(MONTGOMERY) - Matt LaPorta homered twice and snapped a 1-1 tie with a 3-run home run in the 6th inning as the Huntsville Stars won their 8th straight game with a 4-2 win over the Montgomery Biscuits, Thursday at Riverwalk Stadium.
The Stars improve to 19-8, pushing their lead over the Carolina Mudcats to two games in the Northern Division. The Biscuits dropped their 5th in a row to fall to 2-10 at home and 9-18 in the South.
Montgomery starter Wade Davis kept the Stars off the board until LaPorta's solo shot with two outs in the 4th put the Stars in front, 1-0.
Montgomery tied it in the 5th on a double by catcher Matt Spring, before LaPorta's blast over the wall in left field, his 8th of the season, sent the Stars on top for good. It was Laporta's 3rd game-winning blast during the Stars' 8-game streak.
LaPorta has now hit 21 home runs in 56 games in the minor leagues. Derek Miller lasted a season-high 6 innings to grab his 2nd win of the season. He allowed a run on 4 hits, walked 2 and struck out 2.
Relief pitcher Joe Bateman followed Miller. He walked catcher John Jaso to force in a run to make it 4-2. However, he got himself out of a bases-loaded jam by getting Chris Nowak to ground into an inning-ending double play.
Patrick Ryan took over in the 8th and worked himself out of a bases-loaded jam by getting Spring to ground out on a nice play by Mat Gamel at third and striking out pinch-hitter Erold Andrus. Ryan has now thrown 14 scoreless innings in relief to start the season.
Juan Sandoval worked a scoreless 9th to earn his 1st save and was aided by a diving stop by Gamel on a Nowak grounder that he turned into a force out at second to end the game.
Gamel extended his hitting streak to 16 games with his single in the 6th.
The series continues Friday night with southpaw David Welch making the start for Huntsville against Biscuits' southpaw James Houser.