(HUNTSVILLE) - Matt LaPorta's 3-run homer, his 10th of the season, capped a 7-run 6th inning as the Stars won their 8th straight victory at Joe Davis Stadium, 10-6, surviving another shaky 9th inning, Tuesday night.
The Stars improve to 22-10 as they continue to share the lead in the Northern division with West Tennessee, who won their game with Mississippi, 5-2.
E.J. Shanks inherited a 10-3 lead in the 9th and was one out away from sealing the victory before Rusty Ryal's bases-loaded single drove in a pair of runs to make it 10-5. Brendan Byrne then scored on a wild pitch to make it 10-6.
Shanks proceeded to walk Frank Curreri and Brandon Burgess to reload the bases. That prompted a call to the bullpen for Patrick Ryan, who got John Hester to hit into a force out at third to end the game. Ryan earned his 4th save and stretched his scoreless inning streak to 15 1/3 innings. The record of 23 is held by Luis Martinez during the 2003 season.
Hester's 2-run home run in the 4th gave the BayBears a 2-0 lead which were the first earned runs allowed by Stars' starter Derek Miller this season at home in 18 1/3 innings. Mat Gamel's RBI-single in the bottom of the 5th got the Stars on the board, but Ryal's lead-off HR, his 2nd in as many nights, gave the Bay Bears a 2-run cushion again, 3-1.
That was Miller's last inning before the Stars scored 7 runs, their biggest inning of the season, in the bottom of the 6th, giving Miller his 3rd win of the season against one loss. Miller allowed 9 hits.
Angel Salome got the rally going with a one-out double to center that scored a pair of runs off starter Tony Barnette that tied the game, 3-3. Pinch-hitter Ryan Crew followed with a walk and Barnette was then lifted from the game and replaced by left-hander Forrest Cory.
Michael Brantley greeted him with a base hit to right that scored Salome to give the Stars a 4-3 lead. Mat Gamel followed one out later with another RBI single to drive in Crew, making it 5-3.
LaPorta then launched his Southern League-leading 10th home run on a 3-2 pitch to finish off the scoring. LaPorta has slugged four 3-run HRs in the last 12 games.
Barnette (2-4) was charged with the loss after permitting 5 runs on 9 hits and 4 walks. RBI-singles by Salome and Brantley in the 7th pushed the Stars' lead to 10-3.
Gamel had his first 4-hit game of the season to pace a season-high 17-hit attack one night after the Stars had collected a season-best 16.
The series continues Wednesday morning with left-hander David Welch (3-1, 4.13) taking the mound against BayBears' right-hander Hector Ambriz (2-3, 3.97).