(HUNTSVILLE) - Carlos Corporan and Mat Gamel each homered and combined to drive in five runs to lead the Huntsville Stars to a 7-3 victory over the West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx, Sunday evening at Joe Davis Stadium.
The Stars will try to win their 3rd straight game for the first time since a mid-May sweep of the Tennessee Smokies at Five County Stadium, as they begin a six-game series against the Carolina Mudcats, Tuesday night.
The Stars (3-3) are now bunched with three other teams trailing the Smokies (4-2) for the top spot in the Southern League North.
Corporan put the Stars on the scoreboard in the 2nd inning with an RBI single that scored Cole Gillespie, who led off the inning with a double, advancing to third on a balk.
Gamel, in the 3rd, cleared the park with a solo home run to right-center field, his 15th of the season, pushing the lead to 2-0. The Stars then took advantage of a pair of Diamond Jaxx errors after a two-out walk to Gillespie.
With Mike Bell batting, 1st baseman Jeff Dominguez threw the ball away to second base trying to pick Gillespie off. Bell then singled to third, where Matt Mangini's throwing error allowed Gillespie to score, making it 3-0.
Mike Jones, limited to a 50-pitch count, tossed three scoreless innings, then was relieved in the 4th after walking Luis Valbuena and hitting Mike Wilson in the back with a pitch. Jason Shiell, sent down from Nashville Friday, got Jones out of the inning thanks in part to one of three double plays turned by the Stars.
Leading 3-1, the Stars then erupted for four runs in the bottom of the 6th.
Bell led off with a single to right. He scored when Corporan's home run, his 3rd, cleared the first fence in right field. It was just the 5th homer allowed by WT starter Ryan Ketchner in 80 innings. Ketchner, trailing by the same score he won with Tuesday night, when the Diamond Jaxx beat the Stars for the first half championship, left the game after Chris Errecart followed Corporan with a double to centerfield.
Bryan Harris, making his AA debut, retired Freddy Parejo, who sacrificed Errecart to third, then retired Michael Brantley on a grounder. But the Stars continued to score on a single by Alcides Escobar, who extended his hitting streak to 9 games. Escobar, himself, scored all the way from first, going on a pitch to Gamel, who singled deep to right field. That gave the Stars a 7-1 lead.
Valbuena's 2-run single off Robert Hinton, who followed Shiell from the bullpen, finished the scoring in the 7th.
Shiell earned his 1st win, allowing an unearned run on 5 hits in 3 innigns. He struck out two. Hinton picked up the messy save, his 1st since April 6th, giving up 2 runs on 4 hits in 3 innings.
The Stars will send Derek Miller (6-2, 4.86) to the hill against Carolina right-hander Josh Johnson, making a rehab start for the Marlins.
In a roster move prior to Sunday's game, the Stars activated pitcher David Johnson (2-2, 7.43) from the disabled list and sent pitcher Josh Wahpepah back to Brevard County (Florida State).