(HUNTSVILLE) - Brae Wright struck out a season-high 10 hitters, but suffered yet again another hard-luck loss when Tonys Gutierrez knocked in the winning run off Juan Sandoval in the 9th inning to give Chattanooga a 5-4 win over Huntsville, Thursday night at Joe Davis Stadium.
Wright, 6-9 with a 3.42 ERA, has not won a game since June 22 when he went 8 innings to beat Carolina, 8-1.
Wright has an ERA of 3.17 in that period, but has received no more than two runs of support in 8 of his last 9 starts. He left with a 5-4 lead against West Tennessee, August 8, but the Stars lost in the bottom of the 9th.
Wright gave up 3 runs on 7 hits and a walk in 7 innings.
The Stars rallied in the bottom of the 8th for reliever Omar Aguilar, but despite three hits and a hit batter, could score just one run to tie the game at three.
Juan Sandoval opened the 9th inning for the Stars and was greeted with a leadoff single by Danny Dorn. Dorn reached third when pinch-hitter Michael DeJesus dropped down a sacrifice bunt attempt that was fielded by 3rd baseman Mat Gamel and thrown wildly into center field. After Chris Denove grounded out, Gutierrez chopped a single over a drawn-in infield to score Dorn and DeJesus for a 5-3 lead.
Former Stars' closer Joe Valentine, picked up as a free agent by the Reds a little more than a week ago, registered the save, but gave up a two-out, RBI single Angel Salome that trimmed the lead to 5-4.
Mat Gamel followed with an infield hit, his first hit of the game, before Cole Gillespie lined out to end the game.
Salome, the league's leading hitter at .356, went 4-for-5 -- surpisingly, his first four-hit game of the season -- and knocked in a pair of runs.
Cole Gillespie went 3-for-5 with a double to raise his average to .287, his best mark since June 4.
Alcides Escobar hit an RBI double off Chattanooga starter Sam Lecure in the Stars' 3-run 3rd inning to extend his hitting streak to 10 games. Escobar is one hit shy of becoming the first Huntsville hitter since 1997 to collect 170 hits in a season.
Friday night, left-hander David Welch will try once more for his 11th win as he takes the mound against Lookouts' southpaw Pedro Viola (2-6, 4.71). Welch has had one loss and seven no-decision starts in his last 10 appearances. Viola has given up just one run in 11 innings over three appearances this month.