BIRMINGHAM, Ala., - In his four starts in Double-A since his call up from the High-A Daytona Tortugas, Pensacola Blue Wahoos starting pitcher Jesus Reyes has allowed just four runs in 23.1 innings.
Behind his six-scoreless innings and three-hitter Monday that dropped his ERA to 1.54, Pensacola defeated the Birmingham Barons, 4-1, at Regions Field.
It was Reyes first Southern League victory improving his record to 1-1. The 24-year-old right hander also struck out seven -- the most in a game for the Blue Wahoos -- and now has 21 Ks in four outings.
Despite being without three of its five pitchers that made up its starting rotation at the beginning of the season, Pensacola owns a 3.00 team ERA, which is second in the Southern League. Tyler Mahle was promoted to Triple-A Louisville Bats, Austin Ross is on the DL and Luis Castillo is pitching in Cincinnati, where he is holding his own at 2-4 with a 3.56 ERA, a 1.188 WHIP and struck out 51 in 48 innings.
Reyes also benefited from four runs from the Pensacola batting order, which has now scored four runs or more in six of its last 10 games.
Leading the way against Birmingham Monday was first baseman Gavin LaValley and center fielder Gabriel Guerrero.
LaValley was 3-4 and knocked in two runs in the eighth inning when he hit a ground rule double to left center that put the Blue Wahoos on top, 4-0. He now has 11 doubles, a .280 average and 18 RBIs in 36 games for Pensacola.
Guerrero drove in two runs in the sixth inning when he singled up the middle and both shortstop Blake Trahan and second baseman Shed Long scored. It gave Pensacola a, 2-0, lead. Guerrero was 2-4 and has 37 RBIs for the Blue Wahoos and 30-multi-hit games.
Birmingham avoided being Pensacola's 12th shutout victim when it scored one run in the bottom of the ninth inning. Barons center fielder Hunter Jones, who was 2-4, laced his fifth triple of the season to right field to bring home right fielder Mason Robbins.
Pensacola took over sole possession of first place in the Southern League South Division with a 19-18 record in the second half. Pensacola is 59-48 overall and won the first half title. They are the first Southern League team since the Tennessee Smokies (2009-2011) to win a Southern League record four straight halves.
CINGRANI L.A. BOUND Cincinnati Reds reliever Tony Cingrani was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers for outfielder Scott Van Slyke and catcher Hendrik Clementina.
The 28-year-old southpaw, who pitched as a starter for the Double-A Pensacola Blue Wahoos in 2012, appeared in 25 games with Cincinnati this year and was 0-0 with a 5.40 ERA and 1.329 WHIP. He had 24 Ks in 23.1 innings pitched. In six seasons with the Reds, he started the first two years before transitioning to the bullpen in 2015.
He played part of 2012 in Pensacola, where in 15 starts the flamethrower went 5-3 with a 2.12 ERA, 1.097 WHIP and 101 strikeouts in 89.1 innings. Cingrani made the jump to the Reds from the Blue Wahoos.
For Cingrani, the Reds picked up two players, including 31-year-old outfielder/first baseman Van Slyke. He was hitting .122 with two homers and three RBIs in 41 at bats with the Dodgers this season and has a .242 career average in six Major League seasons with Los Angeles. The 20-year-old Clementina plays catcher and first baseman for the Ogden Raptors in the Rookie League where Curacaon has four homers, 25 RBIs and is hitting .370 in 24 games.
Tickets to the 2017 playoffs are now on sale! Purchase tickets online at bluewahoos.com, visiting the Box Office or 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.