Jumbo Shrimp Beat The Pensacola Blue Wahoos

June 1, 2017

The Pensacola Blue Wahoos pitching staff gave up a season-high 11 walks Wednesday to the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, not to mention 10 hits.

That allowed Jacksonville to snap its six-game losing streak to Pensacola this season, winning, 9-8, on a homer to lead off the ninth inning by shortstop Alex Yarbrough in front of 4,102 at Blue Wahoos Stadium.

The most walks the Blue Wahoos have given up is 13 in the 2014 season.

“The walks were killers,” Pensacola Manager Pat Kelly said. “Our bullpen has been so good but they were hurt by walks today.”

The Blue Wahoos dropped to 29-23 but remain in first place in the Southern League South Division. This season Pensacola has been out of first place just six days.

The game Thursday also featured the Double-A debut of 23-year-old right-hander Jose Lopez.

The second batter of the game, Jacksonville second baseman KC Serna, welcomed him to the Southern League by clobbering a home run to left field to put the Jumbo Shrimp ahead, 1-0. Lopez also walked one and allowed a single but closed the inning by striking out Jumbo Shrimp catcher Austin Nola. He threw 33 pitches in the first inning, 21 for strikes.

However, Pensacola came right back for Lopez with two runs in the bottom of the first to take the lead, 2-1. Blue Wahoos left fielder Tyler Goeddel scored on right fielder Aristides Aquino’s single up the middle. Then center fielder Gabriel Guerrero crossed the plate on first baseman Eric Jagielo’s ground out to shortstop.

Lopez was called up from High-A Daytona Tortugas on May 30 to replace Pensacola starter Austin Ross, the Southern League ERA leader (1.21), who was promoted to Triple-A Louisville Bats.

Pensacola went ahead, 6-1, in the fourth inning that included a solo homer by Jagielo and two-run homer by catcher Adrian Nieto that rocketed into the Hill Kelly Dodge berm. Goeddel then doubled on a grounder that hugged the third base line to score Nieto.

But Jacksonville came right back in the fifth inning against Lopez, scoring three runs to pull the Jumbo Shrimp within, 6-4, when first baseman Cal Towey launched a high fly ball out of sight over the right field wall.

It was the second homer off Blue Wahoos’ Lopez who then walked the next batter and was relieved by Robert Stock. In his first game, Lopez ended up working 4.2 innings, and giving up four runs on four hits and six walks. He struck out five in his 101-pitch outing.

“He made some good pitches,” Kelly said. “He hurt himself with walks. Overall, I liked his stuff and liked his composure.”

After Jacksonville pulled within, 6-4, Pensacola scored two more runs in the sixth inning to go ahead, 8-4. Goeddel singled in Angelo Gumbs with two outs and then third baseman Josh VanMeter hit a sharp grounder to right field to score Goeddel.

However, Pensacola reliever Ariel Hernandez gave up two hits, two walks and four runs in 0.1 innings to allow Jacksonville to knot the game, 8-8, in the seventh. The big blows came on back-to-back triples by Yarbrough and Jeremias Pineda that each drove in a run for the Jumbo Shrimp. Hernandez entered the game leading the Southern League with seven holds in his 19 appearances.

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