Pensacola Loses Marathon

Pensacola fans were treated to a lot of extra baseball Sunday but unfortunately it ended with a Wahoo loss in sixteen innings. Yorman Rodriguez had three hits and was instrumental when the fish built an early lead. He took some lumps at the lower levels as a teenager, but now appears ready for AAA as a 21 year-old next season.

Things started off well for the Pensacola Saturday when they increased their lead to six runs in the sixth, but the Blue Wahoos went on to allow five in the ninth and eventually lost 8-6 to visiting Jacksonville in sixteen innings. They took an early lead in the fourth after their first four batters hit safely. Devin Lohman and Yorman Rodriguez led off with singles before Mike Costanzo hit a ground rule double for one run and Travis Mattair singled in another. That bunch struck again in the third when Rodriguez led off with a double, scored on a single by Costanzo who advanced on another Mattair single before scoring on a double play. In the fourth Ray Chang singled and scored on a Rodriguez double. Chang led off the sixth with another hit and later scored on a groundout. That would be the last time the fish would cross the plate as the Suns shut them out over the next ten innings.

Rodriguez had three hits including two doubles and an RBI. Ryan LaMarre also had three hits and has gone 11-35 (.314) over his last nine games. Costanzo, Mattair, and Chang contributed two hits apiece. On the mound Josh Smith tossed six shutout innings, allowing four hits/one walk while striking out five and turned over a six-run lead, but got no decision. Trevor Bell, Lee Hyde, and Jamie Walczak combined for six scoreless frames in extra innings before Chris Manno gave up a couple of homers for the loss.

Rodriguez has been steady since his promotion to AA earlier this season, hitting .274/.337 OB. He'll turn twenty-one years old this week and though not likely, he's on the 40-man roster and it would be easy to call him up to the Reds after roster expansion. He's not ready for a lot of duty at the MLB level right now, but Cincinnati has a lot invested in him and they haven't been reluctant to fast track him up the system thus far. He's still polishing his skills and doesn't figure to see much action this year after the minor league seasons end early next month, but it wouldn't be a total shock to see him made available to the parent team in case they want an extra outfielder on the bench. Their 40-man is a bit short in its list of outfielders and even though Donald Lutz wasn't expected to see MLB action early in the season a couple of injuries pulled him up to the major leagues for two months.

Actually early season injuries probably prompted the Reds to add some veteran outfielders to their AA roster to provide additional depth. Despite that they found room to advance Rodriguez when he showed signs of readiness and he responded by proving that he belongs at the higher level. He's gone through some learning curves while climbing up the system as a young man, but given the way he's been handled thus far he'll probably start next season in AAA as a 21 year-old.

Rodriguez has been playing with the standard label given to high-profile international free agent that signs as teenagers: "raw skills with a ton of potential". He's now completing his fifth professional season and there's less of an excuse for his skills to be raw. It's not an easy job projecting a future on a kid signing a multi-million dollar deal two days after his sixteenth birthday but by now they have a better idea on what he could become. It appears they are still high on his future, though he has yet to show the power at the plate to become the five-tool player that was originally projected. That doesn't mean it won't eventually come, he did crack double digit homer this year, or that he won't become a very good player. One thing that looks certain is that Cincinnati is committed to seeing whatever type player he turns into happen while he's still in their organization.

Other Organizational News:

The Reds snapped a three-game winning streak with a 3-1 home loss to San Diego. They committed four errors in the game including a couple in the first inning that allowed two unearned runs. Tony Cingrani took the loss for allowing them and no earned runs over five innings pitched over which he limited the Padres to two hits/two walks, struck out five, and lowered his ERA to 2.87. The Reds offense was limited to four hits and the only RBI came on a Brandon Phillips single in the first.

Louisville allowed five runs in the seventh inning in their 8-1 loss to visiting Columbus. Billy Hamilton finished with two of the Bats five hits and scored their only run. Daniel Corcino's outing wasn't bad, but he allowed a couple of runs in the fourth which cost him the loss. He finished allowing two runs on four hits/four walks over six innings with four strikeouts.

Bakersfield took a three-run lead in the fourth inning and held on for a 3-2 win at San Jose. The Blaze runs came from a solo home run by Juan Silverio in the first and a two-run homer by Kyle Waldrop in the fourth. Those two both had two of their team's seven hits in the game. Robert Stephenson got the win from a dominant start, allowing only one hit and one walk over six shutout innings that included nine strikeouts. Pat Doyle allowed two runs when he pitched the ninth, but still qualified for the save.

Dayton took the lead with five runs in the fifth inning in a 7-6 win at Fort Wayne. Seth Mejias-Brean went 4-5 with two doubles and two RBI to raise his average over .300. Phil Ervin and Sammy Diaz had three hits each while Jesse Winker and Tanner Rahier stroked two singles apiece. Geraldo Valor popped a solo homer in the fifth inning rally. Amir Garrett got the start, but he didn't last long and allowed four runs in less than two innings pitched. Jackson Stephens got the win for a "quality non-start", allowing one run on five hits in six-plus innings of relief while striking out five. Alejandro Chacin allowed a run in less than one inning pitched but still got the save.

Billings scored one run in three consecutive innings for a 3-2 home win over Helena. Ty Washington reached base with two hits and a walk and Jon Matthews stroked two doubles. Luke Moran got the win for five shutout innings, allowing six hits/one walk and striking out six. Austin Muerhing allowed an unearned run in 1 2/3 innings for the save.

The AZL Reds allowed four runs in the first inning and another four in the third in their 10-3 loss to the AZL Indians. Aristides Aquino led the Reds with three hits while Jose Fernandez stroked two. Nick Routt took the loss for allowing six runs in two innings.

The DSL Reds lost a lead when they allowed three runs in the fourth inning in their 5-2 loss to the DSL Twins. Jose Siri had two of the five Reds hits. Pedro Damian took the loss for allowing four runs (three earned) in four-plus innings.

The DSL Rojos dropped a pair of games to the DSL Yankees1. They finished a rain-delayed affair from Friday and lost 6-2. Anthony Rubicondo had two of the Rojos' six hits and Wendolyn Bautista took the loss for allowing four runs (two earned) over the first four innings. In the regularly scheduled game the Yankees1 prevailed 5-2. The Rojos offense was limited to three hits and Warlin Pena took the loss for allowing three runs over the first two innings.

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