JACKSONVILLE, Fla., - In his sixth start since spending a month on the disabled list for shoulder tightness, Pensacola Blue Wahoos starting pitcher Austin Ross finally looks 100 percent healthy.
The 29-year-old Ross allowed one run in six innings to snap Pensacola's two game losing streak with a, 3-1, victory Saturday over the second half Southern Division champion Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville.
Ross improved to 9-0 with a 1.87 ERA, allowing just five hits, no walks and striking out six.
Ross loaded the bases with one out in the second inning but struck out the final two batters of the inning to escape that scoring threat and blanked Jacksonville the first five innings.
However, with two outs in the sixth inning Jumbo Shrimp right fielder John Norwood his 16th double of the year. Jacksonville third baseman David Vidal followed with a single to center to drive in Norwood to trail Pensacola, 3-1. On the play, Blue Wahoos catcher Joe Hudson threw Vidal out trying to take second base on the throw home.
The Blue Wahoos scored all its runs in the third inning benefitting from two Jacksonville errors to go ahead, 3-0. Pensacola shortstop Blake Trahan reached second on a throwing error by Jacksonville's Vidal. Trahan scored the first run when Jumbo Shrimp first baseman Justin Bour committed an error on a grounder by Pensacola third baseman Arismendy Alcantara. Pensacola went up, 2-0, when second baseman Shed Long doubled to drive in Ross. Guerrero then grounded out to third, allowing Alcantara to score for a 3-0 Pensacola lead.
Long was 3-for-3 in the game with the double, walk and RBI to lead the Blue Wahoos. He is 5-for-11 in the first three games of the five-game series against Jacksonville with two RBIs and a run scored.
Pensacola reliever Zack Weiss entered the game in the seventh inning and threw two scoreless innings, striking out four. Weiss has now thrown 6.2 shutout innings and has not allowed a hit, while striking out four over his last four appearances.
Blue Wahoos closer Tanner Rainey picked up his third save in his last three appearances. Like Weiss, the flame throwing Rainey has not allowed a run or hit in his last five appearances, getting 12 strikeouts in 5.2 innings.
Jacksonville starter Trevor Richards, picked up the loss to fall to 5-7 on the year, but also pitched a good game. The 24-year-old righty worked six innings, allowing three unearned runs, five hits, walked none and struck out seven.
Jacksonville leads the series, 2-1.
Because Pensacola won the first half, its Southern League record fourth in a row, the two teams meet again Sept. 6 at Blue Wahoos Stadium in a best of five series in the Southern Division playoffs.
Only the Tennessee Smokies have also won four straight halves between 2009 and 2011.
GAME NOTES The Pensacola Blue Wahoos play the fourth game of the five-game series against the Miami Marlins Double-A affiliate the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp at 5:35 p.m. Sunday. The Jumbo Shrimp are starting RHP Joe Gunkel (6-9, 5.02) against Keury Mella (3-10, 4.46).
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.
BIG FISH Second baseman Shed Long 3-for-3, double, walk one RBI...Catcher Joe Hudson 1-for-4 with 14th double of season...Right fielder Aristides Aquino 1-for-4...First baseman Reydel Medina 1-for-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.