(HUNTSVILLE) - Clayton Kershaw, the Dodgers' top minor league prospect, lived up to his billing, striking out 8 and giving up just 2 hits over 6 innings, but in the end, Jacksonville ended up beating themselves with two errors in the 9th, 5-4.
A wild throw in recovery of an infield bobble by 3rd baseman Shane Justis with two out in the bottom of the 9th allowed pinch-hitter Freddy Parejo to score the winning run in a 5-4 comeback victory by the Huntsville Stars, their 2nd straight against Jacksonville at Joe Davis Stadium.
The Stars improve to 14-8 on the season and stayed two games in back of the 1st place Carolina Mudcats in the Northern Division. The Suns drop to 10-12.
Freddy Parejo opened the 9th as a pinch-hitter for pitcher Patrick Ryan and reached on a high throw by shortstop Ivan DeJesus, Jr. over the head of 1st baseman Aldofo Gonzalez. Parejo advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Angel Salome and moved 90 feet away from scoring the game-winning run on a ground out.
Michael Brantley was intentionally passed to set up a force and bring the right-hand swinging Alcides Escobar to the plate to face right-hander Brian Akin. Escobar cracked a sharply hit ground ball to Justis, who kept the ball in front of him, but bobbled the pickup, and threw wildly past Gonzalez to allow Parejo to score with the game-winning run.
Jacksonville carried a 4-0 lead into the home 8th behind Kershaw and former Huntsville Stars pitcher Tanyon Sturtze, making his first appearance at Joe Davis Stadium in 15 years.
Sturtze had a short 1-2-3 inning in the 7th, but the Stars rallied for four runs off Sturtze in the 8th to tie the game as eight batters came to the plate. Mat Gamel doubled home a pair to trim the lead to one. Chris Errecart then singled to right to score Gamel with the tying run.
Sturtze, signed to a free agent contract by the Dodgers over the off-season, made his first appearance of the season as he continues his comeback from rotator cuff surgery two years ago.
Jacksonville stranded 14 runners, including at least a pair in each of the first five innings.
Huntsville starter Derek Miller got the backing of a pair of defensive gems that left him unscathed in the first two innings. With the bases loaded, Alcides Escobar stopped a hard hit ball up the middle and turned it into a double play to end the inning. In the 2nd, again with the bases loaded, Michael Bell made a diving catch of a sinking liner that had eyes.
The series continues Saturday afternoon with Huntsville left-hander David Welch taking the mound against Suns' southpaw Marlon Arias.