Yovani Gallardo struck out 10 over six strong innings Friday as the Huntsville Stars pounded the Chattanooga Lookouts, 12-3, to take a 2-0 lead in the Southern League North Division Finals.
Gallardo (1-0) allowed a run on four hits and did not walk a batter en route to his second double-digit strikeout performance for the Stars. The 20-year-old right-hander led the Minors with 188 strikeouts in 155 innings. He had six 10-strikeout games with Class A Advanced Brevard County prior to his promotion.
"My fastball was my best pitch tonight because it's the easiest to control," Gallardo said. "Against a good-hitting team like this, you need to be able to hit your spots consistently.
"I was just trying to give our team a chance and not let them get a big lead early."
Despite his stellar effort, Gallardo left the game trailing, 1-0, in the sixth before Huntsville's offense came to life with four runs in the seventh.
Brendan Katin delivered a game-tying RBI double and Ozzie Chavez drew a bases-loaded walk to put the Stars ahead to stay, 2-1.
Lou Palmisano smacked a run-scoring double in the eighth and Brad Nelson belted a three-run homer in the ninth as Huntsville built on a 2-0 victory in Thursday's series opener.
The victory margin was the Stars' biggest in a playoff games since a 13-2 rout of Birmingham on Sept. 7, 2001.
The Lookouts jumped in front in the first on consecutive two-out doubles by Aaron Herr and Chris Dickerson, who went 2-for-4 with three RBIs.
Chattanooga starter Josh Hall (0-1) had a one-hitter through five before surrendering four runs on three hits and four walks with five strikeouts in six-plus frames.
The series moves to Huntsville for Game 3 on Saturday at 8:05 p.m. ET.
Michael Echan is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.