Mobile BayBears pitcher Trevor Bauer puts on a show even before the national anthem is sung. His methodical warmup routine, which features some ridiculously long long-toss throws, has attracted tens of thousands of views on YouTube.
Picked third overall by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 2011 major league draft, Bauer dominated his first four starts this season. He wasn't so dominant Thursday night against the Chattanooga Lookouts at AT&T Field, but he did enough and got plenty of support to improve to 5-0.
The BayBears took the lead with a five-run fourth inning and evened the four-game series at a win apiece with a 9-5 victory.
The 6-foot-1, 175-pound right-hander entered the game with an ERA of 0.40 and had given up 12 hits and one run in 22 2/3 innings. Chattanooga had more success against Bauer than any team this season, but not enough to pull out a win.
"I think we did well against Bauer -- we put up four runs against him -- and there was probably more out there to get," said Lookouts center fielder Nick Buss, who hit a home run in the sixth inning.
Bauer pitched six innings, allowing three earned runs on six hits, with nine strikeouts, three walks and a hit batter. The Lookouts' earned runs raised Bauer's ERA to 1.26 in five starts. He also increased his strikeout total for the season to 37.
The Lookouts (10-12) took a 2-0 lead in the second inning. Bauer hit Buss with a pitch, and a wild pitch allowed Buss to move to second. Pedro Baez then drove in the second run scored on Bauer all season with a slap to left field.
Next up was Griff Erickson, who belted a triple into the right-field corner, scoring Baez.
Mobile (12-10) got to Lookouts starter Allen Webster in the fourth and gave Bauer a lead to work with. Webster hit a batter and allowed a single, and then Alfredo Marte hit a three-run homer, putting Mobile up 3-2. Later, a Rafael Ynoa throwing error led to two BayBears runs and a 5-2 lead.
Chattanooga's Travis Denker led off the fourth with a double, took third on a passed ball and scored on a Buss ground ball to make it 5-3.
Mobile ended Webster's night in the fifth with a two-run double, followed by an RBI single that made it 8-3. Webster allowed six hits and six earned runs in five innings.
Buss cut the lead to 8-4 in the sixth with a no-doubt home run to right-center, the first homer allowed by Bauer this season.
"I figured he was going to throw me a fastball, and he left it out over the plate," Buss said.
Ethan Martin (2-0, 3.92 ERA) is scheduled to start tonight's 7:15 game for the Lookouts, with Derek Eitel (0-2, 5.06) scheduled to go for Mobile.
Lookouts pitcher Nathan Eovaldi left the team Thursday and is expected to join the Los Angeles Dodgers in time for tonight's series opener against the visiting Washington Nationals.
Eovaldi was promoted from Chattanooga to Los Angeles last season and appeared in 10 games for the Dodgers, including six starts. He did not make the big-league team this spring and returned to Double-A, where in 13 innings he went 0-0 with a 2.08 earned run average with 14 strikeouts.