Vladimir Gutierrez earns first win of the season
The Blue Wahoos snapped their three-game losing streak behind a great start from Vladimir Gutierrez (W, 1-5) with a 6-2 win over the Birmingham Barons Thursday night at Regions Field.
Birmingham got its first hit in the third inning against Gutierrez with a bunt single from Danny Mendick. He scored on a two-out double from Eloy Jimenez. Pensacola answered in the fourth, taking advantage of a leadoff double from Luis Gonzalez. He scored on a Nick Longhi double to tie the score at 1-1.
The Blue Wahoos took the lead in the fifth on another double from Gonzalez, which scored Shed Long from first. Ryan Brett tied the game with a solo homer in the bottom of the inning. It stayed locked at 2-2 until Chris Okey scored on a C.J. McElroy RBI single in the seventh. McElroy stole second and scored on Gonzalez’s second RBI hit of the game to make it 4-2. Shed Long put the game away with a solo home run in the ninth.
Gonzalez finished the game 3-for-5 with two doubles, two RBI and a run. Long finished 2-for-5 with two runs and two RBI on his second home run of the season.
Great pitching complemented the Wahoos offense. Gutierrez turned in his best start of the season with six innings and just two runs allowed. He broke a streak of 28.2 innings without a walk with a one-out walk in the first inning, his only base on balls of the game. He fanned six Barons on his way to his first win of the season. Robinson Leyer backed him up with two scoreless innings out of the bullpen. He struck out five batters. Alex Powers struck out two in a perfect ninth inning to secure Pensacola’s first win of the 10-game road trip.
The two teams will wrap up the series on Friday night. Pensacola will send RHP Wyatt Strahan (3-2, 7.18) to the mound against Barons LHP Ian Clarkin (3-3, 6.54). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. from Regions Field. The Blue Wahoos will travel after the game to open a five-game series in Biloxi, Miss. on Saturday.
– Pensacola Blue Wahoos –
The Pensacola Blue Wahoos are the Double-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds. The 2018 season is underway at beautiful Blue Wahoos Stadium on Pensacola Bay. Group packages, season tickets, mini plans and single-game tickets are available for the 2018 season by calling (850) 934-8444 or online. Follow the Blue Wahoos at bluewahoos.com, facebook.com/PensacolaBlueWahoos, and twitter.com/BlueWahoosBBall