HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - It took 22 attempts before a single Tennessee Smokies batter got past Stars' starting pitcher Tyler Thornburg and touched first base. Thornburg was staring down a perfect game with just five outs to go when right fielder Mike Burgess hit a single to right-center field.
Thornburg cruised through the first seven innings, fanning a total of 11 batters, a career high. He was tagged with one earned run after Burgess scored on a Jonathan Mota double off reliever Rob Wooten.
The Stars offense provided more than enough cushion to give Thornburg some breathing room. Josh Prince led off the second inning with a base hit. He was driven home on a RBI-double from Brock Kjeldgaard.
Huntsville added on two more runs in the fifth and seventh on two two-run shots from Scooter Gennett. The speedy second baseman had a strong outing as well, ending the night with three hits in four at-bats. He knocked in four of the Stars five runs. He also extended his hit-streak to eight games.
The Smokies got four hits and their two runs in the eighth. Wooten gave up one earned in his two-thirds inning of work.
In a night close to perfection, reliever Josh Stinson came in the game to close out a perfect ninth inning.
Tennessee starter Trey McNutt got tagged with the loss, going four innings, giving up one run on four hits. He walked one and struck out three. Reliever Jeff Antigua gave up both home runs to Gennett, pitching just two and a third innings, giving up five hits.
The Stars will look to win their third straight game at "The Joe" by sending RHP Evan Anundsento the mound (0-0, 2.57 ERA) to face off against Smokies RHP Dallas Beeler (0-0, 1.64 ERA). First pitch is slated for 6:43 PM.
It's a Dew for Tuesday tomorrow night at the stadium. Two Mountain Dew bottle caps will get you $2 parking and a $2 ticket. Once inside the gates, select 16-ounce draft beers, 20-ounce Pepsi fountain products, Johnsonville hot dogs, popcorn and peanuts will be just $2! Gates open at 6. For more information, visit www.huntsvillestars.com or call (256) 882-2562.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.