PENSACOLA, Fla., - The Pensacola Blue Wahoos started the ninth inning ahead, 1-0, and finished it Friday behind the Mobile BayBears, 3-1.
The Blue Wahoos have now lost three straight games and seven of their last eight and plummeted from first place in the Southern League South Division to fourth, four games behind rival Mobile.
Blue Wahoos big righty Deck McGuire treated the 4,416 filling Blue Wahoos Stadium to seven scoreless innings in this third attempt to earn 10 wins for the first time in his seven-year minor league career.
Mobile leads the Southern Division with a 25-22 record in the second half, while Pensacola, which won the first half, dropped to 21-26.
Blue Wahoos right fielder Aristides Aquino has the top batting average among the four players batting sixth through ninth at .207. As a team, Pensacola is last in the Southern League with a .228 batting average this season.
Kelly said his team is shorthanded with just 11 position players on the roster. Second baseman Shed Long, infielder Angelo Gumbs, first baseman Nick Longhi are all currently on the disabled list. Long is expected back within two weeks.
"(Our players) know we're shorthanded," Kelly said. "First, we got to get healthy. We got to get Shed Long back."
Mobile improved to 2-0 in the five-game series against rival Pensacola and 9-8 this season.
The BayBears scored three runs in the top of the ninth on four straight hits -- two singles and two doubles -- on Pensacola closer Zack Weiss, who is now 7-10 in save opportunities.
The California Angels No. 3 prospect, first baseman Matt Thaiss, doubled to right field to drive in Mobile shortstop Alberto Triunfel with the tying run, 1-1. Mobile catcher Taylor Ward then doubled on a fly ball over Aquino's head in right field score both center fielder Brennan Lund and Thaiss to overcome Pensacola, 3-1.
It spoiled McGuire's stellar outing. He allowed three hits -- all singles -- and retired 13 batters in a row between the second and seventh inning and 15 of the last 16 batters he faced. This season, he has held the opponent scoreless in seven of his outings and opponents are batting just .207 against McGuire, who has a hard-to-hit slider and curveball combination.
His seven strikeouts gave him 143 this season, which is second in the Southern League.
"He's been fantastic all year," Kelly said. "He has a good feel for all his pitches."
Pensacola's only run came in the third inning on a missed hit-and-run play. Blue Wahoos center fielder Gabriel Guerrero took off for second but third baseman Nick Senzel struck out.
The throw from BayBears Ward, the catcher, bounced off the glove of BayBears second baseman Jose Rojas and rolled into the outfield, which allowed Pensacola left fielder Brian O'Grady to score for a 1-0 Pensacola lead.
GAME NOTES The Pensacola Blue Wahoos play the third game of a five-game series with the Los Angeles Angels Double-A affiliate Mobile BayBears at 6:35 p.m. Saturday. The BayBears are starting RHP Jake Jewell (7-8, 4.35) against the Blue Wahoos RHP Jesus Reyes (1-2, 2.22).
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 Center fielder Gabriel Guerrero was 2-5 and now has 34 multi-hit games and a .275 average...Catcher Chad Tromp was 2-3 with a walk...Third baseman Nick Senzel was 1-3 with his 13th double of the season and walked...Second baseman Josh VanMeter was 1-4.
Tickets to the 2017 playoffs are now on sale! 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.