Joc Pederson, in his worst slump of the season, broke out with a home run and four RBI and the Lookouts needed every one of them as they claimed the third game in the five-game set with the Tennessee Smokies, 8-7 Friday at AT&T Field before a packed house of 5,224.
Pederson, whose average had dipped below .300 in recent days, had a third-inning RBI single in addition to a three-run homer against Smokies starter Kyle Hendricks in the fifth inning as the Lookouts built a 7-4 lead for starter Andres Santiago. But the right-hander exited after only five innings, having thrown 96 pitcher while having given up four runs on seven hits.
Reliever Hunter Nelo, so solid in the season’s first half, blew the three-run lead Friday. The Smokies scored three against Nelo in the seventh on a wild pitch and a two-run Anthony Giansetti double. but Nelo (5-1) stayed in the game long enough to get back the lead and grab the win.
Ozzie Martinez, who'd only entered the game in the seventh on a double switch, produced the difference maker Friday, an RBI single in the seventh that followed a Miguel Rojas double and Rojas stealing third. Rojas, in dire need of a big night, had three hits for the Lookouts including a double and triple.
Yimi Garcia struck out two in a perfect ninth to secure his 14th save.
Brian Cavazos-Galvez, another hitter looking to break the .300 barrier, went 4-for-5 (all singles) to end the night at .301.