The Biloxi Shuckers got another lights-out start from Corbin Burnes and a big offensive game from Jacob Nottingham to beat the Birmingham Barons 6-1 on Saturday night. In snapping their four-game losing streak, the Shuckers also gained ground in the Southern League South and trail Mobile by just 1.5 games.
Burnes (W, 3-1) entered the game with the lowest earned run average in Minor League Baseball at 1.06, and the righty finally got some run support for his third Double-A victory. He went five innings on 66 pitches, allowing one run on four hits while striking out five.
After two hitless innings for both sides, the Shuckers jumped Barons lefty Jordan Guerrero (L, 6-8) for three runs in the third. Wendell Rijo led off with a four-pitch walk, and Johnny Davis followed with an infield single to put two runners on base. Tyrone Taylor then hit a high fly ball to the warning track in left field that Nick Basto lost in the setting sun, and Rijo came home on what was ruled an RBI single. Taylor reached base safely three times and extended his hitting streak to five games.
The Barons stopped Burnes’ scoreless innings streak at 16 by scoring a run in the top of the fourth inning. The 22-year-old from Bakersfield, California, had retired the first nine consecutive batters on Saturday before allowing a hit.
Michael Choice brought in another run on a sacrifice fly, then Nottingham laced a double down the left field line to give Burnes a three-run edge. Nottingham, who got the start at first base for the eighth time this season, launched a three-run home run in the fifth to extend Biloxi's lead to 6-1. Nottingham was 2-for-2 with a walk, hit-by-pitch, double, homer and season-high four RBIs.
Nick Ramirez pitched three scoreless innings of relief to take the game through the eighth inning, and Jorge Lopez worked the ninth to end the game. Ramirez lowered his ERA to 1.36 after his 34th appearance of the season. Lopez was making his 54 career appearance for the Shuckers and first to finish a game out of the bullpen.