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Stars cap remarkable month of August with shutout win

August 31, 2006 - Southern League (SL) - Huntsville Stars News Release


Manny Parra and two relievers combined on a five-hit shutout, as Huntsville clinched at least a tie for the second half North Division title with a 1-0 win over Birmingham Thursday night at the Hoover Met. The Stars won their eighth straight game to improve to 39-25 in the second half and finished the month of August with a franchise-record 22 wins. The Stars can clinch the division title with one more win or one more Chattanooga loss over the next four days.

Ozzie Chavez led off the sixth inning with a single off the glove of a leaping second baseman Chris Getz, moved to third base on a ground ball out by Steve Moss and scored on a fly ball to center field off the bat of Callix Crabbe, who finished August with 39 hits in 108 at-bats. Barons' starter Adam Russell gave up five hits, walked one and fanned three but suffered the loss to drop to 3-3.

Parra walked the first two batters he faced but recovered to strike out Pedro Lopez and induce Mark Quinn to bounce into an inning-ending double play. Parra gave up a leadoff single to Lopez in the fourth and walked Quinn before striking out Corey Smith and Gustavo Molina and getting Micah Schnurstein to tap back to the mound to end the threat.

The Stars' southpaw allowed three singles, walked three and struck out a season-high seven over six innings in his longest outing of the year. Luther Hackman retired the side in order in the seventh inning and stranded Donny Lucy at third base with one out in the eighth inning by striking out Getz and getting Michael Myers to line out to right field. Lucy had started the inning with a double to right field and advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Chris Amador.

Joe Valentine, who set a league record with 36 saves pitching for the Barons in 2002, took over in the ninth and allowed a leadoff single to Lopez. The veteran right-hander then got Quinn to line out to center field for the first out before Lopez was thrown out trying to steal for out number two. Valentine struck out Smith to end the game and earn his 11th save with the Stars. He has tossed nine consecutive scoreless innings and converted each of his last eight save chances.

The series continues Friday night with Huntsville right-hander Corey Thurman taking the hill against Birmingham left-hander Wes Whisler. Covergae of the game begins at 6:50 pm central time and can be heard locally on ESPN Radio 1450 AM and via the internet at www.huntsvillestars.com.

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