The Chattanooga Lookouts have enjoyed a solid start to the Southern League's second half, but they haven't been the Mobile BayBears.
Mobile won its 11th consecutive game Wednesday night, downing the Lookouts 6-3 in the opener of a six-game series at AT&T Field. The BayBears grabbed a 6-1 lead with a four-run seventh inning, which followed a fabulous five innings from starting pitcher Jarrod Parker, the No. 1 prospect in Arizona's organization for three straight years according to Baseball America.
Parker, a 22-year-old right-hander who missed last season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, allowed two hits while striking out five.
"He had good stuff, and we obviously struggled against him," Lookouts second baseman Jaime Pedroza said. "With these guys coming in here, we knew we had to try and get ahead early, but he challenged us right away."
Paul Goldschmidt's two-run home run to right ignited Mobile's four-run seventh, and Chattanooga's only answer was Scott Van Slyke's two-run double down the left-field line in the eighth. Mobile improved to 16-4, while the Lookouts dropped to 12-8.
Parker was on the verge of facing the minimum through five innings until he allowed a two-out walk to Travis Denker and a single to center by Pedroza that put runners on the corners. With Ivan Ochoa at the plate, Pedroza broke for second and BayBears catcher Ed Easley threw up the line.
Denker broke for home, and the throw from off-balanced shortstop Taylor Harbin wasn't close as the Lookouts went up 1-0.
Chattanooga starter Nathan Eovaldi made his first appearance since taking a no-hitter into the seventh inning of last Thursday's 3-1 loss to Huntsville in 14 innings. He allowed three hits and six walks, including two with two out in the sixth inning before being replaced by Scott Rice.
Eovaldi's final walks would come home when Rice allowed RBI singles to Jake Elmore and pinch-hitter Daniel Kaczrowski.
"This was probably his worst game of the year," Lookouts pitching coach Chuck Crim said. "He wasn't very sharp. He did a good job of battling his way through, but he just didn't have the command."
Tyler Skaggs, Arizona's No. 2 prospect, is scheduled to start tonight's 7:15 game for the BayBears opposite Michael Antonini (7-8, 4.09). Skaggs, a 6-foot-4, 180-pound left-hander, was promoted from high Single-A on Monday and turned 20 on Wednesday.