A gallant Biloxi Shuckers comeback fell short Sunday afternoon at MGM Park.
The Mississippi Braves jumped to a 6-0 lead and held on for a 6-5 victory over the Shuckers in Southern League action.
The M-Braves (20-17) won their second straight game over the Shuckers (19-18). The two teams meet Monday at 6:35 p.m.
Trailing 6-0, the Shuckers struck for four runs in the sixth inning. Mauricio Dubon slugged a one-out home run over the left field wall in the ninth. But reliever Bradley Roney struck out Angel Ortega and Michael Reed recorded the save.
“We played our hearts out and had an opportunity to win the ballgame,’’ Shuckers manager Mike Guerrero said. “They keep playing hard. Lopez didn’t have the best of his outings out there. The bullpen did a pretty good job and the offense came around.’’
Junior Guerra, Milwaukee’s Opening Day starter, will start Monday’s game against the Mississippi Braves. This is a rehab assignment for Guerra after he suffered a calf injury on Opening Day and has not pitched in a live game since. He will be opposed on the mound by Luiz Gohara of the Braves.
“He is a big league pitcher and hopefully we can start at winning streak,’’ Guerrero said.
Ronald Acuna and Keith Curcio both had four hits apiece for the M-Braves. Acuna’s three-run double in the fourth turned out to be the decisive blow for the Braves.
The Braves jumped on top 1-0 in the second inning. Keith Curcio doubled to right field with one out. Then Levi Hyams delivered a two-out RBI single to right off Jorge Lopez.
The Braves erupted for five runs in the fourth for the 6-0 lead. Hyams hit a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded off Lopez, then Lopez walked Luis Valenzuela with the bases loaded and two outs. Ronald Acuna then capped the uprising with a three-run double off the right centerfield wall.
Lopez (2-2) worked 3 2/3 innings, giving up six runs on six hits, with two walks and two strikeouts. He gave way to Jon Perrin in the fourth. Taylor Scott and Josh Uhen also worked in relief. The three relievers combined for 12 strikeouts and did not give up a run.
The Shuckers struck against the Braves bullpen after Kolby Allard (4-1) departed after five shutout innings. Javier Betancourt hit a bases-loaded sacrifice fly off Jesse Biddle in the sixth. Then Dustin Houle smashed a two-run single to right. One out later, Johnny Davis belted a RBI single to center to cut the M-Braves lead to 6-4.
Dubon blasted his second homer of the season in the ninth, giving him two hits on the day. Houle also had two hits for the Shuckers.