CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Starter Marty McLeary was on top of his game Friday night, but the GreenJackets are suddenly having trouble remaining on top of the Southern Division standings.
McLeary (4-5) struck out a career-high 10 batters and allowed just two runs on five hits in six innings, but the Jackets dropped their second straight to the Charleston AlleyCats, 2-0, at Watt Powell Park.
Center fielder Rod Metzler powered the AlleyCats, going 2-for-4 with a solo home run in the first inning off McLeary.
Though the Jackets outhit Charleston 7-5, they stranded 11 baserunners and were shutout by AlleyCats pitching for the second consecutive night.
With the loss, the Jackets (32-26 in second half) failed to move closer to clinching the Southern Division second-half title, while second-place Macon and third-place Savannah each won Friday to close the gap.
The Jackets continue their four-game series vs. Charleston tonight with Game 3 of the series. The crucial seven-game road trip concludes with a three-game series vs. Savannah beginning on Monday.