Stripling keys Chattanooga Lookouts win

Stripling keys Chattanooga Lookouts win

May 12th, 2013 by David Paschall in Sports - Professional

Photo by Contributed Photo/Times Free Press.

The Chattanooga Lookouts sure are taking after their parents.

Struggling this spring has been common for the Class AA Lookouts as well as the Los Angeles Dodgers. Entering Saturday night's games, the Lookouts and Dodgers both had disappointing 13-21 records.

"Obviously we recognize that the Dodgers are struggling, but we're professionals," Lookouts catcher Griff Erickson said. "It's a tough game, and we can't worry about anybody else but ourselves. What's happening with them doesn't bug us at all.

"Doing our job every day is all that we can worry about."

Erickson did his job Saturday night at AT&T Field, working well with new starting pitcher Ross Stripling and hitting a home run to right field in the eighth inning as the Lookouts topped Mobile 4-1 to win the series three games to two. Stripling, the No. 10 prospect in the Dodgers organization according to Baseball America, allowed one run on five hits in six innings and racked up eight strikeouts.

The 23-year-old right-hander from Granbury, Texas, made his first start since being called up from high-Single-A Rancho Cucamonga last Tuesday.

Chattanooga took a 1-0 lead in the second inning on a homer to left by Brian Cavazos-Galvez. Yasiel Puig had an RBI double to left-center in the third inning and then scored on a wild pitch to make it 3-0.

While the Lookouts, like any minor league team, have their success annually dictated by player promotions, the Dodgers entered this year expected to challenge for the National League pennant. Los Angeles has a payroll of $239 million, which is more than double last season's $114 million total.

"Clearly we watch the big-league club, and the players in our clubhouse are striving to get there," Lookouts manager Jody Reed said. "Yes, it's been disappointing, because the expectations were high. That's our organization, and we really want the major league club to be successful.

"It doesn't affect us down here, because we're still trying to go about our business and play the game the right way."

The Lookouts begin a five-game series in Pensacola today at 5 EDT. Zach Lee (3-2, 2.15 ERA) is the scheduled starting pitcher for Chattanooga, with Chad Rogers (2-1, 1.51) scheduled for the Blue Wahoos.

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6524.