JACKSON, Tenn., - Pensacola Blue Wahoos manager Pat Kelly told his hitters that they needed to take advantage of opportunities when they had them.
That's exactly what they did with two big, two-out clutch hits by left fielder Gabriel Guerrero in the fifth inning with runners on first and second and by right fielder Aristides Aquino in the seventh inning with the bases loaded to overcome the Jackson Generals, 5-2, Sunday at The Ballpark at Jackson.
Meanwhile, Austin Ross gave up just two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to Jackson. The 28-year-old starter worked 6.2 innings, scattered six hits and a walk and struck out five. He earned the win to improve to 4-0 and owns the best ERA in the Southern League at 1.13.
Pensacola scored first in the fifth inning when center fielder Brian O'Grady reached home on a sacrifice fly by third baseman Josh VanMeter his 15th RBI of the season. With runners on first and second with two outs, Guerrero then slapped a single to center field to score second baseman Alex Blandino. Guerrero was 2-5 Sunday and now has 16 multi-hit games in the 35 games he has played and is hitting .295 to lead the team.
In the seventh inning, Aquino stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs. Aquino smacked a double to center field that scored both Blandino and VanMeter, which gave the Blue Wahoos a 4-0 lead. Aquino went 2-4 with a walk and two RBIs and leads Pensacola with 16 RBIs.
Pensacola tacked on an insurance run in the eighth inning when O'Grady pulled his fourth homer of the season with a solo shot to right field for put the Blue Wahoos ahead, 5-2.
Jackson did score two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to pull within, 4-2. Pinch-hitter Rudy Flores hit his 11th double of the season that drove in third baseman Dawel Lugo but center field Evan Marzilli was thrown out at home when Pensacola's Guerrero threw to shortstop Black Trahan, who threw a strike to catcher Adrian Nieto. Generals catcher Michael Perez then singled to right field to drive in Flores.
Pensacola reliever Jimmy Herget nailed down his ninth save, which is second in the Southern League, with one walk and two strikeouts in the ninth inning. He now has 30 strike outs in 17 innings.
Pensacola improved to 20-17 and are in a first-place tie with the Mississippi Braves in the South Division. Jackson fell to 21-15 and lead the North Division and Southern League with the best record.
Tickets to the 2017 Southern League All-Star Game are on sale now! Purchase tickets online at bluewahoos.com or visiting the Box Office. Orders can also be placed over the phone by 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.