Short Staff Does the Job in 4-3 Victory
A rare early Sunday road trip, which occurred less than a day after two of their top pitchers advanced to Triple-A, the Blue Wahoos kept on course.
A trio of pitchers stepped up to help produce a 4-3 win against the Mississippi Braves, giving the Blue Wahoos a fifth consecutive victory and further momentum in a postseason quest.
The win followed Saturday night's series-finale win in Pensacola against the Chattanooga Lookouts. The Blue Wahoos bid goodbye after that game to acclaimed righthanders Brusdar Graterol and Jorge Alcala, both called up to join the Rochester Red Wings.
But they received a gutsy effort Sunday from starter Jhoan Duran (2-3), who overcame nine hits to allow only three runs in five innings with five strikeouts to earn the win.
Relievers Jovani Moran and Anthony Vizcaya followed with shutout innings to preserve the win.
Moran produced a season-high, three innings of flawless relief. He did not allow a hit or a walk and struck out five batters.
Vizcaya earned his fourth save, the third in the past four chances, by escaping a ninth-inning jam. With one out, he gave a single to Riley Unroe, then walked Lane Adams, putting the game-winning run on base.
But he struck out Braden Shewmake, then got Trey Harris to hit a liner to center fielder Jimmy Kerrigan that ended the game.
The bottom half of the Blue Wahoos batting order, which included Kerrigan, Caleb Hamilton and Mark Contreras, had three of the four RBI.
With the win, the Blue Wahoos (30-24 second half, 58-66 overall) moved to 4.5 games behind division leader Biloxi in the Southern League South Division race. The Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp are three back.
In the wild card battle for second-best overall record, the Blue Wahoos opened an eight-game lead over Jacksonville, 10 games over the M-Braves, and would reach the playoffs if Biloxi claims the second half division race.
The M-Braves took a 2-0 lead in the second inning. Ryan Casteel led off with a double. One out later, William Contreras hit an RBI double. Carlos Martinez followed with a two-out, RBI single.
The Blue Wahoos erased the deficit in the fourth inning, scoring three runs after two outs and no one on base. The next six Blue Wahoos batters reached base.
Ryan Costello walked. Kerrigan drove him home with a double. Contreras followed with a triple to score Kerrigan. Hamilton then singled home Contreras for the go-ahead run.
In the fifth inning, Trevor Larnach blasted his fifth home run since joining the Wahoos, a solo shot over the centerfield wall that became the game-winning run.
After the M-Braves answered with a run in the bottom of the inning off Duran, the bullpen took over in the sixth inning and finished the win.
The M-Braves outhit the Blue Wahoos 10-6. There were no multiple hits in the Wahoos lineup. Willians Astudillo, on his fourth game of a rehab assignment, went 0-for-4, his first hitless game.
The teams will play a doubleheader Monday, beginning at 5:05 p.m. in a pair of 7-inning games. One is a makeup of the July 20 game in Pensacola, which was wiped out by rain.
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Jovani Moran of the Pensacola Blue Wahoos signs an autograph for a young fan
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Southern League Stories from August 18, 2019
- Short Staff Does the Job in 4-3 Victory - Pensacola Blue Wahoos
- Generals Sneak by Smokies in Opener, 3-2 - Jackson Generals
- Smokies Edged in Series Opener at Jackson - Tennessee Smokies
- Too Much Lookouts Power for Mobile - Chattanooga Lookouts
- Nolan Guides Barons Past Shrimp in Opener - Birmingham Barons
- M-Braves Drop Series Opener to Wahoos - Mississippi Braves
- Barons Top Shrimp 6-2 - Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp
- Shuckers Blanked by Biscuits in Series Opener - Biloxi Shuckers
- Biscuits Blank Shuckers, 4-0 - Montgomery Biscuits
- Generals Gameday: August 18 vs. Tennessee - Jackson Generals
- Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp: Game Notes, August 18 at Birmingham - Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp
- Homestand Highlights: August 18-22 vs. Pensacola Blue Wahoos - Mississippi Braves
- Blue Wahoos Staff Stifles Lookouts - Pensacola Blue Wahoos
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