PENSACOLA, Fla., - The Pensacola Blue Wahoos exploded against the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp for six runs in the sixth inning on six singles and two errors to cruise to its fifth consecutive series victory Saturday.The game was tied, 4-4, when Pensacola sent 10 players to the plate and put on
PENSACOLA, Fla., - The Pensacola Blue Wahoos exploded against the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp for six runs in the sixth inning on six singles and two errors to cruise to its fifth consecutive series victory Saturday.
The game was tied, 4-4, when Pensacola sent 10 players to the plate and put on a hitting demonstration for the sellout crowd of 5,038 at Blue Wahoos Stadium. The Blue Wahoos ended up winning 11-6 Friday and captured the series, 3-2, denying Jacksonville a chance to win its first series in Pensacola's ballpark since June 2015.
Jacksonville committed seven errors, which was two short of the record of nine errors made by the Biloxi Shuckers on April 10 this season against the Montgomery Biscuits.
"We were hoping to take advantage of (the errors)," said Pensacola manager Pat Kelly. "You don't want to look up there and see seven errors and only have four runs."
The sixth inning started for Pensacola with a lead-off single by left fielder Tyler Goeddel. Center fielder Gabriel Guerrero then hit a rocket to Jacksonville second baseman KC Serna who dropped the ball. Third baseman Josh VanMeter then hit a towering fly ball behind third base that Jumbo Shrimp shortstop Alex Yarbrough missed for the second error of the inning.
With the bases loaded and no outs, right fielder Aristides Aquino hit a one hopper that glanced off the first baseman's glove and then bounced off VanMeter, allowing both Goeddel and Guerrero to score to put the Blue Wahoos ahead, 6-4. First baseman Eric Jagielo ripped a single to right field to score VanMeter to make it, 7-4. Another single on a liner by second baseman Angelo Gumbs drove in Aquino for an 8-4 lead.
Pensacola shortstop Blake Trahan hit a bullet into right field where Jacksonville's John Norwood gunned down Jagielo at the plate for the second out of the inning. Blue Wahoos reliever Robert Stock then hit a bouncer up the middle that scored catcher Adrian Nieto and Trahan with the final two runs of the inning scoring for a 10-4 lead.
Pensacola is 31-24 and in first place in the Southern League South Division with just three series left before the end of the first half. The Blue Wahoos are trying to become the first Southern League team to win four straight halves since the Tennessee Smokies did it from 2009-2011.
Blue Wahoos reliever Alex Powers came through for Pensacola Friday. He finished the game with three scoreless innings, allowing four hits, one walk and striking out five.
Powers entered the game in the seventh inning after Stock loaded the bases and walked in a run. Powers struck out the side with the bases full.
"Powers gave us three huge innings right there," Kelly said. "He had those three big Ks with the bases loaded. That was huge."
Meanwhile, Gabriel Guerrero led the Pensacola offense Friday and throughout the five-game series against Jacksonville. He was 6-17 (.353) and drove in six runs, increasing his RBI total to 15 for the season. He has 21 multi-hit games in the 52 games he has played this season.
Plus, he has enjoyed playing center field more lately. He made a sliding catch in the fifth inning to rob Jacksonville left fielder Alex Glenn of a hit.
"I've had a good season, so far," Guerrero said. "I'm seeing the ball and not trying to do to much."
Pensacola also benefited from two great defensive plays by Angelo Gumbs at second base, especially in the eight inning when he fielded the ball on the shortstop side of second base, spun and threw out the runner.
Jacksonville is 4-16 in Blue Wahoos Stadium the last two years.
Jacksonville's Perez tied the game, 4-4, when he lined a triple into the right center field gap to lead off the fourth. Jacksonville's Yarbrough hit a chopper to Pensacola's Jagielo at first base who threw home to get Perez but the center fielder scored when he slid wide behind home plate and tapped the plate with his left hand.
Pensacola right fielder Aristides Aquino had put the Blue Wahoos ahead, 4-3, in the third inning when he scored on catcher Adrian Nieto's ground ball to Jacksonville first baseman Taylor Ard. Ard threw to Jumbo Shrimp shortstop Yarbrough to get Pensacola Jagielo out at second. But Yarbrough's throw to first base glanced off the glove of Jacksonville starting pitcher Chris Mazza, allowing Nieto to reach third base where he was stranded.
The Blue Wahoos lead the game, 3-0, after the first two innings but Jacksonville right fielder John Norwood hit a three-run homer to left to tie the game, 3-3. Norwood has nine homers this season, which is fourth in the Southern League.
The Pensacola Blue Wahoos start a five-game series on the road against the Los Angeles Angels Double-A affiliate Mobile BayBears at 5:05 p.m. Sunday, June 3. The BayBears starter is RHP Alex Blackford (1-2, 3.54) against the Blue Wahoos RHP Tyler Mahle (6-2, 1.55).
The games are broadcast live on the Blue Wahoos flagship station 97.1 The Ticket. Listen for free at bluewahoos.com and by using the TuneIn Radio app on your mobile, desktop or home devices.
You can watch the home games on Cox Sports Television Monday through Thursday on Channel 319. Friday, Saturday and Sunday games are broadcast live on BLAB-TV.
BIG FISH Center fielder Gabriel Guerrero was 2-5, scored three times and drove in a run to raise his average to .282 this year…First baseman Eric Jagielo got on base all four times going 2-2, walking twice, getting hit by a pitch and had one RBI…Left fielder Tyler Goeddel was 2-6, scored a run and drove in a run…Right fielder Aristides Aquino was 1-4, scored once and drove in three runs for a team leading 29 RBIs.
BEN LIVELY WINS MLB DEBUT Former Pensacola Blue Wahoos starting pitcher Ben Lively earned a win in his Major League debut Saturday, helping the Philadelphia Phillies snap a five-game losing streak.
Lively, who played for Gulf Breeze High School, threw 98 pitches in seven innings of work. He allowed one run on four hits and three walks, and had no strikeouts. The 25-year-old right-hander is 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA. Lively even singled to center field. Only 11 times in 53 games this season has a Phillies starter gone more than six innings.
"I love going deep in games, that's one of my things," Lively told reporters after the game. "I was more excited (than nervous) to throw my first pitch. I was more pumped up than anything to finally get my chance."
He faced former Cincinnati Reds ace Johnny Cueto, who gave up a home run in the sixth inning and then allowed the first two batters in the seventh to single when he was lifted from the game. Cueto ended up pitching six innings, giving up three runs on eight hits, had no walks and struck out nine.
The only run that Lively allowed came in a sloppy second inning when he balked and hit a batter. San Francisco catcher Buster Posey singled and scored the only run off Lively on a sacrifice fly. Lively benefited from three double plays.
This season for Triple-A Lehigh Valley, Lively was 6-1 with a 2.40 ERA. Last season with double-A Reading and Lehigh Valley, he was a combined 18-5 with a 2.69 ERA.
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.