(KODAK, Tenn.) - Nic Ungs held the Tennessee Smokies to one hit over 7 innings, picking up home run support from Matt LaPorta, who hit his 20th this season, as the Stars finished their 10-game road trip with their 6th shutout of the season, 4-0.
The Stars, who have not put together a lengthy streak since mid-May, split six games with Carolina and four games with the Smokies. They are 8-8 in the second half, 3 games behind the 1st place Smokies, who are 11-5.
The only hit Ungs allowed was a 2-out single to Matt Craig in the 4th inning. Jason Shiell pitched the final two innings, giving up a pair of leadoff singles in the 9th, but Shiell struck out Craig and picked off Tyler Colvin. He walked Doug Deeds, who hit the game-winning homer for Tennessee the night before, but got Jason Fox to fly out to end the game.
LaPorta put the Stars on the scoreboard in the 4th inning by ending a 46 at-bat home run drought with a 2-run blast with Mat Gamel scoring ahead of him. Gamel singled to leadoff the inning, extending his hitting streak to 14 games.
LaPorta drew a walk with two out in the sixth and scored when Gillespie followed with a monstrous home run, his 11th of the year, off the top of the scoreboard in left-center field. It was his second long ball on the trip and second since May 28 at Mobile.
Alex Maestri (0-1) took the loss in his 2nd Double-A start, allowing 6 hits in 6 innings, striking out 5 and walking just one hitter.
Ungs (1-0), in his 2nd start for the Stars, won for just the first time since his initial start of the year for the Nashville Sounds on April 6. He threw 78 pitches and recorded 13 ground ball outs.
The Stars return home tonight, expecting to break the 100,000-mark in attendance for a big Fourth of July crowd and the biggest Fireworks show of the season. That will follow the game against Birmingham. Left-hander Troy Cate will take the hill for the second time this season for the Stars against Barons' right-hander Justin Cassel (7-3, 3.29).