Just hours after ending up on the wrong side of a 4+ hour, extra-inning contest the previous night, the Huntsville Stars lost their second game in a row to the Birmingham Barons by a score of 4-2 on Wednesday afternoon.
The Stars entered the bottom of the eighth inning with a close 2-1 lead over the Barons. RHP Darren Byrd, who took over for starter Tyler Thornburg in the seventh, gave up a lead-off double to outfielder Kenneth Williams. Second baseman Drew Garcia doubled Williams home to tie the game. After intentionally walking designated hitter Andy Wilkins, Byrd gave up his third hit of the inning allowing Garcia to score and Birmingham to take the lead. Byrd would walk center fielder Jared Mitchell to load the bases before being replaced by RHP Jesus Sanchez. Sanchez hit the first batter he faced giving the Barons an insurance run and the final score.
The first half of the game was defined by a pitchers' duel between Stars Thornburg and Barons LHP Jose Quintana. Thornburg, the Brewers fourth-rated minor league prospect, went six innings, giving up just one run on three hits while striking out six Birmingham hitters. It was the fourth regular-season start in a row that the 23-year-old righty gave up two runs or less, dating back to 2011.
While Quintana shut out the Stars and outdueled Thornburg through the first six innings, he ran into trouble to start the seventh inning. Huntsville scored their only runs of the game after Quintana gave up a leadoff double to left fielder Khris Davis and walked third baseman Andy Gonzalez. Both Davis and Gonzalez would go on to score once RHP Henry Mabee came on in relief to give Huntsville a 2-1 lead.
The Barons brought in Santos Rodriguez to pitch the final inning, where he sent down the Stars offense in order for his first save of the season.
On offense, the Stars were led by Davis with two hits, giving him his second consecutive multi-hit game.
Huntsville will try to snap their current four-game losing streak on Thursday as they will send RHP Evan Anundsen to the mound as Birmingham will counter with RHP Simon Castro. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM.