The Biloxi Shuckers got a strong start from Jorge Lopez on Saturday night, but fell 5-2 to the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp.
Despite the loss, the Shuckers remain three games behind the Blue Wahoos in the South Division with eight games to play in the season's first half. Mississippi is in a second place tie with the Shuckers after their 6-3 win over Pensacola on Saturday night.
The loss marked the first time in seven tries in 2017 that Jacksonville has defeated the Shuckers.
Lopez (3-5) allowed two runs in the second on an Austin Nola RBI double and subsequent Taylor Ard single. But he recovered nicely from there, striking out the side twice and fanning 10 total batters over 7.0 innings to tie a season high.
Lopez continues a string of great starting performances for the Shuckers. Over the last six outings (five quality), starters have allowed just seven earned runs over 39 1/3 innings, which good for a 1.61 ERA.
Also, they have logged 46 strikeouts and only seven walks. The ten strikeout performance by Lopez followed an 11-strikeout performance by Aaron Wilkerson on Friday night.
Dustin Houle halved the deficit in the fourth with a two-out RBI single off Joe Gunkel (1-2), but were unable to tie the game in the fifth after Lopez singled to start the inning. When Lopez was stranded at second, it marked the third consecutive inning in which the Shuckers left a runner in scoring position.
The Jumbo Shrimp added three insurance runs off Tayler Scott in the eighth, thanks to a pair of wild pitches and a two-run single from Austin Yarbrough. The Shuckers got an RBI infield single from Clint Coulter in the ninth inning off Andy Beltre, but the Jacksonville righty recovered to finalize the 5-2 Jumbo Shrimp win.