Posted: Monday, August 6th 2012 at 11:46pm
Norfolk pulls away for victory over G-Braves
LAWRENCEVILLE -– The Norfolk Tides scored five runs after the fifth inning to take the opener of a four-game series, 7-4 over the Gwinnett Braves on Monday night at Coolray Field. Randall Delgado allowed three runs over 5 2/3 innings in the losing effort for Gwinnett, while Norfolk starter Dana Eveland yielded only two unearned runs over 6.0 innings for the victory.
With the loss, Gwinnett’s first in eight meetings with Norfolk this season, the G-Braves find themselves 7 games behind the Tides for second place in the International League South Division.
Gwinnett opened the scoring with two runs in the first inning against Eveland. Luis Durango and Jack Wilson led off with back-to-back singles, and both took off on a double steal attempt. Wilson was caught at second but ruled safe as Tides’ second baseman Ryan Adams was charged with a missed catch error. Both runners advanced into scoring position on the play, though neither was credited with a steal. Stefan Gartrell grounded out to score Durango for the first run, and the G-Braves boosted their lead to 2-0 on another double steal attempt. Jose Yepez was caught stealing second base, but stayed in the rundown long enough for Wilson to cross the plate.
Norfolk responded to tie the game in the third inning. Brandon Waring doubled to lead off the inning against Delgado, and Jamie Hoffman connected on a two-run homer to deep left field to even the score at 2-2.
The Tides took the lead in the sixth inning as the first three hitters reached to load the bases. Delgado forced Luis Exposito into a double play, but L.J. Hoes scored as a result, giving Norfolk a 3-2 lead. Billy Bullock relieved Delgado with two outs in the inning and loaded the bases again with a walk, but struck out Blake Davis to end the threat.
Bullock would not be as fortunate the next inning, allowing two runs on three hits. Adams and hoes each reached on one-out singles and an RBI double by Joe Mahoney and sacrifice fly by Ronny Paulino raised the lead to 5-2. Buddy Carlyle came on in relief of Bullock and worked 1.2 scoreless innings, holding the deficit at three.
Peter Moylan appeared for the G-Braves in the ninth and gave up two more runs to the Tides. Adams and Hoes again singled to start the inning, and a fielder’s choice by Paulino and single by Exposito drove them each in to make it 7-2. Cole McCurry finished off the frame, stranding three inherited runners for Moylan.
Gwinnett mounted a comeback in the ninth, loading the bases against Oscar Villarreal. Yepez and Josh Kroeger both scored as Brian Friday grounded into a potential double play. Adams committed his second error of the game, this time on a throw to first base, to plate the second of the two runs. Villarreal (S, 1) worked past the setback, retiring Durango to end the game.
Delgado (L, 2-2) fell despite allowing just three runs on five hits over 5 2/3 innings. He walked four and struck out seven, throwing 110 pitches, 62 for strikes in his fourth start for Gwinnett.
Eveland (W, 4-4) was solid for 6 innings, giving up just two unearned runs on three hits in that span. Pedro Viola (H, 1) worked a scoreless seventh and Villarreal worked 2 innings for the save.
Gwinnett’s offense was led by Kroeger, who went 2-for-3 with a double and a run scored. Gartrell and Friday each drove in a run without benefit of a hit.
The Gwinnett Braves (52-65) play game two of the four-game series against the Norfolk Tides (59-58) on Tuesday evening at Coolray Field, first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Left-hander Yohan Flande (5-8, 3.96) is slated to start for the G-Braves, while the Tides counter with right-hander Jake Arrieta (3-1, 3.63). Listen to the broadcast on AM 550/FM 102.9 WDUN in Gainesville with Tony Schiavone calling the play by play.
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