The Sounds tied the score at 2-all in the sixth but gave the lead and the game away in the seventh as Tacoma registered a 5-2 victory Tuesday night.
Mark DiFelice started and allowed two runs, both unearned, through five innings. He finished with five strikeouts and gave up five hits. Troy Cate (1-2) got the loss, allowing two runs on four hits in 1.2 innings.
The Stars (17-14) suffered their second straight defeat, a 3-2 decision to third-place Carolina, but remained one game behind North Division leader Tennessee.
Huntsville held a 2-0 advantage until the Mudcats touched starter Brae Wright for three runs on a walk, two hits, a wild pitch and sacrifice fly in the fourth.
Southpaw Wright fell to 6-9 despite a 3.44 ERA after allowing three runs on six hits and four walks while striking out five in six innings. Righty Steve Bray tossed two innings of one-hit ball in relief.
The Stars have remained in contention despite battling through injuries and working around three-game suspensions of catcher Angel Salome, outfielder Michael Brantley, Bell and pitcher David Welch from a brawl against Chattanooga earlier in the month.
The weather-weary Manatees were forced to tackle a doubleheader, and they bounced back from a tough loss in the opener with a convincing triumph to gain a split at Tampa.
In the first seven-inning encounter, Tampa scored three times in the second and added an insurance run in the fifth for a 4-2 decision in which Brevard County won the hit column 7-6 but only scored in the fourth.
First baseman Kenny Holmberg led the Manatees with two hits, a double and the team's only RBI.
Amaury Rivas (0-1) made his first start and appearance for the Manatees, allowing five hits and three runs in three innings. Rafael Lluberes went the final three, giving up a hit, two walks and a run.
In the second game, the Manatees scored in each of the first four innings to grab a 15-0 advantage, including a six-run explosion in the second that featured Charlie Fermaint's two-run single and Chuck Caufield's two-run double. Brent Brewer then doubled home two runs during a three-run third and the rout was on as the visitors claimed a 16-2 triumph.
Brevard County continued the already season-high scoring onslaught—nine runs on three occasions was the previous best--with five more runs in the fourth. Brewer knocked in two more with a single and Taylor Green capped the outburst with a two-run double.
Brewer finished 4 for 4 with four runs and five RBIs, center fielder Mel Stocker was 3 for 5 with three runs, Green knocked in three and was 2 for 3 and Fermaint and Caufield each finished 2 for 5 with two RBIs.
Southpaw Mike Ramlow (2-0) was the beneficiary, tossing the first five innings. He walked only one and allowed just one hit as his ERA remained at 0.00 in his first two outings and 7.2 innings with the Manatees.
The Power won their second in a row over Rome, 7-0, with a balanced offense and dominating pitching.
Six players knocked in runs and six Power batters ripped doubles in their 15-hit attack, including shortstop Eric Farris' two two-baggers.
Right-hander Roque Mercedes (5-4) was marvelous through seven innings, allowing only three hits and no walks while striking out nine, registering at least one whiff in every frame. Pedro Lambertus finished up with two innings of one-hit ball.
West Virginia improved to 23-9 and increased their lead over Lakewood to two games as the Blueclaws lost at Asheville.
The Brewers entered play at 18-15 and in second place, three games behind Billings. The visitors were knotted at 2-all in the seventh inning when a rain delay stopped the action.
Center fielder Erik had two hits and both Helena runs.
The Brewers (5-18) were off and return to action Wednesday against the first-place Angels.