PENSACOLA, Fla., - The Pensacola Blue Wahoos fell to 1-10 this season against its nemesis, the Chattanooga Lookouts, which has the best record in the Southern League.
Chattanooga padded its lead in the eighth inning with two runs on a bases-loaded walk and bases-loaded wild pitch to continue its domination of Pensacola, winning, 5-1, in the opener of the four-game series Sunday in front of 3,778 at Blue Wahoos Stadium.
The Lookouts improved to 14-3 in the second half in the North Division and 56-31 on the season, both of which lead the Southern League.
Pensacola dropped to 8-9 in the second half in the South Division and 48-39 overall.
Blue Wahoos starting pitcher Deck McGuire's scoreless inning streak ended at 23.1 innings when Chattanooga first baseman Andy Wilkins doubled over the head of Blue Wahoos left fielder Tyler Goeddel in the third inning to drive in center fielder LaMonte Wade. The Lookouts took a 2-0 lead when third baseman T.J. White grounded out to shortstop, allowing DH Jonathan Rodriguez to score from third base.
Blue Wahoos McGuire gave up a double on a one hopper off the right field wall to Wade and a sizzling line drive single to center field to Rodriguez in the fifth inning. But the 6-foot-6 righty then got a strikeout and two fly outs to leave the Chattanooga runners stranded at second and third.
Pensacola manager Pat Kelly said he liked that McGuire kept Chattanooga from scoring.
"I thought he battled," Kelly said. "He didn't have his best stuff. He gave up a lot of extra-base hits. But he kept them off the board and gave us a chance."
McGuire earned the loss and is 8-6 this season with a 2.78 ERA. He gave up two runs on nine hits, including four doubles, and walked one.
Pensacola second baseman Shed Long drilled a line drive down the right field line for a triple that drove in DH Nick Longhi to cut Chattanooga's lead to, 2-1, in the fifth inning.
But Chattanooga scored two runs in the eighth inning to go ahead, 4-1. The Lookouts White scored when Pensacola reliever Alex Powers walked No. 9 hitter, catcher Dan Rohlfing. The second run scored when Pensacola reliever Brennan Bernardino struck out shortstop Ryan Walker for the third out but the strikeout pitch skirted by Blue Wahoos catcher Joe Hudson, who had no play, allowing right fielder Max Murphy to score.
Kelly said that Chattanooga has just given Pensacola fits, sweeping them in the first five-game series.
"They are a really good team," he said. "They have strong pitching, speed, power in the middle of the lineup. They got about everything you could want."
Chattanooga Kohl Stewart, the Minnesota Twins first round selection in 2013, has not had a losing decision since April 24. He worked six innings Sunday, giving up one run on three hits and a walk and striking out six. At one point, he retired 10 Blue Wahoos in a row.
"He had good stuff," Kelly said of the Minnesota Twins eighth ranked prospect. "He had late action on his fastball. We weren't getting good swings on him."
GAME NOTES The Pensacola Blue Wahoos play the second game of a four-game series against the Minnesota Twins Double-A affiliate Chattanooga Lookouts at 6:35 p.m. Monday. The Lookouts are starting RHP Dereck Rodriguez (3-0, 3.74) against the Blue Wahoos RHP Rookie Davis (0-0, 5.79).
The games are broadcast live on the Blue Wahoos flagship station 97.1 The Ticket. Listen for free at bluewahoos.com and by using the TuneIn Radio app on your mobile, desktop or home devices.
You can watch the home games live or tape delayed on Cox Sports Television Monday through Thursday on Channel 319. Friday, Saturday and Sunday games are broadcast live on BLAB-TV.
BIG FISH Second baseman Shed Long was 1-4 with a triple in the fifth inning to drive in Pensacola's only run...Third baseman Josh VanMeter was 1-3 with a walk...DH Nick Longhi was 1-3 with a walk and scored a run...Center fielder Gabriel Guerrero was 1-4 with a double.
FUTURES GAME The United States team defeated the World team, 7-6, Sunday at Miami's Marlins Park.
Pensacola Blue Wahoos third baseman Nick Senzel, the Cincinnati Reds top prospect, was 1-4 in the game with a run scored and RBI.
Jimmy Herget, the Reds No. 18 prospect and a Southern League All-Star, pitched one perfect inning in the eighth, getting a flyout and two ground outs.
Tickets to the second half of the season are on sale now! Purchase tickets online at bluewahoos.com, visiting the Box Office or calling 850-934-8444. The Pensacola Blue Wahoos are the Double-A Affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds and a member of the Southern League. Follow the Pensacola Blue Wahoos at BlueWahoos.com, facebook.com/PensacolaBlueWahoos and twitter.com/BlueWahoosBBall.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.