Graterol back, but Greg Mahle's gem hands Blue Wahoos shutout loss

Older brother of Tyler Mahle throws career-best in BayBears win

Brusdar Graterol, the Twins top-ranked pitching prospect, made his first appearance since May 19 in a Blue Wahoos uniform Thursday night in Mobile. (Daniel Venn)

By Bill Vilona, Senior Writer / Pensacola Blue Wahoos | August 8, 2019 11:59 PM

Another Mahle produced an all-time memory in Mobile during a game involving the Blue Wahoos.

But this time, he was pitching for the home team.

Two years after his younger brother, Tyler, threw a historic perfect game against the Mobile BayBears while with the Blue Wahoos, the BayBears Greg Mahle spun a career-best gem Thursday night in his team's 6-0 win at Hank Aaron Stadium.

While it wasn't a no-hitter, Greg Mahle (1-2) produced the first complete-game performance of his career.

The 26-year-old lefthander, who pitched in 24 games in 2016 as a reliever with the Los Angeles Angels, is now trying to regain a big-league chance as a starter.

His season's finest work came Thursday against the Blue Wahoos. He allowed just five hits, no walks, while striking out five batters. But most significant, Mahle retired 16 consecutive batters in order, following Royce Lewis' one out single in the third inning.

It was the first complete game tossed by a BayBears pitcher since 2016, which also occurred against the Blue Wahoos. This one reminded of Tyler Mahle's 1-0 perfect game win against the BayBears on April 22, 2017, five days after brother Greg's birthday.

On that night with the Blue Wahoos, Tyler, a righthander, threw the first perfect game in the Southern League since 1970, helping jump-start his drive to the major leagues where the 24-year-old is now a starter in the Cincinnati Reds rotation.

Greg Mahle threw 96 pitches Thursday, 71 of those for strikes, as the BayBears won consecutive games for the first time since July 15-16. The BayBears (43-71) entered this series against the Blue Wahoos (61-55) on a nine-game losing streak and a 1-18 record in their previous 19 games.

The one positive element for the Blue Wahoos was the return of pitcher Brusdar Graterol, the Minnesota Twins' top pitching prospect.

Graterol entered in relief in the seventh inning, his first appearance in Blue Wahoos uniform since May 19. He rejoined the team Wednesday after being on the injured list for more than two months.

Working 1.2 innings and on a limited pitch count, Graterol allowed only an infield single, struck out three and did not walk a batter. Graterol's appearance followed two injury rehab starts in Fort Myers for the Gulf Coast League (Rookie League) Twins.

Lefthander Bryan Sammons started Thursday for the Blue Wahoos and struggled into his second-worst performance this season. He pitched just 2.2 innings, giving up seven hits and four earned runs with three walks and five strikeouts.

The BayBears scored three runs off Sammons in the second inning. Brandon Marsh's bases-loaded, two-run double was the big hit, followed by Jahmal Jones' sacrifice fly RBI.

The BayBears added runs in the third and fourth innings as well.

Five different Blue Wahoos batters each had one hit, but none for extra bases. The only time the Blue Wahoos had multiple hits in the same inning was the third inning when Mark Contreras led off with a single, followed by Royce Lewis' one-out single.

The threat ended when Alex Kirilloff flew out to left field and Travis Blankenhorn lined out to end the inning.

Mobile can match its longest winning streak (3 games) Friday in the third game of the series, which is the last time the Blue Wahoos will ever face Mobile. The BayBears are transferring their franchise in 2020 to become the Rocket City Trash Pandas and relocating to Madison, Ala., near Huntsville.

 

 

 

 

 

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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