The Chattanooga Lookouts have mixed feelings about lunchtime starts, but their performance in early games is anything but mixed.
"I love these games after they're over because you have the whole afternoon and night," Lookouts manager Carlos Subero said Wednesday morning before his team hosted Montgomery, "but they're tough to get cranked up for."
Chattanooga never got going in their late-morning start against the Biscuits, falling behind 9-0 after four innings in a 9-0 loss before a crowd of 4,876 at AT&T Field. In the only other lunchtime game at AT&T this season, the Lookouts trailed Birmingham 8-0 after two innings April 18 before falling short 9-8.
Allen Webster, the No. 2 prospect in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization according to Baseball America, experienced his worst outing of the season. The 22-year-old from Madison, N.C., failed to pitch four innings before giving up nine runs on seven hits and two walks.
Webster has allowed 22 runs over his last three starts, and his earned run average has swelled to 7.49.
"He's just going through a little rut right now," Lookouts pitching coach Chuck Crim said. "He's having a hard time winning games, but we're going to keep plugging away."
The Lookouts have now lost five consecutive series and are six games under .500 (14-20) for the first time this season.
Montgomery already was up 1-0 when Michael Sheridan led off the second inning with a single to center and Greg Sexton followed with an RBI double to left-center. Webster walked the first two Biscuits in the third to help them stake a 3-0 lead, but that would be pleasant compared to his fourth inning.
The 6-foot-2, 170-pounder gave up a double, three singles and hit a batter as the Biscuits surged to their nine-run lead.
"I'm just going to try and start over," Webster said.
The Lookouts had varying agendas following Wednesday's game. Subero planned to take his kids swimming, and many of the players were headed to a theater.
"I haven't been to a movie in so long, and I've been waiting to check out the new Avengers movie," outfielder Kyle Russell said, "so that's what I'm doing today."
Ethan Martin (3-0, 3.12) is scheduled to start tonight's 7:15 series finale for the Lookouts, with Joseph Cruz (2-4, 6.41) scheduled for the Biscuits.