PENSACOLA, Fla. – The Pensacola Blue Wahoos broke through for eight runs in the eighth inning on Thursday to pull away from the Suns and win game four of the five game series by a final of 10-2.
Trailing 2-0 through the first six innings, Jacksonville (9-5) managed to tie the score in the top of the seventh on Taylor Krick’s two-run double, taking starter Michael Ojala off the hook and giving the team a chance for its seventh victory in its last eight games.
It wasn’t to be, however, as Pensacola (6-8) jumped all over Suns reliever Arquimedes Caminero for seven runs in the bottom of the eighth, taking the lead on Travis Mattair’s RBI double that scored Donald Lutz and put the Blue Wahoos ahead 3-2. They would add seven runs afterward, including one off Scott McGough before the frame finally came to a close.
The loss sets up the first rubber match of the season for the Suns on Friday.
Ojala, starting in place of regular fourth starter Matt Neil, lasted three and a third innings before being lifted. Ojala allowed five hits and two runs (both earned), striking out three and walking two on 56 pitches.
Collin Cargill followed with more impressive bullpen work, throwing two and two thirds perfect innings that kept Jacksonville in the game while the offense struggled against Blue Wahoos starter Chad Rogers. Jordan Conley added a scoreless frame for the Suns before Caminero took over in the eighth.
Rogers pitched well enough to win for Pensacola, holding the Suns to just one run on two hits in six and two thirds innings. The Blue Wahoos right-hander registered five strikeouts, walked three and lowered his ERA to 2.04.
He was denied a win when Drew Hayes (BS, 1) (1-0) took over with two outs in the seventh and served up the game-tying double to Krick, scoring Mark Canha and Jake Smolinski.
Caminero never got his feet under him an inning and a half later, allowing run-scoring hits to Mattair, Steve Selsky and Devin Lohman, and also walking in a run.Kyle Jensen managed to extend his consecutive on-base streak to 17 games for the Suns by drawing a walk in the top of the ninth, the longest current streak in the Southern League.
A night after the first six Suns in the batting order all had multiple hits, Jacksonville did not have a single batter record more than one base hit on Thursday, tallying just four total against Blue Wahoos pitching.
Each team will seek to win the five-game series in the finale on Friday. The Suns will send right-hander Sam Dyson (0-1, 0.96 ERA) to the mound in search of his first win of the season, while the Blue Wahoos will counter with southpaw Ryan Dennick (1-0, 2.45 ERA).
Suns fans can listen to the game broadcast beginning at 7:45 p.m. with the UF & Shands Suns Sunday Pre Game Show on WSOS-FM 94.1. Other options include listening to live audio through jaxsuns.com or MiLB.com, or through the Suns iPhone or Android app.