. Brandon Woodruff had not allowed more than one run in any of his last seven starts heading into Saturday night’s contest with the Jackson Generals at The Ballpark at Jackson, but the right-hander ran into a wall in the sixth inning against the league’s top offense in the Biloxi Shuckers’, 5-3 loss.
Neither team had many scoring opportunities through the early portion of the contest, but Jackson (29-18, 75-42) had a chance to push across the first run of the game in the bottom of the fifth against the Shuckers’ starter.
Leon Landry tripled to center with one out, and Marcus Littlewood drew a walk to put runners on the corners. Woodruff settled in and struck out Brock Hebert and Patrick Brady to escape the jam.
Woodruff (7-7) ran into more trouble in the sixth, but could not pull off the escape act for a second consecutive inning.
Ian Miller started the inning with a single and stole second with Adam Law at the plate. Law sent a single to put runners on the corners for Tyler O’Neill, who turned on an inside fastball and deposited a three-run homer over the wall in left to put the Shuckers in a 3-0 hole.
After a strikeout to Dario Pizzano and a popup by Tim Lopes, Landry singled and Littlewood walked to put two aboard for Hebert. The second baseman smacked a triple to center to bring home both base runners, extending the Shuckers’ deficit to five and ending the night for Woodruff.
Tayler Scott retired Patrick Brady on a ground ball back to the mound to end the inning.
Woodruff lasted 5.2 innings and allowed five runs on seven hits, two walks and six strikeouts. The Wheeler, Miss. native allowed more than one run in a game for the first time since allowing seven to cross the plate on June 27 against the Montgomery Biscuits (seven starts).
Scott tossed 1.1 innings out of the bullpen and struck out a batter. Stephen Peterson worked the eighth inning and allowed a hit in a scoreless frame.
Brett Ash (11-8) had to work out of trouble in the first inning after Brett Phillips (2x4) singled to start the game and advanced to third on a two-out single off the bat of Nick Ramirez (1x3, R, BB). The right-hander set down Clint Coulter (3x4, HR, 3 RBI, R) on a grounder to second to elude any damage.
Coulter doubled against Ash with two outs in the fourth innings, but Dustin DeMuth (0x4) ended the scoring threat with a groundout to second. The 23-year-old outfielder extended his hitting streak to six games with two more hits on Saturday night, and has recorded a multi-hit contest in four of those outings.
Ash earned his 11th victory of the season with eight shutout innings, allowing seven hits and striking out three.
Biloxi (19-29, 58-59) avoided being shut out for the 11th time this season with a crooked number in the ninth.
Jacob Nottingham (1x3, R) was hit by a pitch with one out and Ramirez drew a walk to put two on for Coulter, who sent a three-run shot over the wall in left-center for his first Double-A home run.
DeMuth popped up to short for the second out of the inning, but Gabriel Noriega (1x4) floated a single to right to keep the inning alive for Tom Belza (0x4).
After Ryne Harper (SV, 3) was summoned from the Generals’ bullpen, the right-hander induced a 1-3 ground out to end the game.
The Shuckers will look to avoid dropping the series against Jackson in game four of the five-game set at 6:05 p.m. Sunday night at The Ballpark at Jackson. RHP Jorge Lopez (0-1, 5.40) takes the mound for Biloxi. LHP Ryan Yarbrough (11-4, 2.97) toes the rubber for Jackson.