The Biloxi Shuckers and Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp started a pivotal series at MGM Park on Saturday expecting a pitcher's duel, but the opposite held true as the Jumbo Shrimp slugged their way to a 7-6 victory.
With nine games remaining in the regular season, the Shuckers now trail the first-place Jumbo Shrimp by 5.0 games in the South Division. They have four games remaining in the series before ending their season with five games on the road in Mobile.
Corbin Burnes, who has not earned a win since July 15 despite a 1.91 ERA in the month of August, walked a season-high five batters but limited the damage to get through 5.0 innings. He allowed a two-run double to Cam Maron in the first inning and an RBI single to David Vidal in the third, but his offense answered every score with damage of their own to put him in line for an elusive win.
In the bottom of the first, Jake Gatewood hit an RBI single off starter Chris Mazza to get the Shuckers on the board. Dustin DeMuth tied the game 3-3 in the third with a two-run double, and Blake Allemand drove him home with a two-out single to take a 4-3 lead.
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Allemand extended that lead in the sixth with a solo home run to right, and the fourth hit of the night from Johnny Davis off Ryan Beckman (3-0) gave the Shuckers another insurance run to make the score 6-3. But after a clean sixth inning of relief, Josh Uhen ran into trouble in the seventh.
The first three Shrimp in the seventh reached off of Uhen, who departed after a KC Serna RBI sacrifice fly. Forrest Snow (5-4) entered in a delicate situation with the tying run on base, and was greeted rudely with a Taylor Ard RBI double to bring the Jumbo Shrimp within a run. After a big strikeout for the second out, pinch hitter Kyle Barrett laced a two-run single in front of a diving Tyrone Taylor in center to give Jacksonville back the lead at 7-6.
Biloxi had their chances in the final innings, but Tyler Kinley (S, 8) got the final out of the eighth with two runners on base and struck out the side in the ninthto finish off the Jacksonville victory.
Davis was 4-for-4 with a walk in the loss, recording his third four-hit performance of the season.
The Shuckers continue their series against the Jumbo Shrimp at 5:05 p.m. Sunday as Luis Ortiz faces off against Matt Tomshaw.