In the first matchup of Brewers and Angels Double-A affiliates since 1998, the Biloxi Shuckers dropped their series opener with the Mobile BayBears on a rainy Tuesday night by a score of 7-3.
While the Shuckers and BayBears played each other 48 times over the past two seasons, Tuesday's game marked the first tilt since Mobile switched affiliations from the Arizona Diamondbacks to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. It marked the first Brewers-Angels matchup at the Double-A level since the Texas League's El Paso Diablos (Milwaukee) played the Midland Angels (Anaheim) in 1998.
In the game, Jorge Lopez (L, 3-3) rebounded from a rough start to deliver five solid innings in a losing effort. Lopez allowed three runs in the first inning, but dodged in and out of trouble to put up zeroes for the rest of his outing. The righty allowed eight hits and struck out three batters.
Reliever Bubba Derby had an uncharacteristically shaky outing, allowing four runs in the sixth inning to give Mobile a 7-0 lead. But like Lopez, Derby recovered to post shutout frames for the rest of his evening.
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After being stymied by Mobile starter Alex Blackford (W, 1-2) through six innings, the Shuckers finally broke through in the seventh. Jacob Nottingham hit a one-out double, and Art Charles followed with his second hit of the game to bring him in for the first Biloxi run. Angel Ortega followed with a long two-run home run down the left field line to cut the deficit to 7-3.
The Shuckers threatened in the eighth, getting two runners in scoring position, but Brandon Peterson struck out three straight batters to snuff out the rally.
Eric Karch pitched a scoreless ninth to end the game and seal the 7-3 BayBears victory. With the loss, the Shuckers fall to 26-25 and three games back of first place with a Pensacola victory over Jacksonville.
Mauricio Dubon stole his 24th base in the third inning, increasing his league lead and putting him just one stolen base shy of Michael Reed and Orlando Arcia for the Shuckers single-season record.