Posted: Saturday, July 28th 2012 at 12:56am
Pie, G-Braves bash Bulls
By staff reports
LAWRENCEVILLE -– The Gwinnett Braves throttled the Durham Bulls, 13-1, in the finale of a four-game series on Friday night at Coolray Field.
Felix Pie was the player of the game with his three-hit performance, including the first Gwinnett grand slam of the year and a team-high six RBIs. With the win, Gwinnett splits the series and moves within 1.0 game of Durham for third place in the International League South Division.
Yohan Flande (5-7) was masterful for seven innings of scoreless baseball for Gwinnett. The left-hander allowed just four total hits, walked two and struck out four over an efficient 98-pitch, 61-strike outing.
For the first time on the homestand, Gwinnett scored first. The G-Braves plated seven runs on five hits against Durham starter Jim Paduch in the second inning. Ernesto Mejia led off the inning with a walk and took third on a single by Stefan Gartrell.
Terry Tiffee drove home the first run of the game with an RBI double to right. Two batters later, Jose Yepez signled home Gartrell to boost the lead to 2-0. Luis Durango singled to score Tiffee for his 41st RBI of the season, and Jack Wilson was hit by a pitch to load the bases.
That set the table for Pie, who launched a grand slam into the right-field bullpen to give Gwinnett a 7-0 lead. Pie’s slam off Paduch was the first by a G-Brave this season. The last Gwinnett hitter to hit a grand slam was Brandon Hicks, doing so on August 28, 2011 against the Norfolk Tides.
Gwinnett added two more runs in the fourth when Pie laced a two-run single into right-center, scoring Ruben Gotay and Durango for a 9-0 advantage. Pie finished his night a triple shy of the cycle at 3-for-5, including six RBIs. It was the most RBIs by G-Braves hitter since Mauro Gomez drove in eight runs on 4-for-5 hitting on July 25, 2011 at Norfolk.
Josh Wilson and Ruben Gotay both belted solo home runs in the eighth inning off Durham reliever/catcher Craig Albernaz to increase the Gwinnett lead to 11-1. It was Wilson's fifth home run of the season, while Gotay's shot was his fourth of the year.
Mejia looked to have hit his 22nd home run in the inning as well, however, his ball to deep left field was ruled a ground rule double. Nevertheless, the hit scored Durango and Pie for Mejia’s IL-leading 73rd and 74th RBIs of the season.
Billy Bullock entered the game in the eighth inning with the G-Braves leading 9-0 and proceeded to surrender one run on one hit with three walks. Dusty Hughes entered the game with two outs in the eighth and the bases full of Bullock’s inherited runners. The left-hander stranded all three runners and worked an additional scoreless inning.
Paduch (6-8) started for the Bulls and worked six innings, allowing nine runs on nine hits. Brandon Gomes threw a scoreless inning in relief before Albernaz yielded four more runs over one inning.
Pie (2-for-4, GS, 6 RBI) and Mejia (2-for-4, double, 2 RBI) each had multi-hit, multi-RBI nights for the G-Braves. Tiffee concluded a hot series by going 3-for-4 with a run scored and RBI. Durango (2-for-4, 3 runs, RBI) and Gotay (2-for-4, HR, 2 runs, RBI) also had solid offensive nights for Gwinnett.
The Gwinnett Braves (49-59) will head to Charlotte (61-46) on Saturday for the start of a four-game series with the Knights at Knights’ Stadium in Fort Mill, SC. First pitch is scheduled for 7:15 PM. Right-hander Miguel Batista (0-0, 0.00) is expected to start for the G-Braves, while Charlotte has not yet named a starter. You can hear the broadcast on WDUN 550 AM and 102.9 FM
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