Posted: Monday, July 9th 2012 at 2:16am
G-Braves outslug Bulls headed into All-Star break
LAWRENCEVILLE -– The Gwinnett Braves are headed into the Triple-A All-Star Break on a high note after defeating the Durham Bulls 11-9 on Sunday in front of 3,141 fans at Coolray Field. Ruben Gotay homered and drove in three, and Tyler Pastornicky blasted a homer and drove in two runs as well as the G-Braves (43-49) moved into a third-place tie with Durham (43-49) for third in the International League South Division.
Gwinnett's offense was firing on all cylinders to start the day as the G-Braves batted around and scored five times in the first inning. Luis Durango led off with a single up the middle, then moved into scoring position with his IL-leading 31st stolen base of the season. Pastornicky followed with a single of his own and Ernesto Mejia pushed across the game’s first run with a single to left-center scoring Durango. RBI doubles by Gotay and Jose Yepez, a single by Christian Marrero and a sacrifice fly by Josh Wilson raised the lead to 5-0.
After working a scoreless first inning, G-Braves’ starter Julio Teheran gave three runs right back in the second inning. Henry Wrigley singled, Chris Gimenez walked and Reid Brignac followed with a three-run homer to deep left field. Brignac’s seventh home run of the season cut the G-Braves’ lead to 5-3.
Gwinnett responded with three more runs in their half of the third inning to once again take a five-run lead. Gotay drilled a two-run home run to right, his third of the season, scoring himself and Stefan Gartrell,. Marrero then drew a walk and advanced to third base on a perfectly executed hit-and-run by Yepez. Durango drove in Marrero with a two-out infield single for an 8-3 G-Braves’ advantage.
Durham starter Luke Pendleton (L, 4-3) allowed eight earned runs on 10 hits over just 2.2 innings. Right-hander Josh Lueke followed with 2.1 scoreless innings, including three strikeouts.
Teheran (W, 6-5) did not allow a run in the third or fourth innings, but suffered through a four-run fifth as he served up three more home runs. Rich Thompson and Wrigley each launched solo blasts, and Gimenez plated two more runs with a shot to left-center. Durham closed the gap to 8-7 and chased Teheran from the game after 5.0 innings. The right-hander was touched up for seven runs on nine hits including a season-high four home runs, the most allowed by any Gwinnett pitcher in an outing this season.
Still, the G-Braves had an answer offensively. Pastornicky lifted a two-run homer to left in the sixth inning off Bulls’ reliever Romulo Sanchez, his first of the season with Gwinnett. A two-out single by Durango off Ryan Reid scored Wilson to increase the lead to 11-7 in the seventh.
Dusty Hughes (H, 3) worked 3.0 scoreless innings in relief of Teheran. Adam Russell yielded a pair of runs on a Gimenez single, but ended the game on a strikeout of Brignac.
Durango led the way for Gwinnett with a 3-for-4 game that included two runs scored and two RBIs. Gotay (2-for-5, HR, 3 RBIs) and Pastornicky (2-for-3, HR, 2 RBIs) added multi-hit, multi-RBI games. Mejia drove in his team-leading 59th RBI on 1-for-5 hitting. Eight of the nine G-Braves hitters recorded at least a hit on the day as the club scored in double-digits for the first time since beating Pawtucket, 11-8, on June 11.
The Gwinnett Braves are off for the next three days while the 25th Annual Triple-A All-Star festivities go on at Coca-Cola Field in Buffalo, N.Y. The team is back in action on Thursday, July 12 as they open a four-game road series at Louisville Slugger Field in Louisville, KY. Game one against the Louisville Bats is slated for a 7:05 p.m. start. Starting pitchers will be announced at a later date.
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