Stars Make It Seven In a Row Over Smokies
Drew Anderson drove in three more runs and the bullpen worked five-plus innings of scoreless relief to lead Huntsville to a wild 10-7 win over Tennessee Saturday night in the last of an eight-game set at Smokies Park. The Stars won the last seven games to improve to 28-20 and remain three and a half games in front of Carolina in the North Division, while the Smokies slumped to 21-29. Huntsville has won seven straight on the road for the first time this season to raise their record to 18-9 away from home.
The Stars started the scoring with four runs in the first inning, all with two outs, on a two-run triple by Anderson and run-scoring hits by Freddy Parejo and Taylor Green. The Smokies cut the lead in half in the bottom of the inning on a two-out, two-run double by Marquez Smith and took the lead with three runs in the second on run-producing hits by Brandon Guyer and Ty Wright and a sacrifice fly off the bat of pitcher Casey Lambert.
Wellington Castillo's solo home run in the third inning gave the Smokies a 6-4 lead before Stars' starter David Welch was lifted with two runners on and one out in the fourth and replaced by Nick Bucci, making his double-A debut. The 18-year-old right-hander, who had pitched in rookie ball last season, got two fly ball outs to end the fourth and tossed a scoreless fifth inning. Welch was charged with six runs on nine hits, walking one and striking out two.
Lambert was chased from the game after giving up three straight hits to open the fifth and replaced by Todd Blackford, who uncorked a wild pitch on his first offering that scored Jonathan Lucroy to cut the lead to 6-5. Parejo's run-scoring ground out got the game tied at six and gave him his first game with multiple runs batted in on the season. Blackford then walked three hitters in a row, on 13 pitches, with one out in the sixth and was taken out of the game and followed by Jayson Ruhlman, who could have gotten out of the inning on a Rottino ground ball to shortstop that was instead misplayed by Darwin Barney, who could not get an out. Adam Stern scored on the play to make it 7-6 Stars before Anderson chased home Shane Justis with another ground ball out to push the lead to 8-6 Huntsville. Anderson drove in nine runs in the series and leads the team with 28.
Donovan Hand, who threw a scoreless sixth inning, gave up a two-out, run-scoring hit to Castillo in the home seventh that cut the lead to one but the Stars answered with two runs in the eighth against Alex Maestri on a run-scoring double by Jonathan Lucroy and Green's second run-scoring hit of the game. Hand then blanked the Smokies in the eighth inning and turned the ball over to Omar Aguilar, who threw a scoreless ninth inning and ended the series by getting Jonathan Mota to ground into a game-ending double play. Bucci earned his first professional win, while Hand finished eight innings in the series without allowing an earned run and Aguilar nailed down his sixth save of the season and third of the series.
The Stars open a five-game series against Birmingham Sunday afternoon with southpaw Chris Cody taking the hill for Huntsville against Barons' right-hander Lucas Harrell. Coverage of the game begins at 12:45 pm central time and can be heard through the internet at www.huntsvillestars.com.
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Southern League Stories from May 30, 2009
- Smokies fall 10-7 in series finale Saturday night - Tennessee Smokies
- Jaxx take series with 11-1 win over Lookouts - Jackson Generals
- Mobile Completes Sweep of Jacksonville - Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp
- BayBears Complete Sweep to Win 8th Straight - Mobile BayBears
- Carolina wins over Montgomery - Carolina Mudcats
- Stars Make It Seven In a Row Over Smokies - Huntsville Stars
- Biscuits Sent Packing, 9-3 - Montgomery Biscuits
- Barons Pace Minors with 33 Wins - Birmingham Barons
- Welch Rejoins Huntsville - Huntsville Stars
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