Welcome to Blue Wahoos Daily where a recap will be provided each day about the Pensacola Blue Wahoos. This will be in addition to the features that run on the team each week in the Navarre Press.
Mississippi 3, Pensacola 2
Pensacola lost the final game of its series against Mississippi Sunday, falling 3-2 to the M-Braves at Trustman Park.
The Blue Wahoos managed only four hits and fell behind 2-0 before tying the game in the ninth on a sacrifice fly by Gavin LaValley. They still managed to win the series three games to two and open a series against Jackson tonight.
Jose Lopez went six innings and gave up two runs on five hits. He struck out six but ended his day with no decision. He is 7-1 on the year with a 2.50 ERA.
Josh VanMeter led the Pensacola offense with two hits. The Blue Wahoos fell to 26-29 in the second half of the Southern League season and have lost their last two games. They are in fourth place in the South Division and sit two and a half games back of Jacksonville in the battle for the second-half division title.
Southern League Spotlight: Jackson cranked out 11 hits in Sunday’s 6-2 win over Biloxi at MGM Park.
The Generals were paced by Victor Reyes and Emilio Bonifacio. They tallied two hits apiece as Jackson scored six runs in a game for the first time since Aug. 7.
It was the second time in three games that Jackson topped Biloxi and it improved to 25-30 in the second half of the season. The reigning Southern League champs are two games from elimination in the North Division, sitting 14 games back of Chattanooga.
Pensacola 11, Mississippi 5
Keury Mella finally won a game.
Searching for his first win in 11 starts, Mella gave up just three runs on five hits and struck out three in Pensacola’s 11-5 win over the Mississippi Braves.
Mella improved to 3-10 after his six-inning effort and helped the Blue Wahoos rack up their fourth consecutive win.
Pensacola is in the midst of a power surge offensively, and Thursday’s win marked the fifth time they have scored five or more runs in a game. They have put up 11 runs twice.
Arismendy Alcantara helped fuel the attack against the M-Braves, coming through with three hits, two of which were triples. The other was a double. He also tallied a double and drove in two runs. The utility player who spent 70 games in Cincinnati earlier this year also scored three runs.
Pensacola trailed 2-10 before putting four runs on the board in the sixth to take the lead for good. The Blue Wahoos added six more runs in the eighth on a night when they belted out 14 hits.
Arisitides Aquino, Blake Trahan and Gabriel Guerrero all tallied three hits apiece. Aquino fell just a triple short of hitting for the cycle.
Pensacola is just two and a half games behind Jacksonville for first place in the Southern League South Division. It is 25-27 in the second half of the season. The Blue Wahoos have already clinched the first-half crown and are aiming for their fifth consecutive division title going back to September of 2015.
Southern League Spotlight: Chattanooga and Tennessee combined to score 14 runs in the final two innings of a four-hour game Thursday night. The Lookouts prevailed in the end with a 12-11 victory.
Chattanooga scored six runs in the ninth to seal the deal after Tennessee put seven runs on the board in the bottom of the eighth. Both teams combined to crank out 29 hits.
LaMonte Wade paved the way for the Lookouts as he tallied three hits. Sam Clay earned the win in two thirds of an inning of work. He gave up one run on one hit and he struck out one.
Pensacola 5, Mississippi 4
It took 10 innings but the Blue Wahoos prevailed in their series opener against the Mississippi Braves Wednesday night.
Brian O’Grady hit a sacrifice fly to center in the 10th inning that brought Nick Senzel across the plate and gave Pensacola a 5-4 victory. It’s the third consecutive win for the Blue Wahoos, who are now 2-6 in extra-inning games.
Deck McGuire was hoping to earn his 10th win of the season but came away with no decision for the fourth consecutive game. McGuire worked 5 and 2/3 innings and gave up three runs on six hits. He struck out six and has pitched more than 1,000 innings in his pro career.
Geoff Brousard pitched a perfect ninth to notch the victory. He is 4-2 with a 3.14 ERA.
The Blue Wahoos led 4-3 in the eighth after run-scoring doubles by Nick Senzel and Aristides Aquino. The M-Braves battled back to tie it. They led 3-0 early on but couldn’t hold on.
Pensacola is now 24-27 in the second half of the Southern League season and is within two and a half games of first place in the South Division. Jacksonville is atop the division with a 26-24 record. Biloxi and Mobile are a half game back.
Pensacola, assured of a playoff berth by winning the first half title, is aiming for its fifth consecutive division crown, which would be a franchise record.
Southern League Spotlight: Eloy Jiminez had quite the Double-A debut for the Birmingham Barons Wednesday night and came through with a pair of hits, including a home run off the third pitch he saw. His effort helped propel the Barons to a 9-4 victory.
Jiminez also doubled in the win and scored twice. The No. 7 overall prospect in the game came over to the Chicago White Sox organization in the trade that sent Jose Quintana to the Chicago Cubs.
The Dominican Republic native is only 20 years old and is hitting close to .300 in his career. He was hitting .345 in Winston-Salem before his promotion to Birmingham.
Pensacola 9, Mobile 7
With the score tied in the seventh inning, Alberti Chavez rose to the occasion for the Blue Wahoos.
His two-run hit to left pushed Pensacola in front for good in a 9-7 victory over rival Mobile Monday night at Blue Wahoos Stadium.
Chavez isn’t an everyday player but he made the most of his opportunity on this night as he helped the Blue Wahoos win their second consecutive game. He came into the night hitting .182. He had tallied seven hits.
Pensacola jumped in front 4-0, scoring the first two runs on a double to right by Gavin LaValley in the first inning. LaValley’s hit in the seventh trimmed Pensacola’s deficit to 7-5.
Chad Tromp, who finished with three hits, drove in a run in the first as well before Jonathan Reynoso crushed a home run past the foul pole in left to extend Pensacola’s advantage to 4-0.
Jose Lopez was in control on the mound to keep Mobile in check, striking out seven in 6 1/3 innings of work. He gave up two runs and did not walk a batter.
The BayBears battled back in the seventh, scoring seven runs in the seventh to take a 7-4 lead.
But as wild as this series has been, it wasn’t a surprise that Pensacola rallied for the win.
The Blue Wahoos crushed a franchise-record 12 homers in the series and scored a total of 37 runs. Not bad for a team that isn’t known for its offensive might. Mobile finished with 30 runs in the series.
Pensacola improved to 23-27 in the second-half Southern League South Division standings. It is three games behind first-place Mobile.
The two teams won’t meet again in the regular season but could face off in the postseason if the BayBears can win the second-half title. The Blue Wahoos clinched the first-half crown.
Southern League Spotlight: Biloxi recorded its first no-hitter in franchise history Monday, with four pitchers combining in the effort in a 1-0 seven-inning win over Tennessee in the second game of a doubleheader at MGM Park.
Hiram Burgos, Forrest Snow, Nick Ramirez and Jorge Lopez teamed up for the no-hitter to help the Shuckers bounce-back from a 4-1 loss earlier in the night.
Burgos, set to make the jump to Triple-A, pitched only two innings and struck out two before Snow struck out four in three innings of action. He ended up as the winner, notching his fifth victory. Ramirez and Lopez each pitched an inning to finish the game out.
The Shuckers are 24-24 in the second half and a game back of Mobile in the South Division.
Pensacola 11, Mobile 2
After dropping four consecutive games, the Blue Wahoos got back on track Sunday with an 11-2 victory over the BayBears.
Pensacola used a power surge that featured five home runs, including two apiece from Nick Senzel and Aristides Aquino, as it won its first game against Mobile in this series and tied a franchise record for home runs in a game in the process.
For Senzel, it was the second time in three days he has hit at least two homers in a game. Aquino delivered his third homer in two games.
Blake Trahan had the other homer in the win. Pensacola has crushed nine homers in its last two games.
Pensacola entered the game in dire need of a victory, having lost eight of nine and falling into fourth place in the Southern League South Division. The first-half division champs are 22-27 in the second half of the season and trail Mobile by four games.
Southern League Spotlight: Montgomery stretched its win streak to seven games in a 9-4 win over Jackson Sunday at Riverwalk Stadium.
Logan Darnell started for the eighth time this season and allowed four runs on 11 hits. He struck out five as he nailed down his fourth victory of the season.
Darnell was drafted in the sixth round by the Minnesota Twins in 2010 and made his Major League debut for the Twins in 2014. The former Kentucky Wildcats standout signed with the Tampa Rays in July and has been pitching well in his time with the Double-A Biscuits.
Mobile 10, Pensacola 9
Nick Senzel had one of the best games of his career but the Blue Wahoos struggled to get outs in a 10-9 loss to the BayBears in the series opener Thursday night at Blue Wahoos Stadium.
Senzel hit two home runs and drove in four runs but Pensacola let a 4-0 first-inning lead slip away on a night when its pitching staff gave up a total of 11 hits, including five for extra bases.
The loss was the eighth in 11 games for Pensacola, which fell to 21-25 in the second half of the season and is now three games behind first place Mobile in the Southern League South Division. Pensacola, already assured of a playoff berth because it won the first-half title, is in fourth place in the division.
The Blue Wahoos came out of the gate hot as it built a 4-0 advantage but the BayBears cut the lead to 4-3 in the bottom of the second.
Mobile surged in front 7-5 and led 10-6 going into the bottom of the ninth. That’s when the Blue Wahoos nearly rallied for a win.
Sacrifice flies by Gavin LaValley and Josh VanMeter trimmed the lead to 10-8 and Aristides Aquino’s run-scoring hit pulled Pensacola to within one at 10-9 before the game ended.
Keury Mella continues with his stretch of tough luck. He’s failed to get a win in his last 10 starts and is now 2—10 on the season. He lasted just 2 2/3 innings.
Southern League Spotlight: Tanner Banks came through his third quality start of the year Thursday night, giving up two runs on five hits in 6 1/3 innings of work as he helped lead Birmingham to a 7-4 win over Chattanooga. Banks won his second game of the season on a night when he struck out seven.
The 2014 eighth-round pick of the Chicago White Sox is in his first season of Double-A ball after moving up from High-A Winston-Salem earlier this year. He has appeared in eight games and owns a 3.50 ERA. Banks has struck out 28 batters.
Pensacola 5-1, Tennessee 0-2
Jose Lopez was brilliant in game one of a doubleheader against the Tennessee Smokies Tuesday night.
The Blue Wahoos pitcher worked seven innings and gave up just one hit while striking out seven as he helped propel Pensacola to a 5-0 win, its 13th shutout win of the season.
Lopez faced just one batter over the minimum 21 in the seven-inning game and pushed his record to 7-1. His ERA stands at 2.43.
Pensacola snapped a four-game losing streak with the victory. Joe Hudson drove in a run in the first and Nick Senzel brought home a run in the third with his 12th double at the Double-A level.
Gavin LaValley’s base hit gave the Blue Wahoos a 3-0 lead before Senzel and VanMeter both drove in runs in the seventh.
Senzel finished with three hits and Gabriel Guerrero finished his night with two hits, his 33rd multi-hit game of the year. Blake Trahan racked up two hits as well.
Pensacola didn’t have the same luck in the second game, falling 2-1. Austin Ross pitched his first game since July 7 and gave up one run on five hits while striking out two.
The Blue Wahoos are 21-24 in the second half of the season and sit in fourth place in the Southern League South Division standings. They trail first-place Mobile by two games.
Southern League Spotlight: Jose Mujica struck out a season-high seven batters and helped lead Montgomery to its third consecutive win as the Biscuits topped Mobile 7-1 at Hank Aaron Stadium.
Muijica made his 21st start of the year in the game and gave up just one run on five hits in seven innings of work. He earned his 10th win of the season, which ties him for the second-most in the Southern League this season.
The Tampa Bay prospect out of Venezuela has spent most of his season in Montgomery. He signed with the Rays when he was only 16 years old as a non-drafted free agent. This is his first season at the Double-A level.
Tennessee 6, Pensacola 5
The Blue Wahoos couldn’t hang onto a five-run lead against Tennessee Sunday and fell 6-5 to the Smokies. It was their fourth consecutive loss and Pensacola is now in fourth place in the Southern League South Division. With a 20-23 record, the Blue Wahoos are three games behind first-place Mobile in the second-half standings.
Pensacola scored four of its runs in the third inning, with Josh VanMeter driving in his second run of the game off his 26th double of the year. He drove in a run in the first inning as well.
Tennessee battled back in the fifth, scoring five runs. Charcer Burks then knocked in the winning run in the sixth to lift the Smokies to the victory.
Gabriel Guerrero led Pensacola with four hits. It’s the 32nd time this year he has had a multi-hit game. It’s also the second time he has come through with four hits in a game. VanMeter racked up three hits.
Deck McGuire started for Pensacola and gave up seven hits in five innings of work. He struck out eight. Robert Stock took the loss. He’s 6-2 on the season.
Southern League Spotlight: Brian Navarreto had an impressive day at the plate for Chattanooga, driving in five runs in a 17-5 win over Jackson at AT&T Field.
Navarreto came through with three hits on the day as helped Chattanooga put up hits highest run total of the season. The Lookouts scored eight of their runs in the first inning.
Navarreto was drafted in the sixth round by Minnesota in 2013 and has been with Chattanooga for only nine games since getting promoted to Double-A from High-A Fort Myers.
Birmingham 5, Pensacola 2
Pensacola’s rally attempt fell short in a 5-2 loss to Birmingham Thursday night at Regions Field.
The Blue Wahoos trailed 3-0 in the seventh when Nick Senzel smashed a home run to left, his fifth since joining the Blue Wahoos earlier this summer.
Chad Tromp then drove in a run to cut the Barons’ lead to 3-2. That was as close as Pensacola would get as it lost the series three games to two. Pensacola finished 6-4 against Birmingham this season.
The Blue Wahoos now sit in second place in the Southern League South Division with a 20-20 record. Mobile leads the division with a 21-19 record and is hoping to clinch a second-half playoff berth. Pensacola won the first half and is already assured of a postseason spot.
Southern League Spotlight: Joel Payamps threw his first career shutout as he helped Jackson knock off Tennessee 4-0 in the first game of a doubleheader Thursday.
Payamps threw 53 of his 84 pitches for strikes and faced just two batters over the minimum. He struck out six and walked two as he pushed his record to 5-5. The Dominican Republic native has appeared in 13 games with Jackson and owns a 5.40 ERA. He has struck out 41 batters.
Pensacola 7, Birmingham 0
Nick Senzel probably won’t be cooling off anytime soon.
The top prospect of the Cincinnati Reds tallied two hits, drove in two runs and stole a base as well as he helped Pensacola top Birmingham 7-0 at Regions Field Wednesday night. It’s the 12th shutout win of the year for Pensacola.
Senzel is batting .329 since earning a call-up from High-A Daytona and has racked up 46 hits in 37 games for the Double-A Blue Wahoos.
Jose Lopez turned in a strong performance on the mound, throwing six scoreless innings and allowing only four hits. He struck out four as he pushed his record to 4-1 on the year. He owns a 2.69 ERA and opened the game by striking out three of the first four Barons he faced. Lopez owns a 1.13 ERA over the last five games he has started.
Pensacola improved to 20-19 in the second half of the season and is 60-49 overall on the year. The Blue Wahoos remain in a tie with Mobile for first place in the Southern League South Division.
Southern League Spotlight: Mobile is one of the hottest teams in the league at the moment. The BayBears won their fifth consecutive game Wednesday, knocking off Mississippi 6-2 at Hank Aaron Stadium. The streak is the longest of the season and keeps Mobile in a first-place tie with Pensacola in the division.
Troy Montgomery helped pave the way as he came through with three hits and scored two runs. Montgomery was drafted in the eighth round out of Ohio State by the Los Angeles Angels in 2016 and has tallied 11 hits in 15 games with the BayBears.
Birmingham 3, Pensacola 2
An early lead wasn’t enough for the Blue Wahoos in a 3-2 loss to the Barons Tuesday night at Regions Field.
Pensacola led 2-0 in the opening inning on a run-scoring double by Nick Senzel and bases-loaded walk that was drawn by Shed Long.
With the score tied at 2-2, Hunter Jones delivered the go-ahead run in the sixth for Birmingham, belting out his second home run in three games.
Deck McGuire got the start for Pensacola and gave up three runs in seven innings. He gave up seven hits and struck out six as he fell to 9-8 on the season. McGuire owns a 2.65 ERA.
Senzel’s double was his 11th at the Double-A level.
Despite the loss, Pensacola remains in first place in the Southern League South Division. The Blue Wahoos are 19-19 in the second half of the season and tied with Mobile atop the division.
Southern League Spotlight: Biloxi stretched its win streak to four games Tuesday as it knocked off Jacksonville 3-1 Tuesday at MGM Park.
Hiram Burgos got the start because Luis Ortiz was sick and he struck out seven in five innings of work. He gave up his lone run in the first inning.
It was the first win of the year for Burgos with Biloxi this season. He has appeared in three games and has struck out 16 batters.
Pensacola 4, Birmingham 1
Jesus Reyes hasn’t missed a beat since being called up to Double-A Pensacola earlier this summer.
His latest performance might have been his best, with Reyes giving up three hits and not allowing a run in six innings of work as he nailed down his first Southern League victory.
His effort helped the Blue Wahoos knock off Birmingham 4-1 Monday night at Regions Field. Reyes is 1-1 on the year and struck out 21 in his four starts. He owns a 1.54 ERA.
Reyes got plenty of support from two of Pensacola’s top offensive threats. Gavin LaValley and Gabriel Guerrero both stepped up in a big way against the Barons. LaValley tallied three hits and drove in two runs, including a two-run ground-rule double in the eighth that pushed Pensacola in front 4-0. It was his 11th double in 36 games with Pensacola.
Guerrero came through with two hits and drove in two runs in the sixth. He has 30 multi-hit games in his first season in Pensacola.
With the win, the Blue Wahoos move into sole possession of first place in the South Division. They are 19-18 in the second half of the season and lead Jacksonville by a game.
Southern League Spotlight: Chattanooga has earned a reputation as the comeback kids. The Lookouts rallied for a victory for the third consecutive game, knocking off Montgomery 7-6 Monday.
LaMonte Wade’s trip to right drove in three runs and propelled the best team in the Southern League to a win. Chattanooga is atop the North Division with a 28-9 second-half record. Wade was a ninth-round pick of Minnesota in 2015 and played college baseball at Maryland. He’s hitting .277 on the season.
Birmingham 4, Pensacola 2
Pensacola remains in first place in the Southern League South Division despite a 4-2 loss to the Birmingham Barons Sunday night at Regions Field.
The Blue Wahoos trailed 2-1 in the fourth but tied the game in the top of the seventh on a home run by Gabriel Guerrero.
Birmingham took the lead for good in the bottom of the seventh.
Tyler Rainey made his first Double-A appearance for the Blue Wahoos and took the loss. He gave up two runs on three hits and struck out one in an inning of work. Kerry Mella started the game and went six innings for Pensacola.
The Blue Wahoos are 18-18 in the second half of the season. They are tied atop the standings with Jacksonville.
Southern League Spotlight: Matt Thais stepped up in a big way for Mobile Sunday, driving in three runs in the BayBears’ 12-5 win over Mississippi.
Thais tallied three hits in the victory and has 21 hits in all since making the jump to Double-A. Thaiss was taken in the first round in 2016 by the Los Angeles Angels is hitting .288 with Mobile.
Pensacola 5, Biloxi 1
Deck McGuire was flat out dominant in Pensacola’s 5-1 win over Biloxi Thursday night at Blue Wahoos Stadium.
McGuire gave up a home run in the first inning of a game delayed nearly two hours by rain before settling down and not allowing a run or a hit over the next six innings of play.
He struck out three and walked four as he improved to 9-7 with a 2.58 ERA. McGuire has allowed just six runs over his last 4 innings and has fashioned a 0.98 ERA during that stretch.
The Blue Wahoos got a big lift offensively from Aristides Aquino, who blasted his team-leading 11th home run of the season in the second inning. Pensacola led 2-1 at that point and never looked back.
Aquino finished his night with three hits and also scored two runs.
Pensacola improved its second-half record to 17-16 and remains tied for first with Jacksonville atop the Southern League South Division.
Southern League Spotlight: Montgomery didn’t waste much time putting runs on the board in Thursday’s game against Tennessee.
The Biscuits scored five times in the first inning and soared to a 6-3 win over the Smokies.
Montgomery has won 10 of its last 13 games and is currently riding a four-game win streak.
Jake Cronenworth paved the way for the Biscuits, tallying a pair of hits, including a double. He drove in a run as well. Nathan Lukes and Joe McCarthy came through with two hits apiece as well to help the Biscuits improve to 20-13 in the second half. Montgomery trails Chattanooga by four games in the North Division.
Pensacola 4, Biloxi 1
The rain went away and so did Pensacola’s deficit. The Blue Wahoos came out of a 33-minute rain delay Wednesday night in a big way, scoring four runs in the eighth to nail down a 4-1 victory over Biloxi.
The rally was set up after Carlos Gonzalez entered the game in a relief role in the seventh.
Facing a bases-loaded jam with one out, he got one batter to pop up and the other to strike out as the score remained 1-0 in the Shuckers’ favor.
With two outs in the eighth, Nick Senzel popped the ball up but the second baseman failed to make the routine catch. The ball dropped in front of him, Senzel was safe at first and a run scored to tie the game at 1-1.
Gavin LaValley ripped a hard hit to left moments later to give Pensacola the lead for good.
Josh VanMeter finished things off with his two-run double to center that gave the Blue Wahoos a couple of insurance runs on a night when pitching dominated.
Hits were few and far between for the Blue Wahoos in the first seven innings against Jon Perrin. But Pensacola managed three hits off Nick Ramirez, who suffered the loss as he gave up all four runs.
Gonzalez came away with the win in relief of Jesus Reyes, who is still searching for his first win at the Double-A level. Gonzalez is 1-1 on the year after working 1 2/3 innings and not allowing a run or a hit. Zack Weiss picked up his sixth save, finishing off the game with a strikeout.
LaValley led the offense with two hits and helped Pensacola remain in a first-place tie with Jacksonville in the Southern League South Division. Both teams are 16-16 in the second-half standings.
Southern League Spotlight: Michael Kopech threw one of the best games of his career Wednesday, striking out a career-high 12 in Birmingham’s 3-1 win over North Division leader Chattanooga.
The highly touted Chicago White Sox prospect worked six innings and allowed just one run on two hits.
Prior to playing in the Futures Game in Miami, he had lost four of six. Since then, he’s won three consecutive starts and is living up to his hype. He has seven wins with the Barons this season.
Biloxi 5, Pensacola 4
Pensacola nearly rallied for a victory over Biloxi Tuesday night before falling 5-4 to the Shuckers at Blue Wahoos Stadium.
Down 5-1 entering the ninth inning, the Blue Wahoos pulled within two runs when Gabriel Guerrero smashed a two-run home run to right-center. Shed Long then tallied a run-scoring hit to cut Biloxi’s lead to 5-4.
Pensacola had runners on first and third when Joe Hudson came to the plate. His line drive was caught, though, as the game ended. Earlier in the game Hudson came through with a double.
Keury Mella took the loss on the mound, giving up three runs on seven hits in six innings of work. He struck out three.
Guerrero’s homer was his third of the season. Gavin LaValley came through with a pair of hits. Long also racked up two hits for Pensacola, which fell to 15-16 in the second half of the season. The Blue Wahoos remain tied with Jacksonville for first place in the South Division standings.
Southern League Spotlight: Luis Ortiz played well for Biloxi in his performance against Pensacola, going seven innings for the second consecutive game and leading the Shuckers to their 5-4 win. Ortiz is 4-5 on the year. He has allowed one run on four hits and struck out seven.
Ortiz has appeared in 17 games this season. This is his second season at the Double-A level. He has 15 wins in his three years in the minors.
Pensacola 4, Montgomery 2
An early lead wasn’t enough to prevent the Blue Wahoos from falling 4-2 to the Biscuits Sunday at Riverwalk Stadium.
The Blue Wahoos scored on run-scoring hit by Aristides Aquino. Aquino later scored on a wild pickoff attempt for a 2-0 lead in the second inning.
Domingo Tapia made a spot start for Pensacola and fell to 3-6 on the year. He owns a 3.77 ERA. Blake Trahan and Nick Senzel both tallied two hits apiece.
Southern League Spotlight: Aaron Wilkerson threw his first career nine-inning shutout Sunday as he helped Biloxi knock off the Mississippi Braves 7-0.
Wilkerson threw 111 pitches in his second complete-game of the year, striking out seven and walking only one. He has won his last three starts and is 9-4 on the season. He has been effective with his pitches, striking out 112 and walking only 25.
Montgomery 5, Pensacola 0
Pensacola was blanked for the 12th time this season on Thursday, falling 5-0 to Montgomery at Riverwalk Stadium.
The Blue Wahoos lead the league in shutout losses but also have 11 shutout wins this season.
Pensacola had no answer for Montgomery pitching, with starter Edwin Fierro earning the win as he threw five scoreless innings. He gave up four hits and struck out seven.
The Blue Wahoos left the bases loaded in the seventh, killing off a rally attempt, and had two runners on two other times during the game.
Gavin LaValley played well despite the loss, tallying two hits. Chad Tromp came through with two hits as well. Jesus Reyes made his second Double-A start and gave up three runs on eight hits.
Despite the loss, Pensacola remains in first place in the Southern League South Division with a 14-13 record in the second half of the season. The Blue Wahoos lead Jacksonville by a game.
Southern League Spotlight: Birmingham’s Michael Kopech earned his sixth win of the season Thursday in a 7-0 victory over Jackson.
Kopech gave up just four hits over eight innings and struck out eight as he shut down one of the top offenses in the Southern League. Kopech was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the first round of the 2014 draft and has won 14 games in his minor league career.
Nick Basto helped pace the offense as he smacked his 14th home run of the season. The Barons are 12-15 in the second half of the season.
Pensacola, 5, Montgomery 3
Nick Senzel’s 16-game hitting streak ended Monday night in a win over Mississippi. The top prospect of the Cincinnati Reds is hoping he started another one Wednesday after smashing a three-run home run in the seventh inning of a 5-3 win over the Biscuits in Montgomery.
The game was tied at 2-2 when Senzel hit his homer. It was his third at the Double-A level and he has now tallied 28 hits in 19 games. He also doubled in Wednesday’s win.
Pensacola led 2-0 early after an RBI-hit by Tyler Goeddel and a home run by Gabriel Guerrero. Guerrero finished the night with three hits. It was his 28th multi-hit game of the year.
Robert Stock got the win in relief. He pitched two scoreless innings, giving up one hit and striking out one.
The Blue Wahoos are 14-12 on the year and leads Jacksonville by a game in the second-half Southern League South Division standings.
Southern League Spotlight: Mississippi Braves pitcher Mike Soroka struck out 12 batters in Wednesday’s 3-2 win over Biloxi.
Soroka is just 19 years old and is now 10-5 with a 2.38 ERA. The 28th overall pick of the 2015 Major League Draft has 19 wins in his minor league career. Soroka gave up two runs on two hits in seven innings of work his latest outing. He has struck out 91 batters this year in first season of Double-A ball.
Pensacola 5, Mississippi 2
Shed Long and Josh VanMeter both smashed home runs to left field in the second inning and Jose Lopez was effective in his latest start as the Blue Wahoos closed out a series against the Mississippi Braves with a 5-2 win Monday night in front of a crowd of 4,363.
Long came into the night hitting only .123 but smacked a home run moments after VanMeter crushed his fourth of the season. The two big hits put Pensacola in front 2-0. Both players finished with three hits. VanMeter drove in his second run of the night in the fourth, pushing the Blue Wahoos in front 4-0.
Jose Lopez earned his fourth win of the season. He allowed just one run on two hits and struck out two. He is 4-1 on the season and has been one of the Blue Wahoos’ best pitchers in the second half of the season.
“He was great,” Pensacola manager Pat Kelly said. He was going after hitters and throwing strikes.”
The Blue Wahoos took three of five from the M-Braves in a back-and-forth series and sit in first place in the Southern League South Division standings. They are 13-12 and a half game up on rival Mobile in the battle for the second-half crown. Pensacola won the first half title and is already assured of a postseason berth.
Southern League Spotlight: Kyle Hendricks and Duane Underwood Jr. of the Tennessee Smokies nearly combined for a perfect game in a 3-2 win over Mobile Monday night.
Hendricks, on a rehab assignment for the Chicago Cubs, went five innings and Underwood finished the game out. He retired the first 10 batters he faced before giving up a base hit in the ninth to end the bid for a perfect game. Hendricks struck out three and threw 43 of his pitches for strikes. Underwood gave up two runs on four hits and struck out five. He improved to 9-4 on the year.
Pensacola 4, Mississippi 3
Nick Senzel is the top prospect in the Cincinnati Reds organization for a reason. On Sunday, he lived up to his hype once again, smacking a walk-off base hit in the ninth to lead the Blue Wahoos to a 4-3 win over the M-Braves.
Senzel is one of the hottest hitters in the Southern League at the moment and his hit streak now stands at 16 games. He is hitting .383 during his streak and has driven in 12 runs.
Gabriel Guerrero tied the game earlier in the day when he smashed double to right to drive in a pair of runs and even the score at 2-2. The M-Braves went back in front 3-2 in the seventh.
Zack Weiss earned the win, his first of the year, as he worked one inning and did not allow a run or a hit.
Pensacola is 12-12 in the second half of the season and is a half game back of the Mobile BayBears.
Southern League Spotlight: Grayson Long turned in an impressive performance for Mobile Sunday, striking out seven batters in six innings of work in a 6-0 victory over Tennessee.
Long allowed four hits and walked only one as he improved to 5-5 on the year. Long is tied for the team-lead in strikeouts (79) and owns the sixth-best ERA in the Southern League (2.76).
Mississippi 2, Pensacola 0
Keury Mella wasn’t bad at all for the Pensacola Blue Wahoos in Thursday’s series opener against Mississippi.
The M-Braves’ Mike Soroka was just a little better as the Blue Wahoos fell 2-0 in a game showcasing two young and talented pitching prospects.
Mella went seven innings and gave up two runs on six hits on a night when he retired the last seven batters he faced. He struck out six and did not issue a walk.
But the Blue Wahoos were unable to get anything going offensively against Soroka, who went seven innings as well and gave up four hits while striking out six. He didn’t walk a batter either. Soroka leads the Southern League in wins (10) and is a former hockey player out of Canada.
Though the Blue Wahoos had their four-game win streak snapped, highly touted Reds prospect Nick Senzel remains hot at the plate. He stretched his hitting streak to 13 games, racking up a double in the third inning.
Senzel has tallied 15 hits since making the jump to Double-A. Former Red Sox prospect Nick Longhi managed a hit as well, pushing his hit streak to six games.
Pensacola fell to 10-11 in the second half of the season and is a game back of Jacksonville in the South Division standings.
Southern League Spotlight: Jordan Stephens won his first game of the season for Birmingham Thursday, leading the Barons to a 4-1 win over Biloxi on the road. Stephens improved to 1-2 in the seven starts he has made for the Barons after working 7 2/3 innings. He gave up five hits and struck out four.
Stephens lowered his ERA to 1.48 and is in the midst of his first season at the Double-A level. The fifth-round pick of the Chicago White Sox has given up nine runs this season and has struck out 31 while walking 11.
Chattanooga 5, Pensacola 3
Pensacola’s bid for a third consecutive win over Chattanooga was halted in a 5-3 loss to the Lookouts in 12 innings Wednesday.
The Blue Wahoos tied the game at 3-3 in the seventh thanks to Tyler Goeddel’s home run to left. It was his fifth homer of the season.
But the Lookouts responded with two runs in the 12th, knocking the Blue Wahoos to 1-6 in extra-inning games this season. They are 10-10 overall while Chattanooga improved to 15-5 in the second half of the season.
The Blue Wahoos led 2-0 early. Nick Longhi’s base hit drove in Nick Senzel in the first and Chad Tromp’s hit knocked in Gabriel Guerrero for a 2-0 lead.
Although the Blue Wahoos lost, highly touted Cincinnati Reds prospect Nick Senzel stretched his hitting streak to 12 games. He finished with three hits in the game.
Reliever Geoff Broussard took the loss. He worked two innings and gave up two runs on one hit.
Southern League Spotlight: Matt Thaiss turned in a memorable performance for the Mobile BayBears Wednesday night, racking up three hits and driving in a run to help lift Mobile to an 11-5 win over Birmingham at Regions Field.
Thaiss, the No. 16 overall pick in the 2016 draft, was just promoted to Double-A, flying in from California where he was playing with High-A Inland Empire of the California League. Thaiss is batting .270 this season and has racked up 50 RBIs. He’s also belted out eight home runs.
Pensacola 4, Chattanooga 1
Jose Lopez was nothing short of brilliant in Tuesday night’s game against the Chattanooga Lookouts.
The right-handed Blue Wahoos struck out nine of the first 10 batters he faced and went on to strike out a career-high 11 batters in all in a 4-1 victory at Blue Wahoos Stadium.
Lopez, though, didn’t get the win. He left after seven innings with the Lookouts leading 1-0. He gave up one run on three hits and issued just one walk. His only mistake was a solo homer he allowed to Max Murphy. It was Murphy’s first Double-A homer and ended a no-hit bid for Lopez.
The Blue Wahoos struck back in the eighth, loading the bases before Tyler Goeddel drove in two runs with a double. An error after a grounder by Josh VanMeter led to two more runs coming across.
Geoff Broussard earned the win, striking out two in a scoreless eighth and Zack Weiss picked up the save, his fourth in his last five appearances.
Pensacola won its second consecutive game to improve to 10-9 in the second half and forge a tie atop the South Division standings with Jacksonville. The Blue Wahoos have already won the first-half division crown and are gunning for their fifth consecutive division title.
Southern League Spotlight: Ronald Acuna hit his ninth home run of the season, including his third in the last six games in the Mississippi Braves’ game against Jacksonville Tuesday. The M-Braves led 6-1 before falling 8-7 to the Jumbo Shrimp.
Acuna, fresh off representing Venezuela in the Futures Game in Miami over the weekend, is one of Atlanta’s top prospects and is .318 in 56 games with the M-Braves this season.
Pensacola 3, Chattanooga 2
Nick Longhi crushed a three-run home run in the sixth inning that turned the tide for the Pensacola Blue Wahoos in a 3-2 win over the Chattanooga Lookouts Monday night at Blue Wahoos Stadium.
Longhi, who came to Pensacola in a trade Boston made with Cincinnati earlier this month, knocked the shot to left with the Blue Wahoos trailing 2-0. It was his first homer in a Pensacola uniform. He hit six homers while playing for the Portland Sea Dogs, the Double-A affiliate of the Red Sox.
Chattanooga has had Pensacola’s number, winning 10 of its first 11 meetings. This was only Pensacola’s second win against the Lookouts this year. The Lookouts and Blue Wahoos are the first-half champions of the North and South Divisions, respectively.
Rookie Davis got the start in his first game with the Blue Wahoos this season. He appeared in five games with Cincinnati and went 1-2. He gave up a two-run homer in the fourth to T.J. White, one of only two hits he allowed. He struck out two and walked three.
Reliever Robert Stock picked up the win in three innings of work. He struck out four and did not allow a hit as he improved to 5-1. The Blue Wahoos are 9-9 in the second half and 49-39 overall. They are in a three-way tie for first in the division.
Southern League Spotlight: Biloxi’s Michael Choice put on a one-man hitting show Monday night in a road game against Jacksonville, smashing three home runs in the Shuckers’ 8-4 win over the Jumbo Shrimp.
It’s the first time in the career of the former first-round pick of the Milwaukee Brewers that he has hit three homers in a game. He has seven homers in 41 games with Biloxi and is batting .280.
Choice has experience at the Major League level as well, playing in 96 games and hitting .188. He last played in the Majors in 2015 when he appeared in one game with the Texas Rangers.