The Blue Wahoos farewell series against the Mobile BayBears began Wednesday in a forgettable way.
After a first-inning homer by Travis Blankenhorn, the Blue Wahoos were unable to string together hits or produce another run in a 5-1 loss against the BayBears at Hank Aaron Stadium.
A sparse crowd of 751 watched the BayBears end a nine-game losing streak and momentarily halt the team's worst stretch in club history. Mobile had won just once in its past 19 games, a 1-18 slide that included 14 games of allowing five or more runs.
Wednesday night, however, the BayBears resembled the team which started July with an 8-6 record and once sat two games above .500 for the second half of the season. Four BayBears' pitchers combined to hold the Blue Wahoos to just five hits while recording 10 strikeouts.
The game turned on an errant pitch and one swing.
In the third inning, after Blue Wahoos starter Jhoan Duran (1-2) retired the first two batters, he gave up a single to Jahmal Jones, then Brandon Marsh followed with RBI double.
Duran then hit Jack Kruger with a pitch. The next batter, Gareth Morgan blasted his first home run with Mobile, a 3-run shot over the center field wall to provide a 4-1 lead.
The BayBears (42-71 overall) got their fifth run on a double steal in the sixth inning.
Duran, 21, the No. 9 ranked prospect for the Minnesota Twins, who was making just his third start for Pensacola, gave up seven hits in six innings of work. He had allowed just five combined hits in the 11 innings of his prior two starts.
The Blue Wahoos (61-54 overall, couldn't get much going against Mobile starter Jeremy Beasley, a former Clemson Tigers pitcher. He worked 5.1 innings, allowing four hits, three walks and four strikeouts. The BayBears bullpen combined to allow just one hit and three baserunners the rest of the way.
Alex Kirilloff, Ben Rortvedt, Ryan Costello and Jordan Gore had the other hits for the Blue Wahoos.
The teams will continue their five-game series Thursday night. It's the final time these two neighboring franchises will play. Both teams were coming off a rare off day in the schedule.
The BayBears, the Los Angeles Angels affiliate, are transferring to Madison, Ala., located near Huntsville, and will become the Rocket City Trash Pandas when making a debut next season.
The Blue Wahoos loss, coupled by the Biloxi Shuckers extra-inning win at Tennessee, created a four-game lead for Biloxi in the Southern League second-half division race. The Blue Wahoos lead the Mississippi Braves by four games with the next-best overall record in the South Division.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.