06/22/06 — Mudcats fall to Lookouts again

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Mudcats fall to Lookouts again

Published in Sports on June 22, 2006 2:29 PM

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. -- Joey Votto drilled a three-run homer in the first to lead Eddy Valdez to his first win in four attempts against Carolina as the first-half champion Lookouts defeated the Mudcats 4-2 at Bell South Park on Wednesday afternoon.

Votto smashed a one-strike curveball from Jose Garcia into a set of trees beyond the right-centerfield wall after the first two batters reached in the opening inning to set the tenor on a 93-degree first day of summer at Bell South. Votto's blast was his league-leading 14th of the season, yet his first in 59 at-bats against the Mudcats (1-2).

Noochie Varner connected for a solo homer against Garcia in the fourth inning to push Chattanoga's (2-1) lead to 4-0 before the Mudcats tried to rally.

Angel Molina, activated from the disabled list just before the game, went 3-for-3 with a two-run double in the fifth inning against Valdez (4-3), however after Garcia moved Molina to third on a bunt, the Mudcats could not bring home the run.

Carolina did put the tying runs on in the ninth inning against Brock Till, but Molina hit a hard one-hopper to Till to end the game.

Garcia (1-1) dropped his first Double-A decision in his third start despite working his third straight quality start, allowing three earned runs over six innings, fanning five and issuing an intentional walk.

Manu Olivera (3-3, 3.10) starts the series' fourth game against Homer Bailey, who has been the Cincinnati Reds' No. 1 prospect for two years, making his long-awaited Double-A debut today at 7:15 p.m.