Stars Get Over the Hump with 15-4 Pounding of Chattanooga

(CHATTANOOGA) - Michael Garciaparra homered and drove in four runs to lead a 20-hit barrage as the Huntsville Stars won their third straight game by beating the Chattanooga Lookouts, 15-4, at AT&T Field, Thursday.

The Stars had tried and failed to win three straight seven times since beating the Tennessee Smokies in a five-game series in mid-May. From the start of the season up to May 15, the Stars had won at least three straight five times.

Chris Valaika's 1st inning home run gave the Lookouts a 1-0 lead, but the Stars erased that in the 2nd inning for good on a two-run single by Lorenzo Cain, his first hit and RBI since joining the team.

Huntsville followed that with a 4-run 3rd and a 4-run 4th inning, giving starting pitcher Troy Cate (2-0) a 10-1 cushion.

Freddy Parejo sparked the 3rd with a leadoff home run -- just his 2nd of the season. Chattanooga starter Travis Wood finished the inning and surrendered back-to-back singles in the 4th before Pedro Viola came in from the bullpen.

Viola struck out Angel Salome, but after Cole Gillespie doubled, he served up a two-out, 3-run homer to Michael Garciaparra, his first of the year and his first RBI since joining the team May 31.

Garciaparra, who came into the game hitting .182, was one of five Stars with at least three hits along with Parejo, Salome, Mat Gamel, and Alcides Escobar, who went 4-for-6 and scored 4 times. It was Escobar's 3rd four-hit game of the season.

The Stars matched a season-high with 20 hits and 15 runs.

Omar Aguilar and Steve Bray finished the game for Cate by pitching an inning apiece. Aguilar struck out two in the 8th, but allowed a 2-run double by Tonys Gutierrez. Bray gave up a hit in an otherwise scoreless 9th.

Thursday, a pair of right-handers will face each other. Mike Jones (0-3, 5.79), who went 5 innings, surrendering just 3 hits in his last start against Birmingham, will start for Huntsville against the Lookouts' James Avery (6-5, 4.83). Avery is 5-3 in his last 8 starts.