(CHATTANOOGA) - Angel Salome had three hits and knocked in three runs for a second straight night to pace a 14-hit attack as the Huntsville Stars held off a Chattanooga rally in the 9th inning to beat the Lookouts for a 3rd straight night, 9-8, at AT&T Field.
It was the Stars' 4th straight win, after not having won more than two straight since mid-May when the Stars swept the Tennessee Smokies in a five-game series.
The Lookouts drop to 10-13, six games behind the Smokies, who lead the Northern Division by three games over the Stars.
Juan Sandoval preserved the win in the bottom of the 9th, but it wasn't easy. He gave up a leadoff single to Drew Stubbs, then walked Tonys Gutierrez with one out before Drew Anderson (unrelated to the former Star by the same name) singled in Stubbs to make it a one-run game. Stubbs went 4-for-5 in his debut for the Lookouts.
Sandoval then struck out Sean Henry and got Justin Turner to fly out to end the game. Sandoval earned his 2nd save of the series and 11th of the season.
Patrick Ryan gave up 3 hits in a scoreless inning-and-a-third and picked up the win. He is 3-4.
The Stars won on the strength of a pair of 3-run innings. They erased a Chattanooga 4-1 lead in the 3rd inning, sparked by starter Mike Jones' one-out infield single. Freddy Parejo and Alcides Escobar followed with singles to make it 4-2. After Chattanooga starter Matt Avery (6-6) struck out Mat Gamel, Salome doubled in Parejo and Escobar.
Chattanooga went ahead 6-4 in the 4th inning after Ryan replaced Jones on the mound. Ryan walked 2nd baseman Justin Turner to load the bases, then Daniel Dorn singled in Tonys Gutierrez and Sean Henry.
The Stars took the lead, 7-6, in the 6th, thanks in part to some wildness from Avery, who, with one out, hit Cole Gillespie with a pitch. J.R. Hopf walked, then Gillespie then went to third on a wild pitch with Mike Bell at the plate. Bell then doubled in both runners to tie the game at 6.
Michael Brantley, making his first appearance in two weeks after being sidelined by a sprained right ankle, lined a pinch-hit single into left field to score Bell to give the Stars their first lead and put an end to Avery's night.
Lorenzo Cain tripled in a run with one out in the 8th to push the Stars' lead to 8-6 but the Stars could not bring him around. It took Gillespie's RBI single, one of four in the 9th, to give the Stars their all-important insurance run off releiver Mike Hrynio.
The Stars have scored 38 runs on 61 hits during their 4-game winning streak, with at least 13 hits in all four games.
Salome has knocked in a run in 12 of his last 19 games.
Nic Ungs (1-0, 0.75) takes the mound for the Stars, Friday night against Chattanooga southpaw
Ben Jukich (8-3, 3.30).