barons batters, five by strikeout. Magill got Tyler Saladino to ground out to open the fourth inning but then gave up singles to right by Carlos Sanchez and Brady Shoemaker before Andy Wilkins homered to right to make it 3-0.
Aaron Miller (4-6, 4.27 ERA) is scheduled to start this morning's 11:15 game on the mound for the Lookouts, with Cameron Bayne (7-9, 6.37) scheduled for the Barons.
Contact David Paschall at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6524.