The players are returning for the Chattanooga Lookouts, and so are the wins.
Chattanooga completed a 10-game homestand to open the second half of its Southern League schedule Saturday night with an 8-4 triumph over the Tennessee Smokies. Given that the homestand was against Montgomery and Tennessee, which finished last and next-to-last in the North Division's first-half race, a 5-5 split wasn't exactly what the Lookouts had desired.
Yet Ibandel Isabel and Taylor Trammell have returned from the injured list, with Isabel connecting on a two-run double to center field Saturday as the Lookouts won their second straight.
"What we're really going through now is just trying to get healthy," Lookouts manager Pat Kelly said. "We've been a little banged up, but we've got Isabel back and Trammell back now. The thing that's been good in all this is that some other guys have gotten some playing time.
"We've gotten Michael Beltre out there, and we've gotten (Gavin) LaValley and (Mitch) Nay full-time work at the corners, and that's really helped a lot."
Nay homered to left in the sixth inning to give the Lookouts a 7-2 lead. It was the ninth homer this season for Nay, who went 4-for-5 and raised his average to .311.
The Lookouts also are still adjusting on the mound after losing starting pitcher Tejay Antone and relief pitcher Joel Kuhnel to promotions to Triple-A Louisville. Antone, who still leads Chattanooga with seven victories, was promoted June 15, and Kuhnel, who was 3-2 with a 2.27 ERA in 25 appearances and had 10 saves, was bumped up June 20.
"We've made some changes pitching-wise and revamped the rotation a little bit," Kelly said. "We've got three lefties now, which is exciting for me, because I like having left-handed starters."
The Lookouts will play their first road game of the second half at 6:35 p.m. Sunday when they take on the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp.
Contact David Paschall at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6524.