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Pensacola Pitching Falters in Loss to Tennessee

May 22, 2019 - Southern League (SL) - Pensacola Blue Wahoos News Release

The Blue Wahoos started their longest road trip Wednesday in a tough way.

Their league-best pitching took a hit, after the Tennessee Smokies jumped to a big league and cruised to a 9-3 victory against the Blue Wahoos in the series opener at Smokies Stadium in Kodak, Tenn.

Five relievers followed Blue Wahoos starter Andro Cutera, who faced only 11 batters and gave up six hits and three runs. In the fourth inning, Adam Bray was unable to get an out in the seven batters he faced as the Smokies extended a 3-1 lead into 8-1.

It was the second-most runs allowed by the Blue Wahoos this season. The Blue Wahoos (28-18) entered Wednesday with a 2.61 earned run average, the lowest among all 30 Double-A teams, and watched it jump 15 points tonight.

The Smokies (23-22), the Chicago Cubs affiliate, counter in this series with the Southern League's best team batting average (.247) and they padded their league-best hit total Wednesday with 12 hits, all singles.

But with the Mobile BayBears beating Biloxi, the Blue Wahoos did not lose ground Wednesday atop the standings with a four game lead.

It was Cutura's first start for the Blue Wahoos since April 19. He has been on the injured list since making his last appearance in a relief role on April 25.

The game followed the first off day for both teams in 20 days. The Blue Wahoos left at mid-day Tuesday for the 525 mile trip to Kodak, located just outside of Knoxville.

Tennessee shortstop Vimael Machin went 4-for-5 in the game and drove in three runs. First baseman Jared Young also had three RBI.

The Blue Wahoos briefly tied the game in the top of the second when Caleb Hamilton led off with a double, moved to third on Ben Rortvedt's single and scored on Ernie De La Trinidad's sacrifice fly.

But in the bottom of the second, after Cutura retired the first two batters, he gave up two singles, along with a wild pitch that led to the first run. He was lifted after the next two batters reached on a walk and single.

The Blue Wahoos got two runs in the fifth on RBI singles from Mitchell Kranson and Rortvedt, who went 3-for-4 in the game. Hamilton and Alex Kirilloff each had two hits.

The teams will play the second game of this series Thursday at 7 p.m.


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