PENSACOLA, FL -- Three Pensacola pitchers, led by Deck McGuire (6-4), teamed up to shut down the Braves and take an 8-1 victory Monday night at Blue Wahoos Stadium. Mississippi (32-32) now trails South Division-leading Pensacola (37-27) by five games with only six games remaining in the first half of the season.
Mississippi's Max Fried (2-9) surrendered five earned runs on three hits and four walks in six innings of work. He struck out five and took the loss. Fried was on cruise control, retiring the first 10 batters he faced before walking Josh Vanmeter and Gabriel Guerrero with one out in the fourth. Aristedes Aquino then singled to left to load the bases before Alex Blandino hit a bases-clearing double to left center, giving the Blue Wahoos a 3-0 lead.
Pensacola struck for two more runs in the sixth and once again a one-out walk led up to the score. This time it was Guerrero who walked and scored on the triple by Aquino. Aquino then scored on a ground out by Blandino to make it a 5-0 game.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Blue Wahoos picked up two more runs with only one hit. Blake Trahan led off with a single, stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Pinch hitter Leon Landry was hit by a pitch. Tyler Goeddel then walked to load the bases with nobody out. Vanmeter hit into a fielder's choice, scoring Trahan and Guerrero picked up an RBI on a sacrifice fly, plating Landry and extending Pensacola's lead to 7-0.
The Braves avoided the shutout, picking up a run in the eighth when Luis Valenzuela tripled to right center with one out. He then scored on a two-out single by Travis Demeritte.
Pensacola tacked on one more run in the eighth when Blandino singled with one out. He took second on a wild pitch and moved to third on a ground out to first. Blandino then scored on an Eric Jagielo single, making it an 8-1 game.
Chad Sobotka and Danny Reynolds each pitched one inning of relief for the M-Braves. Sobotka gave up two runs and Reynolds surrendered one.
Deck McGuire earned his sixth win for Pensacola by shutting out the Braves for seven innings. He struck out nine, walked four and gave up only one hit. Domingo Tapia and Brennan Bernardino pitched an inning each with Tapia allowing the only run for Mississippi.
The final game of the series is Tuesday at 6:35 PM. Mississippi sends LHP Luiz Gohara (0-0) to the mound where he'll counter RHP Luis Castillo (3-3) for Pensacola.
Mississippi (32-32) 1R 3H 0E
Pensacola (37-27) 8R 6H 0E
Win: Deck McGuire (6-4)
Loss: Max Fried (2-9)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.