PENSACOLA--The Biloxi Shuckers set two season highs on Sunday afternoon against the Pensacola Blue Wahoos: walks drawn (9) and runners left on base (15). Unfortunately for the road team, that final statistic led to a 5-0 shutout in the finale of the five-game series, as the Shuckers dropped four of five at Pensacola. Biloxi's 3.5 game lead is down to just a half game after the series at Blue Wahoos Stadium.
Biloxi (18-11) loaded the bases in the first on back-to-back two-out singles by Garrett Cooper (3x4, 2B, BB) and Victor Roache (1x2, 3 BB), and a walk to Tyrone Taylor (0x3, 2 BB), but Javier Betancourt (0x3) struck out to end the early threat.
Pensacola (18-12) took advantage of an early scoring opportunity in the bottom half of the inning.
Beau Amaral tripled to start the frame, but would be retired on a fielder's choice off the bat of Phillip Ervin for the second out. Ervin stole second with Kyle Parker at the plate, and scored on the first baseman's single to right to put the Shuckers down a run.
Biloxi stranded a man at second in the second, and two more were left on base in the third.
The Blue Wahoos tacked on two more runs in the third on Brandon Dixon's drive over the left field wall for the second baseman's second home run of the season.
Parker provided extra insurance for the home team in the fifth with an RBI single to left to plate Amaral for Pensacola's fourth run of the game.
Shuckers' starter Wei-Chung Wang (2-2) suffered his second consecutive losing decision after allowing four runs on seven hits, three walks and five strikeouts.
Reliever Hobbs Johnson tossed two scoreless innings and gave up one hit. Tristan Archer took over for the southpaw to start the eighth and allowed two runs on back-to-back doubles to start the inning, while picking up a strikeout.
Amir Garrett (3-2) started for Pensacola and earned his third win of the season, despite walking five and giving up four hits. The lefty struck out the side in the sixth to finish his appearance with six.
The Shuckers squandered another opportunity to cut into the deficit in the seventh when Chris McFarland (0x4, BB), Cooper and Roache reached base with one out. Taylor struck out looking and pinch hitter Nick Ramirez (0x1) grounded out to first to end the inning.
Biloxi returns to MGM Park for a five-game homestand against the Miami Marlins affiliate Jacksonville Suns, starting at 6:40 p.m. Monday. RHP Adrian Houser (1-3, 8.63) takes the ball in game one of the series for the Shuckers, while RHP Jake Esch (4-2, 4.30) counters for the Suns.