Pena, PCL Win All-Star Nail-biter

Nashville reliever Luis Pena gets win despite giving up three runs in ninth inning of Triple AAA All-Star game, while West Virginia resumes winning ways.

Nashville

The Pacific Coast League mustered only three hits and no runs through eight innings before exploding for six runs in the ninth and then hanging on for a 6-5 decision against the International League in Wednesday night's Triple AAA All-Star contest in Louisville.

Sounds closer Luis Pena struck out the only batter he faced to end the eighth but then allowed three IL runs on three hits, including a homer, before closing out the ninth to get credit for the victory.

Nashville catcher Vinny Rottino started but finished 0-2, while lefty Lindsay Gulin worked the third inning, allowing one hit but striking out two.

The Sounds open a three-game series at Iowa on Friday night.

Huntsville

The Stars (14-12) failed in their first big opportunity at catching Tennessee for the North Division lead, dropping a 3-1 decision to the Smokies in the first showdown of a four-game series and falling three back.

The first-place Smokies improved to 17-9 but had built their lead with a 12-5 mark versus the two teams in the divisional cellars, including an 8-3 record against first-half winner West Tennessee.

But that didn't matter Wednesday night as Huntsville managed only an eighth-inning run and seven hits. Shortstop Alcides Escobar finished 2 for 4 and registered the Stars' lone RBI, while center fielder Lorenzo Cain went 2 for 2, both hits going for doubles.

Huntsville starter Brae Wright did all he could, allowing two runs on seven hits while striking out seven through eight innings.

Brevard County

The last-place Manatees (8-16) were rained out at home against Clearwater, so they are scheduled to tangle in a doubleheader Thursday against the Thrashers (7-15), who are in the West Division cellar.

Righty Jeremy Jeffress is scheduled to start the opener for Brevard County, while southpaw Bobby Bramhall will pitch the nightcap.

West Virginia

Designated hitter Logan Schafer's two run single, his first RBIs since coming up from Helena, highlighted a five-run sixth and left fielder Anderson De La Rosa's two-run double spearheaded a four-run seventh as the Power pounded out 17 hits in whipping Columbus, 14-4, in the first meeting of the current second-half division leaders.

Second baseman Eric Farris, right fielder Steffan Wilson and center fielder Caleb Gindl each had three hits through six innings. Wilson and Gindl finished with four each. Wilson and De La Rosa knocked in three runs apiece and catcher Eric Fryer and shortstop Matt Cline scored three runs each.

West Virginia improved its South Atlantic League-best record to 19-7 while breaking a two-game losing skid and maintaining its three-game lead over Lakewood in the Northern Division.

Power starter Evan Anundsen (9-4) allowed one run on three hits through six innings and finished seven frames, giving up six hits and three runs while striking out two.

Helena

The Brewers (14-14) grabbed an early advantage but couldn't maintain it, losing 5-3 to Idaho Falls on the road.

Third baseman John Delaney started 3 for 3 with a double and triple and two runs scored as the Brewers grabbed a 3-1 lead in the top of the fifth but finished 3 for 4. Helena managed only four other hits, including shortstop Michael Marseco's triple.

Daniel Meadows gave up three runs during the first 4.1 innings, but Mark Willinsky and Rolando Pascual combined for 2.2 scoreless innings. Nick Tyson (0-2) was roughed up for two walks, three hits and two runs in the eighth to take the loss.

Arizona

The Brewers (4-15) bolted to a 9-0 advantage after four innings and held on for a 9-8 triumph over the mistake-prone Cubs, who committed five errors that led to four unearned runs.

Right fielder Hitaniel Arias swatted his second homer of the year and second in the last four games, a three-run shot in the first, and finished with four RBIs. Left fielder Jose Garcia and center fielder Miguel Vasquez each tripled and knocked in a run, while Garcia and third baseman Joey Paciorek scored twice.

Supplemental pick Seth Lintz (53rd overall) made his first appearance, pitching the first inning and allowing a hit and a walk with one strikeout. Cody Scarpetta (1-0) was the Brewers' third pitcher, notching five strikeouts in two scoreless innings. Brandon Rapoza, the seventh hurler to work, fanned two in the ninth to register his first save.


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