BILOXI -- The Biloxi Shuckers' three-game winning streak came to an end Tuesday night as they fell to the Jackson Generals 7-5 at home.
The visitors were ultimately lifted by the fifth-inning heroics of Jody Lara, who hit a controversial grand slam to blow open the series opener.
Shuckers starting pitcher Johnny Hellweg (0-4) gave up his first hit of the night when Generals left fielder Jabari Henry hit a two-run homer in the top of the second and brought home Lara, who was walked.
Henry went 1-for-4 after his home run.
The Generals dominated the Shuckers in the fifth inning, scoring five consecutive runs. The action started when a single by catcher Marcus Littlewood brought in second baseman Tyler Bortnick to tie the game 3-3.
Lara followed with a controversial grand slam to give the Generals a four-run lead, 7-3.
The ball, hit by Lara, sliced the foul pole on the fair side and re-entered the field of play, landing on the foul line in the process.
Officials deemed the ball was a home run, much to the chagrin of the crowd, 2,705 strong. The MiLB ruling says that any ball that clears the yellow line on the padding of the wall is a home run, regardless of whether or not the ball re-enters the playing field.
The Shuckers were unable to answer back in the bottom of the fifth inning.
But there were some promising swinging from the Shuckers.
In his first at bat, Shuckers center fielder Tyrone Taylor hit a double to center field and scored left fielder Victor Roache, who had also gotten on base with a double, to make the score 2-1 in the second inning.
The Shuckers also looked alive during the bottom of fourth when first baseman Taylor Green hit a two-run home run, his fifth of the year, over the right field wall with two outs. Green went 2-for-4 at the plate with two RBIs.
Taylor doubled again in the bottom of the seventh, bringing the go-ahead runner, designated hitter Nick Ramirez, to third but catcher Adam Weisenburger went down on strikes, leaving Ramirez and Taylor stranded.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, trailing 7-3, Taylor singled home Ramirez to make the score 7-4 with one out. Right fielder Josh Fellhauer followed with a sacrifice fly, scoring Green to bring the Shuckers within two runs of the Generals.
Even though the batting heroics were not enough to get the victory, Green said Wednesday is another day.
“We’re going to prepare for the next game the same way we prepare for every game,” Green said. “We are in a bit of a slump, but there’s no way you can play a season this long and not go through this.”
Taylor led the Shuckers in hits, going 2-for-3 with two RBIs. Roache also went 2-for-4 against the Generals.
Generals starter Dylan Unsworth (1-5) got win, his first of the season. Hellweg took the loss after allowing seven runs on six hits in just over four innings.
The Shuckers (14-16) stay at home for the next four games of the five-game series with the Generals (9-21). The next game will start at 7:10 p.m. Wednesday at MGM Park.