Pensacola’s five-run explosion in the second inning was too much for the Biloxi Shuckers to overcome as the Blue Wahoos posted a 7-4 Southern League victory at MGM Park on Tuesday night.
Pensacola (21-24 in the second half, 62-53 overall) salvaged the final game of the series, which the Shuckers won 3-2. Biloxi fell to 18-27 in the second half and 57-57 overall.
“Double plays were a killer but I think the five runs in the second inning was a tougher spot,” Biloxi manager Mike Guerrero said. “We had an opportunity in the eighth where with a home run we tie the ball game. There are not many times you have an opportunity when you’re down 7-0 to get the tying run to the plate.
“We are playing better baseball. I don’t look at winning the series. On a daily basis, you try to win every game you can. At this point it is not about winning series, it’s about winning games.”
After an off day Wednesday, the Shuckers will be in Jackson, Tennessee, to open a road series.
Shuckers pitcher Angel Ventura (1-3, 4.99) will start in Thursday’s series opener.
The Blue Wahoos rode three doubles in the top of the second to jet to a 5-0 lead. Phillip Ervin rapped a RBI double to right for a 1-0 lead. Then Zach Vincej smashed a two-run double to left. Later in the inning, Brandon Dixon grounded out for a RBI, then Alex Blandino rapped a RBI double to left to cap the rally.
Ervin hit his 10th homer of the season, a solo shot to left in the sixth, and Vincej drove in his third run of the game in the seventh with a RBI single for a 7-0 lead.
The Shuckers rallied in the eighth. Jacob Nottingham ripped a one-out two-run single to cut the lead to 7-2. After a walk and hit batsman, Javier Betancourt worked a walk to drive in another run. Then Gabriel Noriega hit a sacrifice fly to cut the lead to 7-4 with two outs.
But right-handed reliever Alejandro Chaco struck out pinch-hitter Nick Ramirez, who represented the tying run at the plate, to end the rally.
Chaco recorded his 22nd save in 26 opportunities, and Barrett Astin, the second of fourth Pensacola pitchers, got the win. He is 7-3 overall with his won-loss record and 6-0 in relief.
Jorge Lopez (0-2) took the loss, giving up five runs on six hits in five innings. He struck out five and walked two. Mitch Lambson, Junior Rincon, Preston Gainey and Steve Peterson each worked an inning in relief of Lopez.
Nottingham was 2-for-3 for the Shuckers with two RBIs. The Shuckers hit into five double plays.
Ervin went 2-for- 4 with a home and double and two RBIs. Vincej was 2-for- 5 with three RBIs.
Sebastian Elizalde and Joe Hudson each added two hits apiece in the 11-hit attack.