Posted: Friday, July 13th 2012 at 11:50pm
G-Braves suffer record defeat at hands of Louisville
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- The Gwinnett Braves suffered their worst defeat since leaving Richmond in 2009, as they were hammered by the Louisville Bats 22-1 on Saturday night in game two of the three-game series at Louisville Slugger Field.
G-Braves’ starting pitcher Yohan Flande was pounded by the Bats (34-60) in the bottom of the first, as singles by the first three batters of the game, Denis Phipps, Didi Gregorius and Henry Rodriguez made it 1-0 Louisville. Neftali Soto (10) followed with a three-run homer to left for a commanding 4-0 Louisville lead. Later in the first, after a single by Dioner Navarro, Chad Puckett (3) launched a two run homer to left to boost the Bats’ lead to 6-0. Flande would not finish the inning and was relieved by Billy Bullock, who finished the first without further damage. Flande (L, 3-7) went 0.2 of an inning, giving up seven hits and six earned runs. He walked one and struck out one.
Nevertheless, Louisville did plenty of damage to Bullock in the second, as Rodriguez led off with a single, Soto walked and Navarro singled to load the bases with no outs. A passed ball off the mitt of G-Braves’ catcher Jose Yepez scored Rodriguez to make it 7-0 Louisville. Bullock walked Paul Janish to re-load the bases and then walked Xavier Paul to force across Soto with the eighth Louisville run. Puckett followed with a single scoring Navarro to make it 9-0 and Phipps (6) connected on a one-out grand slam to left-center, which was the sevneth run scored in the inning by the Bats, making it 13-0 after the first two innings.
The only Gwinnett run came in the top of the fourth when Tyler Pastornicky tripled to center and scored on a groundout to third by Ernesto Mejia. It was Mejia’s team leading 60th RBI of the season and cut the Bats lead to 13-1 after three and a half innings.
The Bats collected another run in the bottom of the fifth off of Braves reliever Adam Russell. A one out walk by Soto followed by a two out single to right by Paul put runners on the corners. A single by Paul Janish plated Soto with the Bats’ 14th run. In the bottom of the 6th, with Dusty Hughes pitching for the G-Braves, the Bats piled on more runs. The left-hander walked Phipps to lead off the half inning and Rodriguez was safe at first on a fielders’ choice on a ball hit to the G-Braves third baseman Lance Zawadzki. With two on and one out, Soto scored both Phipps and Rodriguez with a double to center to make it 16-1.
The Bats added a run off of Hughes in the bottom of the seventh to make it 17-1 as Chris Valaika reached on an error by G-Braves’ shortstop Josh Wilson. He then moved to second on a single by Gregorius and scored on a single to center by Rodriguez.
In the bottom of the eighth, newly acquired infielder Terry Tiffee was put into the unique position of making his first appearance for Gwinnett as a pitcher. He walked Navarro, gave up a single to Paul and walked Janish to load the bases. Puckett then singled to left scoring Navarro to make it 18-1 and Valaika (4) followed with a grand slam to end the scoring at 22-1, for the second Louisville grand slam of the night.
Sean Gallagher (W, 7-6) worked six quality innings for the win. The left-hander allowed five hits and one earned run while striking out two.
Josh Judy pitched one scoreless inning with one hit and one strikeout and former G-Braves’ pitcher J.J. Hoover pitched a scoreless eighth for the Bats. Travis Webb worked a scoreless ninth with one hit and one strikeout as well.
At the plate, the Gwinnett's Jose Constanza was 1-for-4, amping his G-Brave record breaking hit-streak to 16 games. Pastornicky was 3-for-4 with a single, double and triple, falling a home run short of the cycle. Yepez saw his hitting streak snap at nine games with an 0-for-3 night on Friday.
The Bats were paced by Phipps who was 5-for-6 with three runs and four RBIs. Soto was 2-for-4 with five RBIs and Rodriguez, Puckett and Paul each had three hits.
Game two of the series in Louisville is scheduled for Saturday night at 6:05 p.m. against the last place Gwinnett Braves (44-50). Right-hander Julio Teheran (6-5, 4.92) is set to pitch for the G-Braves against Louisville right-hander Chad Reineke (3-6, 4.36). Listen to the broadcast on WDUN AM 550 in Gainesville, Georgia with Tony Schiavone calling the play by play.
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