Blair pitches lights-out before lights go out

Arizona's No. 4 prospect gives up three baserunners over six innings

Aaron Blair is 3-1 with a 2.45 ERA over five starts with Mobile. (Michael Spooneybarger/Pensacola Blue Wahoos)

By Kelsie Heneghan / | August 14, 2014 1:18 AM ET

Aaron Blair pitched lights-out Wednesday night and then the tower at Pensacola Bayfront Stadium followed suit.

The D-backs' No. 4 prospect spun six one-hit frames for Double-A Mobile at Pensacola before the game was suspended due to a power outage with the BayBears leading, 4-3, in the ninth inning.

"Reminded me of the Super Bowl two years ago," laughed the 22-year-old, who had never seen that before in a game. "All the lights shut off and then [the grounds crew] turned all the lights off [to try and reboot the tower] and when they turned them back on, that tower was still off."

Prior to the suspension, Blair continued his strong Southern League campaign by holding the Blue Wahoos to three baserunners over six scoreless frames.

The right-hander plunked Brodie Greene with a pitch in the first and No. 12 Reds prospect Yorman Rodriguez walked in the third, but Pensacola didn't record its first hit until Seth Mejias-Brean's single in the fifth.

"I felt good. I had good pitches that I could control. I was able to work the counts to get good contact,"'s No. 86 overall prospect said. "I was still just trying to work the count and get people out and [Mejias-Brean] hit a ground ball and it found a hole."

After a perfect sixth, Blair completed his second scoreless outing against Pensacola in as many chances. But the Marshall product has fared well against all the Southern League teams he has faced, with the exception of a tough start against Mississippi on July 31.

Blair yielded seven runs -- six earned -- on six hits over 4 2/3 innings against the Braves, but hasn't allowed more than one run in his four other starts with the BayBears.

"[I'm] getting ahead of people, really commanding my fastballs, controlling it for strikes on both sides of the plate, [and I'm] able to force early contact," he said. "Each level you go to, the more adjustments you have to do. Hitters are smarter, so you have to make quicker adjustments and learn from the guys who have been there."

The 2013 Draft pick began the season with Class A South Bend, where he made four strong starts in six outings. With Class A Advanced Visalia, Blair went 4-2 with a 4.35 ERA over 13 outings.

The Nevada native is taking advantage of his time with relatively more experienced pitchers in Mobile such as Arizona's top-ranked prospect Archie Bradley and A.J. Schugel.

"He's a good teammate, he's been here so he knows some of the hitters who have been here and he knows how to attack the hitters," he said of Bradley. "We are similar pitchers. It's not that we throw the same game, but we have the same arsenal."

When the game was called with one out in the ninth, Mobile had just taken a 4-3 lead on RBIs by Agenis Diaz and Mark Thomas. The pair were at third and second respectively.

The BayBears added four runs -- highlighted by Evan Marzilli's bases-clearing triple -- when the game resumed Thursday en route to an 8-3 final score. Reliever Kaleb Fleck (6-3) picked up a blown save and the win after giving up two hits in one-third of an inning.

Kelsie Heneghan is a contributor to Follow her on Twitter @Kelsie_Heneghan. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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