MOBILE, Ala., - The Pensacola Blue Wahoos won its sixth straight series thanks to clutch two-out singles by third baseman Josh VanMeter and center fielder Gabriel Guerrero in the third inning to overcome the Mobile BayBears Thursday at Hank Aaron Stadium.
VanMeter singled to right field to drive in second baseman Alex Blandino, who lead-off the third inning with his 17th double of the season. Left fielder Tyler Goeddel, who had walked moved to third base and then VanMeter stole second base to put runners at second and third with Guerrero up to bat. He singled to right field to score both Goeddel and VanMeter, giving Pensacola a 3-0 lead in the third inning.
It would be all the runs the Pensacola pitching staff would need to pull out a, 3-2, victory over Mobile. Now 10-13 in one-run games, the Blue Wahoos captured the series, 3-2.
The victory improved the Blue Wahoos record to 34-26 to keep them in first place in the Southern League South Division. The team has been in first place for all but six days in the first half. It is vying to become the first Southern League team to win four straight halves since the Tennessee Smokies did it from 2009-2011.
Blue Wahoos starter Luis Castillo earned his second win in a row to improve his record to 3-3 and he now has a 3.00 ERA. Castillo worked six innings, giving up two runs on five hits and two walks and struck out eight.
Castillo retired the first six batters he faced before giving up a lead-off solo home run to right center field in the third inning by Mobile catcher Wade Wass, a Catholic High School product. It was his 10th homer of the season.
Mobile's only other run came in the fourth inning when first baseman Zach Houchins singled to center field to score center fielder Michael Hermosillo. Houchins led the BayBears offense, going 7-18, or .389, with 10 RBIs.
Pensacola relievers Robert Stock, Ariel Hernandez and Jimmy Herget protected the Blue Wahoos one-run lead by pitching a combined three scoreless innings. They gave up three hits, a walk and struck out two.
Hernandez earned his Southern League-leading eighth hold, while Herget got his Southern League-leading 16th save of the season. He has 43 strikeouts in 29.1 innings on the year.
Tickets to the 2017 Southern League All-Star Game are on sale now! Purchase tickets online at bluewahoos.com or visiting the Box Office. Orders can also be placed over the phone by 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.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.