The Biloxi Shuckers could not keep the momentum going from Monday night's 9-1 win, as the Shuckers fell by the exact 9-1 score to the Jacksonville Suns on Tuesday night at MGM Park. Biloxi pitching surrendered a season-high four home runs in the eight-run defeat.
Jorge Ortega worked a perfect first inning on three consecutive groundouts to second, but ran into trouble in the second.
Jacksonville (14-18) took the early lead, using a leadoff triple off the bat of Austin Dean, a sacrifice fly to center by Brady Shoemaker, and a home run to left field by Moises Sierra to take a 2-0 lead.
The Suns broke the game open with a four-run third to extend the Shuckers' deficit to six. The big blow of the inning came off of Dean's three-run shot over the wall in left to stretch Jacksonville's lead to 6-0.
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Sierra added his second long ball of the game in the fifth to put Biloxi (19-12) in a seven-run hole. Dean collected his second blast of the game with a two-run shot to left in the sixth to make it a nine-run deficit for the Shuckers.
Miami Marlins No. 3 overall prospect Jarlin Garcia (1-2) held the Shuckers scoreless in his 5.2 innings of work. The southpaw allowed four hits and walked two, but also picked up four strikeouts. The 23-year-old left with the bases loaded and two outs in the sixth, falling one out short of a quality start. Victor Araujo took over for Garcia and recorded the final out of the sixth on a lineout off the bat of Javier Betancourt (1x4).
Brandon Macias got the Shuckers on the board with his first home run of the season, an opposite field shot that landed on the berm in right to bring the Shuckers within eight in the seventh.
Ortega snapped a string of 30.1 consecutive innings without a walk to start the season when the right-hander issued an intentional pass to Peter Mooney with two outs in the third.
Biloxi used a combination of Hobbs Johnson, Steve Peterson, Jed Bradley and Tyler Spurlin to get through the final 4 1/3 innings, and the quartet combined to allow two runs on three hits, a walk and five strikeouts.
Biloxi will look to pull ahead in the five-game series in game three on Wednesday night at MGM Park. LHP Josh Hader (0-1, 0.94) seeks his first win of the season for the Shuckers, while RHP Austin Brice (1-1, 1.36) counters for the Suns. First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 p.m., with coverage starting at 6:20 p.m. on the Biloxi Shuckers' Radio Network's flagship station WGCM 1240 AM, 100.9 FM, Pascagoula's WPMO 1580 AM and the TuneIn Radio app. The contest can also be seen on milb.tv.
The Shuckers will host Negro League Tribute Night and recognize the Biloxi Dodgers, plus Double Play Thursday ($2 hot dogs and regular soft drinks and $2 off reserved level tickets and select draf beer) on Thursday and post-game fireworks close out the homestand on Friday.