PEARL-- The Biloxi Shuckers needed just one big inning to earn their second-straight victory over the Mississippi Braves, winning 4-2 on Sunday at Trusmark Park. The win moves the Shuckers a game closer to coming away with their fourth-consecutive series victory to begin the 2016 season.
Biloxi (13-4), one of just four teams in minor league baseball with 13 wins, broke through the scoreboard first in the sixth, plating four runs in the frame to pull away.
Nathan Orf walked to start things off and moved to second on Tyrone Taylor's bunt single. Chris McFarland (1x4, 2B, RBI, R) drove in Orf with a double to left, and Brett Phillips drove in both runners and advanced to second with a two-run single to right to stretch the lead to three. Garrett Cooper bumped Phillips to third with a single before Victor Roache bounced into an around-the-horn double play to score Phillips for the fourth run of the inning.
Taylor's three-hit game gives the 22-year-old three such outings in 2016 and four multi-hit performances.
Josh Hader wiggled his way out of damage all afternoon, allowing at least two base runners in each of his four innings of work. The lefty had another high pitch count on Sunday, but did not allow a run to cross the plate for a second-consecutive start. The scoreless inning streak stretched to nine innings for the Maryland native after the outing against the Braves, and his ERA dropped from 0.69 to 0.53, good for third in the league.
Tristan Archer (2-0) relieved the Shuckers' starter to begin the fifth and allowed two hits over three scoreless innings. Stephen Peterson walked two batters and allowed a hit as Mississippi (6-12) plated two runs in 0.2 innings against the reliever. Stephen Kohscheen got Matt Lipka to ground out to third to end the Braves' threat in the eighth.
Biloxi manager Mike Guerrero called for Jaye Chapman in the ninth to close out the game, and the righty worked around a one-out single by Jacob Schrader for his eighth save in eight chances. The single ended a perfect start to the season for Chapman, as the 28-year-old retired the first 24 batters he faced before the hit.
Javier Betancourt extended his on-base streak to 12 games with a single in the fifth. The 20-year-old would single again in the ninth, giving the shortstop his fifth multi-hit game of the season.
The Shuckers will look for their fourth-straight series victory with a win ay 7 p.m. Monday at Trustmark Park. Javi Salas (1-1, 3.86) takes his .172 opponent average into the contest for Biloxi, while Rob Whalen (1-1, 4.50) counters for Mississippi.