(JACKSONVILLE, Fla.) - Juan Gonzalez doubled with the bases loaded in the 1st inning off Derek Miller, giving Cody White a 5-run jump on the Huntsville Stars and Derek Miller en route to a 10-1 Jacksonville rout, Thursday night, while Chattanooga's Sam Lecure held the Diamond Jaxx scoreless for 7 innings in Jackson, Tennessee.
The Lookouts' 5-1 victory enabled Huntsville (40-27) to stay atop the Northern Division with three games left to play in the chase for the first half division title.
The Suns jumped on Miller from the very start with consecutive singles from James Tomlin and Ivan DeJesus, Jr.
With the No. 3 hitter, Jamie Hoffmann at the plate, Tomlin stole third, then scored on Hoffmann's fly ball to left. Former Huntsville Star Mark Bellhorn and Russell Mitchell walked to load the bases, setting up Gonzalez's double down the left field line, clearing the bases, opening up a 4-0 lead for the Suns. A wild pitch by Miller enabled Gonzalez to score from third on Adam Godwin's infield single.
Mike Jones took over from Miller, who after a 4-0 May, has given up 13 runs on 16 hits in 6 2/3 innings over 3 starts this month, two of which he's lost.
Jones scored the only run for the Stars after a leadoff single to center in the 3rd. He moved to second after Michael Brantley was hit by a pitch from starter Cody White, to third on a ground ball, then scored on a fly ball to center by Mat Gamel.
Jones worked three innings, giving up a one-out RBI double by Tomlin in the 4th to give Jacksonville a 6-1 lead.
The Suns scored 4 more runs on 5 hits and 3 walks in an inning and two-thirds off 6'5" Oklahoman Josh Wahpepah, making his debut for the Stars. The Stars made room for Wahpepah by placing pitcher David Johnson on the disabled list, retroactive to June 9.
White earned his first Double-A win after yielding a run on 3 hits in 6 2/3 innings. The Stars were held to a season-low of 4 hits in the game.
Alcides Escobar went hitless in 4 at-bats, ending a 16-game hitting streak, longest for any Huntsville Star this season.
Southern League victory leader David Welch goes for his 9th win Friday night. The lefty takes on Suns' right-hander James McDonald (3-2, 3.74). Game time is 6:05 CT.
At the Big Chip in Jackson, Chattanooga will start Travis Wood (1-1, 4.70) against West Tennessee's ace Rich Dorman (6-2, 2.70). Dorman is 6th among Southern League ERA leaders.