Pensacola Sets Record for Runs

The struggling offense at Pensacola came alive Sunday in an 11-4 win over Montgomery. The Wahoo rotation has been effective thus far this season and Cincinnati is hoping their 11-4 win is a sign that the bats are ready to help them make a second half run in the Southern League

Sunday the Pensacola Wahoos crossed the plate eleven times in their 11-4 win at Montgomery. They jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the second inning which was led off by a home run by Travis Mattair and RBI hits from Brodie Greene and Danny Vicioso. Then they added on with a two-run rally the next inning that was started by a walk to Mattair and a David Vidal single. The Biscuits cut into the lead after that before the Wahoos blew the game open with six runs in the seventh. Theo Bowe led off with a bunt single and crossed when the next batter, Ryan LaMarre, doubled. Mattair followed with another walk and stole second before David Vidal doubled home two. Lohman singled him home and scored on a homer by Vicioso.

Vicioso finished with three hits and three RBI. Vidal and Brodie Greene reached safely three times each with two hits and a walk. Mattair also reached thrice with a hit and two walks. Lohman added two hits to the eleven-hit Fish attack. The output set a team record for most runs in a game for Pensacola who is now in their second season of professional baseball. Chad Rogers got the start and an early exit. He allowed three runs (two earned) on three hits and three walks before he left after a home run and hit batsman in the fourth inning. Sean Ellis relieved him with two-plus scoreless innings for the win. Brian Pearl followed with a scoreless frame before Chris Manno allowed one unearned run over the final two.

The outburst was a welcomed change for Pensacola who entered with the worst record in the Southern League while struggling offensively, scoring a league-low 2.78 runs per game. Of the top eight batters with plate appearances, only Bryson Smith (.294) and Tucker Barnhart (.270) are batting above .251. They also have the league's lowest team batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage.

Perhaps more was expected from the primary recipient of players from Bakersfield who had the best record in the first half of the California League last year. However, their leadoff hitter, Billy Hamilton spent only part of one season at AA before moving on to Louisville to begin this year. Donald Lutz started the season with five home runs in his first 21 games, but a couple of injuries to the Reds outfield pulled him up to the parent team. A couple of players coming off good campaigns with the Blaze, Mattair and Bowe are currently hitting under .200.

The season is still young and there's always the second half. These are developing players and the plan is for them to get better as the season advances. All five pitchers in their rotation have ERA's under four and the overall staff has combined for a 3.87 ernie. They are actually making a backlog of starting pitchers in the Reds organization because there are three sub-three ERA's in Louisville's rotation where Tony Cingrani's return has pushed minor league veteran Chad Reineke (3.50) into the bullpen.

Of course the main purpose of the minor leagues is unfortunately not necessarily winning games, but developing individuals to a level where they can one day help their team win games at the MLB level. Barnhart has an on-base percentage of .341 and is solidifying his position at the top remaining catching prospect in the Cincinnati pipeline. Since the start of the season outfield injuries have also prompted the Reds to use a couple of spots on their AA roster for MLB veterans Luis Durango and Joe Mather to provide more organizational depth.

Still, the fans in Pensacola would like to see their team hang up some W's when they visit the ballpark. Steve Selsky had a disappointing start to the season which sent him back to the California League. His bat is coming around at Bakersfield and could see more Southern League action by the end of this season. Ryan Wright has also been swinging a hot bat after a slow start with the Blaze and will likely get AA experience by the end of the year. Often transition is part of the game for minor league teams even though the contending Reds don't expect many non-injury changes to their personnel at the top level. The second half brings a fresh start to the season and the Wahoo's have some time to prepare to take another shot at a postseason spot after their record returns to 0-0. Other Organizational News:

Things were looking good for a sweep at Pittsburgh when the Reds put four across the plate in the first inning. Unfortunately they would not add any more over the next ten frames and the Pirates came back to hand them a 5-4 defeat in eleven innings. Shin-soo Choo led off the game when he was hit by a pitch for the league-leading seventeenth time. Zach Cozart followed with a triple before Jay Bruce and Xavier Paul added RBI-singles. Devin Mesoroco capped the scoring that inning with a sac fly. Cozart and Todd Frazier both had two of their team's nine hits while Joey Votto and Donald Lutz both reached safely twice via a hit and a walk. Mat Latos got no decision after two runs off three hits and two walks while striking out seven in six innings. Jonathan Broxton lost the lead when he allowed two runs in the eighth. Alfredo Simon entered in the ninth and an unearned run in the eleventh pinned the loss on him.

Louisville lost a three-run lead and their game at Toledo by a score of 4-3 after ten innings. Tony Cingrani allowed three runs in seven innings to "inflate" his ERA to 1.15. Yohan Pino entered in the ninth and allowed the game-winner the next inning for the loss. Henry Rodriguez stroked three singles in the contest while Felix Perez added two hits. Neftali Soto plated a couple with a two-run homer and Mike Hessman reached with a double and a walk.

Bakersfield allowed three in the eighth inning in a 7-3 home loss to Rancho Cucamonga. Selsky finished with two hits and a walk and also got the Blaze scoring in the fourth when he hit his fifth home run in fifteen games since returning to the Blaze. Jon Moscot allowed four runs off six hits while striking out seven in six innings for the loss.

Dayton rallied for five in the fifth en route to an 8-3 home win over Lake County. Seth Mejias-Brean, Jesse Winker, Junior Arias, and Joe Hudson each had two of the twelve Dragon hits with Winker and Arias also reaching with a walk. Joe Terry and Zach Vincej both reached twice with a hit and a walk. Terry and Beau Amaral delivered back-to-back triples in the big rally which were later followed by back-to-back doubles by Mejias-Brean and Arias. Andrew Cisco got the start but a blister on his finger took him out of the game in the fourth. He finished allowing two runs over three-plus innings. Tony Amezcua allowed one run over two-plus innings for the win. Wandy Peralta and Sean Lucas finished by tossing a scoreless frame each.

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