KODAK, Tenn., - Pensacola Blue Wahoos starting pitcher Jose Lopez pitched a complete, seven inning shutout Tuesday against the Tennessee Smokies.
Lopez gave up just one hit and struck out seven as Pensacola won the first game of a seven-inning doubleheader, 5-0, at Smokies Stadium. The victory snapped a four-game Blue Wahoos losing streak.
Pensacola dropped the second game to Tennessee, 2-1 when right fielder Yasiel Balaguert drove in left fielder Charcer Burks twice for 63 RBIs on the year, which is fourth in the Southern League.
The Smokies won the five-game series, 4-1.
In the first game Tuesday, the 23-year-old Lopez helped the Blue Wahoos tie the Chattanooga Lookouts with a Southern League-leading 13 shutouts this season.
Lopez pitched to just one batter over the minimum 21 batters when he gave up a line drive single to center field to catcher Ian Rice in the second inning. The right hander, who improved to 7-1 and lowered his ERA to 2.43, has allowed five runs in his last 47 innings for a 0.96 ERA.
Pensacola catcher Joe Hudson doubled to left field to drive in center fielder Jonathan Reynoso for a 1-0 Pensacola lead in the second inning. In the fifth inning, Pensacola third baseman Nick Senzel smacked his 12th double for the Blue Wahoos that drove in shortstop Blake Trahan.
First baseman Gavin LaValley then singled to put Pensacola ahead, 3-0. The final two runs scored in the seventh when Senzel singled in Trahan and second baseman Josh VanMeter grounded out to second base allowing right fielder Gabriel Guerrero to score the fifth and last run of in Tuesday's first game.
Senzel was 3-for-4, with a run scored, double and two RBIs. Guerrero was 2-for-4 with a run scored, getting his 33rd multi-hit game of the year. Trahan was 2-for-4 with a double and scored twice. VanMeter was 1-for-3 and drove in his team-leading 45th RBI.
In the second game of Tuesday's doubleheader, Austin Ross pitched his first game since July 7. He threw 42 pitches, 30 for strikes over three innings of work. The righty gave up one run on five hits, no walks and struck out two.
Pensacola scored first in the third inning when Guerrero grounded out to first allowing second baseman Alberti Chavez, who doubled, to score for a 1-0 Blue Wahoos lead.
Balaguert tied the game in the bottom of the third inning when Balaguert grounded out to shortstop and Burks, who singled to center, scored to tie the game, 1-1. Balaguert then smacked a sharp line drive single to left field that drove in Burks, who reached on a double, to score the game-winning run, 2-1.
Pensacola has lost four one-run games on its 10-game road trip and is now 19-21 overall in such games. The Blue Wahoos, who won the first half South Division title, are now 21-24 and in fourth place in the second half.
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.
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