The Chattanooga Lookouts have entered the now-or-never part of their season.
"It's definitely that time," left fielder Scott Schebler said Thursday night as the North Division's last-place Lookouts opened a five-game series against first-place Birmingham at AT&T Field. "You try not to press too much, but it is in the back of your mind. Even though we try to win every game, the sense of urgency is greater."
Schebler went 3-for-4 in the opener against the Barons before a crowd of 2,377, but it wasn't enough in a 6-4 loss that dropped Chattanooga to 14-25 in the Southern League's second half. The Lookouts now trail the Barons (22-18) by 7 1/2 games.
Birmingham inflicted most of its damage in the third inning, when Grant Buckner drew a walk off Lookouts starting pitcher Andres Santiago, Daniel Wagner singled and Jared Mitchell walked to load the bases. A Trayce Thompson sacrifice fly to left field scored Buckner, and then Wagner and Mitchell scored on Rangel Ravelo's home run to straightaway center that made it 4-0.
The Lookouts pulled within 4-1 in the fifth inning when Chris O'Brien tripled to right and scored on a Bobby Coyle sacrifice fly, and they made it 4-2 in the sixth on Corey Seager's double to center that scored Schebler.
O'Brien doubled to left in the seventh and scored on a Noel Cuevas single to make it a one-run game, but the Barons got homers by Mitchell in the eighth and Chris Curley in the ninth to seal the contest and make Chattanooga's division task that much tougher.
"You try not to look at the standings too much, but we are here to compete and win," Schebler said.
Contact David Paschall at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6524.