Thursday, July 30, 2009

Montgomery Biscuits Take Two From Huntsville Stars

Montgomery Biscuits[Via email from the Montgomery Biscuits' broadcaster Jon Laaser.]

The Biscuits snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 5-1 win over the Huntsville Stars in game one of a doubleheader, then completed a doubleheader sweep with a 10-0 romp in game two on Wednesday night at Riverwalk Stadium.

The Biscuits got on the board first in the second inning of game one against Stars' starter Donovan Hand. Hand had retired the first five Biscuits in the ballgame before Matt Fields launched a solo-home run well over the wall in left field for a 1-0 lead. Following Fields' blast, Cody Strait stepped in and homered in his first at-bat as a Biscuit. Strait's home run to right field gave the Biscuits a 2-0 lead, and marked the first time this season they had hit back-to-back home runs.

Biscuits' starter Heath Rollins worked scoreless through the fifth inning, but conceded back-to-back singles to Shane Justis and Drew Anderson to start the sixth. He was lifted in favor of closer Paul Phillips, who promptly struck out Jonathan Lucroy. Phillips then induced a fly-ball to right field from Taylor Green for the second out of the inning. Lorenzo Cain then singled in the first run of the ballgame for Huntsville to slice the Biscuits lead to 2-1.

The run was charged to Rollins (9-9), the only blemish on his evening. He earned his second home win of the season over five-plus innings, allowing seven hits, walking none and striking out three.

The Biscuits insured the game one victory with three runs in the sixth inning. Hand started the inning, but departed after allowing a one-out single to Rashad Eldridge. Eldridge stole second base and advanced to third on a throwing error by catcher J.R. Hopf. Chris Nowak brought him in with an RBI single. After a walk to Cody Cipriano, Fields delivered an RBI single and Strait capped the scoring at 5-1 with a sacrifice fly to right field.

Hand (8-4) was tagged with the loss, allowing three earned runs on five hits over 5 1/3 innings. Wes Littleton, who entered for Hand in the sixth, was charged with the remaining two runs.

Phillips struck out five Stars over two innings of scoreless inning to earn his fifth save of the season as the Biscuits snapped a franchise-record seven-game losing streak with the game one win.

A sloppy first inning set the tone and doomed the Stars in game two, as the Biscuits posted three runs against Huntsville starter Brandon Kintzler. Three errors in the inning, including a throwing error on Kintzler led the Biscuits to a 3-0 lead.

Kintzler didn't survive the second inning, as the floodgates opened for Montgomery. The Biscuits enjoyed their most productive inning of the season, plating seven earned runs and capping the scoring, 10-0. Matt Spring led off the inning with a solo-home run, and later recorded an RBI single off of reliever Josh Wahpepah to conclude the onslaught. In between, Desmond Jennings, Nowak and Fields all recorded RBI singles and Strait ripped a two-run double.

Kintzler (0-1) was hit with the loss in his Double-A debut, allowing seven runs, five earned in just an 1 1/3. Wahpepah was charged with the final three runs -- all earned -- for Huntsville.

Lost amidst the offense was sensational performance from Biscuits' starter Aneury Rodriguez. Rodriguez (6-10) turned in a complete-game shutout, winning for the sixth time as he turned in the first complete-game of the season for Montgomery. The right-hander has not allowed an earned run over his last three starts (19 2/3 innings).

The doubleheader sweep is the third of the season for the Biscuits, who now boast a record of 7-1 in doubleheader games.

Game four of the series is scheduled for 7:05 PM on Thursday night at Riverwalk Stadium. RHP Rayner Oliveros (3-1, 3.96) will make the start for Montgomery against RHP Mark Holliman (7-5, 5.17) for Huntsville.

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