The Biloxi Shuckers dropped their fourth straight game Friday night, falling 3-2 to the Tennessee Smokies.
With the loss, the Shuckers are 25-23 with 22 games remaining in the season's first half.
The Shuckers continued to struggle with runners on base, but managed to score the game's first run in the top of the third when Johnny Davis walked and scored on a misplayed grounder off the bat of Blake Allemand.
Angel Ventura was solid in his return to the Biloxi rotation, delivering 6.0 three-hit innings and striking out two. The righty's only mistake was a fourth-inning home run off the bat of Jeffrey Baez to tie the game at one.
After Ventura had left, Tayler Scott (3-4) entered in his first appearance since getting walked off on Wednesday night. The Smokies put runners on second and third with no outs in the seventh, but Scott rebounded to retire the next two batters and almost escape the jam. After striking out pinch-hitter Ian Rice on a pitch in the dirt, Dustin Houle's throw was missed by Dustin DeMuth at first to allow the go-ahead unearned run to score.
The Smokies added an insurance run off Nick Ramirez in the eighth on a Yasiel Balaguert RBI double. Biloxi got a run-scoring single fromJavier Betancourt in the ninth, but Justin Hancock retired Ramirez to end the game and earn his first career save. Daury Torrez (4-0) got the win for his scoreless seventh inning.
Luis Ortiz gets the nod at 6 p.m. Saturday as the Shuckers look to end their losing skid. He will oppose Trevor Clifton for the Smokies.