Huntsville, AL-The Huntsville Stars raced out to an early lead and never looked back Thursday night in a series opening 7-5 win over the Mississippi Braves at Joe Davis Stadium.
Hector Gimenez provided some early offense for the Stars, who broke their four game losing streak.
In the bottom of the first, Gimenez hit a three-run homerun over the left field wall against Mississippi starter Jason Hursh(11-7) giving the Stars a 3-0 lead.
Mississippi came back with a pair of solo homeruns against Huntsville starter Drew Gagnon(11-6).
Seth Loman hit a solo blast to right center in the top of the second inning making it 3-1.
Cedric Hunter then went deep off Gagnon on a solo homerun in the top of the fourth. Hunter's fourteenth homerun of the year just stayed fair down the right field line.
With the Stars leading 3-2, they put together a productive bottom of the fourth inning to expand their lead.
With the bases loaded, Erik Komatsu dumped a two-run single into left field making it 5-2. Gagnon, the Stars pitcher then executed a perfect bunt single scoring Nick Ramirez from third base.
Nick Shaw also doubled home a run to give the Stars a 7-2 lead.
Gagnon, who picked up the win, pitched six innings and allowed just four hits. He gave up three runs and struck out seven. He did not walk a batter.
With the Stars ahead 7-3 in the ninth, Mississippi put a scare into the Stars.
David Goforth, the Stars relieve walked Cedric Hunter. After Loman flew out to left field, David Rhom singled. Daniel Castro walked and the bases were loaded.
Goforth then got Matt Kennelly to fly out to right field.
With two outs, pinch hitter, Rich Poythress lined a two-run single into left field scoring a pair of runs.
With the tying runners on base, Goforth got Kyle Wren to ground out to third to end the game.
Gimenez led the Stars with a 3-4 performance and was a triple away from hitting for the cycle.
With the win, the Stars snapped the Braves eight game winning streak.
The Stars(30-36,76-60) lead the Mississippi Braves(41-25, 80-55) 1-0 in their series as it continues Friday. RHP Jacob Barnes(2-5, 4.33) will start for Huntsville. Mississippi will give the ball to RHP Greg Ross(6-3, 2.28) The game can be heard with Steve Jarnicki starting at 6:15 CDT on 92.9 FM, 1450 AM and wtkiradio.com