PENSACOLA, Fla. - The Shreveport-Bossier Captains saw their nine-game winning streak come to an end Wednesday night, as an early 3-0 lead fell by the boards, and the Pensacola Pelicans hit four home runs to salvage the series at Pelican Park, beating the Captains 12-3.
After failing to capitalize on leadoff singles in the first two innings, the Captains (24-14) broke through with a two-out rally in the third. Bryan Sabatella started it with a double, scoring on Jovanny Rosario's base hit up the middle. Rosario then stole second and scored when Christopher Garcia singled, and Garcia in turn scored on Palmer Karr's double to the wall in left.
The Pelicans (16-22) came right back in the bottom of the inning against Justin Young (3-3), getting two hits and an error to put runners at second and third with no one out. Francisco Leandro then grounded one past Andres Rodriguez at first for a two-run double to put Pensacola on the board. After a groundout and a flyout, John Alonso sent his fourth home run of the season just to the left of dead center, giving Pensacola the lead for the first time in the series.
Two innings later, Javier Brito hit a solo homer, tying Lou Palmisano for the team lead with six home runs and extending the Pensacola lead to 5-3. Then in the sixth, the Pelicans put the game away. Marcos Rodriguez led off with a base hit, and Chase Porch bounced one over Joe Urtuzuastegui at third for another hit. After a sacrifice bunt by Kyle Brown, Chiarappa got his third hit of the night, this one through a drawn-in infield, to make it 6-3. In came righty Matt Carter, who allowed a single and a sacrifice fly to increase the Captains deficit to five.
David Nathanson (2-3) kept the Captains at bay throughout the night with the exception of the third. He allowed exactly one hit in each of his other six innings, but got two double plays and only walked one. Jason Franzblau pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning and got a three-batter ninth when he got pinch-hitter Bryan Cooksey to hit into a 4-6-3 double play to end the game.
In the bottom of the eighth, Pensacola hit two more homers, as Leandro hit a two-run shot to finish with five RBIs in the game and Brito hit a no-doubt two-run shot to left for his second homer of the game and his seventh of the year.
Notes: With Grand Prairie's 11-3 loss earlier Wednesday, the Captains' magic number to clinch the first-half South Division title is now six combined wins or AirHogs losses, with the Captains holding a five game lead with 10 to play…Only two of the 17 half-innings - Pensacola in the first and the Captains in the eighth - were 1-2-3 frames, with a combined 28 hits and only three walks in the contest…Nine of the 10 Pelicans hitters had at least one hit and all 10 reached base…Six of the nine Captains had hits…Rosario stole two bases for the second game in a row…Chiarappa had three hits, his second three-hit game of the season - both against the Captains. He has only one other hit on the year.
(Courtesy: Shreveport-Bossier Captains)