Jared Mitchell's stellar defense and a 3-for-4 night at the plate weren't enough as the Birmingham Barons dropped their second-straight game to the Huntsville Stars 4-3 Friday night in front of 3,067 fans at Regions Park.
The Barons struck for an early run in the first. Following a leadoff hit by pitch to Tyler Saladino, Drew Garcia extended his hitting streak to seven games with a double down the right field line, sending Saladino to third. Corey smith plated Saladino with a groundout to third, giving the Barons a 1-0 lead.
The Stars loaded the bases in the second, scoring a run on a ground ball to second but failed to take full advantage of the scoring opportunity further.
The Barons took a 3-1 lead in the fourth as Andy Wilkins led off the inning with a triple and scored on a Corey Smith double. Mitchell plated Smith with a line drive single up the middle for what proved to be the Barons final run of the game.
Huntsville tacked on a run in the fifth on a bases loaded infield single by Khris Davis, and took the lead in the seventh on a wild pitch from Barons reliever Brandon Kloess and an RBI single Khris Davis.
The Barons were unable to mount a rally over the final two innings, falling to 3-6 on the season. Kyle Heckathorn (1-0, 4.63) picked up the win for the Stars, allowing three runs on six hits in 6.0 innings. Kloess (0-1, 3.18) took the loss allowing two runs on two hits in 2.0 innings in relief of starter Cameron Bayne. Robert Wooten picked up his second save of the season, recording the final four outs of the game.
Mitchell enjoyed his first three-hit game with the Barons, finishing 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI.
The Barons will look to take the series against Huntsville tomorrow night as LHP Pedro Hernandez (0-1, 5.79) takes the hill against Huntsville starter RHP RJ Seidel (0-1, 10.12). First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 PM.