Blue Wahoos Seven-Game Win Streak Ends In Pitching Duel

July 30, 2019

With his latest gem, Miami Marlins top prospect Sixto Sanchez put a chill Monday night to the Blue Wahoos’ hot bats and season-best win streak.

Sanchez, 20-year-old right-hander with a rising future, worked six scoreless innings, allowing just two hits, for a second consecutive shutout outing, this one leading the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp to a 1-0 victory against the Blue Wahoos at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville.

The result ended the Blue Wahoos seven-game win streak despite getting outstanding pitching of their own.

Bryan Sammons, who allowed just three hits and a run in 4.2 innings, absorbed the hard-luck loss. Relievers Anthony Vizcaya and Tom Hackimer followed Sammons and yielded just one hit, no walks.

For the first time in a week, the Blue Wahoos were unable to supply enough offense.

They were held to just three hits, one of those a double by newcomer shortstop Royce Lewis, the Minnesota Twins’ consensus top overall prospect.

In a strange twist, Lewin Diaz, who began the series Saturday with the Blue Wahoos (56-51 overall) as their popular first baseman, then was traded to the Marlins organization during Saturday’s game, played first base Monday for the Jumbo Shrimp. He went 0-for-4 in the game, his first as opposing player.

Diaz was part of a trade that sent Miami Marlins’ top reliever Sergio Romo to the Twins, along with minor league pitching prospect Chris Vallimont, in exchange for the left-handed, power-hitting Diaz.

When the trade was finalized Saturday, it happened right before Diaz was due up at the plate for the Blue Wahoos in the seventh inning. Knowing what was going on, Blue Wahoos’ Ivan De Jesus Jr., a major league veteran seeking to make a comeback, alertly grabbed a bat and stepped out to the plate as a pinch-hitter.

Diaz at that moment was suddenly ineligible to play for Pensacola. He was not in the lineup Sunday for Jacksonville.

Sanchez (7-4, 2.96 ERA), the No. 1 rated Marlins prospect by MLB Pipeline, allowed just two hits and a walk in his outing. It followed a seven-inning shutout he weaved six days earlier against the first place Biloxi Shuckers.

Two Jumbo Shrimp relievers, Tommy Eveld and Dylan Lee followed. They combined to allow just one hit, one walk. Lee picked up his 12th save.

The game’s only run occurred in the first inning when Jumbo Shrimp designated hitter smacked a solo homer off Sammons.

In the final five innings, the Blue Wahoos had two baserunners. In the seventh, Mark Contreras led off with a walk, but was thrown out on a steal attempt at second base. In the ninth, Trevor Larnach hit a one-out single, but Lee got Ryan Jeffers to pop out and struck out Contreras to end the game.

The teams will continue the series Tuesday night.

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