(ZEBULON, NC) - The Carolina Mudcats crept a game closer to the 2nd place Huntsville Stars in the Northern Division after Gaby Hernandez worked six solid innings and drove in what turned out to be the game-winning run in the Mudcats' 3-2 win over the Stars, Tuesday night.
The Stars (17-14) are a game in back of the division-leading Tennessee Smokies and a game in front of the Mudcats. Tennessee was rained out at Birmingham.
Brae Wright (6-9) lost his third game this month when he blew a 2-0 lead in the 4th. Gaby Sanchez drew a leadoff walk and moved to third on a single to center by Bryan Petersen, who took second on the throw in. Sanchez then scored on a wild pitch by Wright, making it a one-run game.
Brad Davis walked to put runners on the corners. Smelin Perez then doubled to left to score Petersen from third to tie the game and Hernandez hit a fly ball to right to score Davis with the go-ahead run.
Hernandez and three relievers then scattered three hits as they held the Stars scoreless the rest of the way.
Cole Gillespie's one-out home run in the 2nd inning, his 13th of the year, gave the Stars a 1-0 lead. The Stars then threatened a big inning in the bottom of the 4th when Mike Bell doubled and Alcides Escobar singled, putting runners on second and third with nobody out.
But Mat Gamel flied out to shallow left and Gillespie's fielder's choice ground ball to score Bell was all the Stars could get out of the inning. J.R. Hopf flied out and Freddy Parejo popped out, leaving Escobar in scoring position.
Gamel (.362) went 0-for-4 and struck out three times to extend his hitting slump to a season-long 0-for-15 with six strikeouts.
Cole Gillespie walked to start the 9th inning and was sacrificed to second by Michael Garciaparra, but Freddy Parejo flied out and Martin Maldonado took a called third strike to end the game, giving closer Chris Mobley his 19th save of the season and 6th against the Stars.
Hernandez went six innings and struck out six for the win. He is 2-0.
Wright also lasted six, giving up three runs on six hits. He walked four and struck out five. The Stars have scored only four runs over his last three starts.
Wednesday night, Donovan Hand (1-3, 5.04) goes to the mound for the first time in 11 days to face right-hander Willie Glen (6-2, 2.05), who has given up only one run in 14 1/3 innings over his last four appearances.