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Staff photo by C.B. Schmelter / Chattanooga Lookouts second baseman Alejo Lopez celebrates after his RBI single earlier this month against the River City Trash Pandas at AT&T Field. Lopez has a .387 batting average that ranks third in Double-A South.

No more required facial coverings at AT&T Field for Chattanooga Lookouts games?

That's right.

And packed houses?

Nope. Still months away from that happening.

The Lookouts are back in town for their second homestand of the season, with Tuesday night's series opener against the Tennessee Smokies still transpiring with 40% capacity but with no mask mandate. Chattanooga's largest crowd for its opening homestand was 2,550, but the Lookouts will play their fourth through sixth homerstands, which encompasses June 22 through July 25, at 70% capacity in their 6,340-seat facility.

When asked earlier this month about revenue at 40% capacity, Lookouts president Rich Mozingo said, "the margins are just super, super slim. If everything goes well, it's super, super slim."

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Staff photo by C.B. Schmelter / Fans make their way to their seats during a game between the Chattanooga Lookouts and the Rocket City Trash Pandas at AT&T Field on Wednesday, May 5. The Lookouts begin their second homestand Tuesday night against the Tennessee Smokies.

Chattanooga is 11-7 through its first three six-game series, leading the Double-A South with a .279 team batting average and ranking second to Pensacola with a 3.58 team earned run average. Only Birmingham at 12-6 has a better record within the league.

Top Cincinnati Reds organizational prospect Nick Lodolo, the 6-foot-6 left-handed pitcher, is scheduled to start the opener and Sunday afternoon's series finale. The latest Double-A South player of the week has a 1-0 record through three starts and an 0.57 ERA.

Hunter Greene, the No. 2 organizational prospect who set a professional baseball record for a starting pitcher with 37 pitches in excess of 100 mph during his AT&T debut May 5, is scheduled to start Saturday night's contest. Greene has a 3-0 record and a 1.69 ERA through four starts, having racked up 33 strikeouts in 21 innings.

Saturday's game also will contain the second used car giveaway of the season.

Chattanooga's top statistical pitcher so far is Reiver Sanmartin, who was pegged as a reliever before the season but has since made three starts and compiled a 2-0 record and an 0.50 ERA. Sanmartin and Lodolo rank 1-2 among Double-A South pitchers in ERA, while Greene is sixth.

Sanmartin is scheduled to start Friday night's game.

At the plate, second baseman Alejo Lopez is hitting .387 with six doubles and 12 RBIs, while shortstop Jose Garcia is hitting .323 with four home runs and 16 RBIs. Lopez ranks third in the Double-A South in batting average, with Garcia sixth.

 

Kolozsvary picked

Lookouts catcher Mark Kolozsvary will be leaving soon after being named to Team USA's roster in its attempt to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics. Mike Scioscia is Team USA's manager, and the roster has a blend of youth and established veterans such as Homer Bailey, who pitched for the Lookouts and has two big-league no-hitters, Matt Kemp and Todd Frazier, who was playing for the Pittsburgh Pirates earlier this month.

Team USA has its first qualifying tournament next week in Florida.

 

Highlight catch

Chattanooga left fielder TJ Hopkins made the highlight rounds following Saturday night's catch in Mississippi. Hopkins raced back to the fence and actually went through an unfastened gate that opened into the bullpen of the Braves, but he made the snag to rob Trey Harris of a likely double.

Hopkins was seen inspecting his right elbow after the collision but remained in what was Chattanooga's eventual 2-1 loss.

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

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