Posted: Sunday, April 21st 2013 at 1:49am
Freeman goes 5-for-5 in rehab start, as G-Braves blank Charlotte
FORT MILL, S.C. -– Freddie Freeman is ready to return to the big leagues, but he will have one more game with the Gwinnett Braves just to make sure.
The former International League Rookie of the Year, playing his second game on a minor league injury rehab stint, went 5-for-5 with three singles, two doubles and two RBI to lead the Gwinnett Braves (8-9) to a 6-0 win over the Charlotte Knights (5-12) on Saturday night at Knights Stadium.
Freeman’s big night backed a G-Braves’ pitching staff that turned in a shutout performance for the second-straight game in Charlotte. Starter Daniel Rodriguez struck out 10 batters over 6.0 two-hit innings to earn his first victory in the United States, and relievers Ryan Buchter, Wirfin Obispo and Cory Rasmus all turned in scoreless innings.
After three scoreless innings, the G-Braves grabbed the lead in the top of the fourth. Freeman led off with a single to right and moved to third as Joe Terdoslavich doubled off the right-field wall. With two outs, Paul Janish lifted a short fly to center that Charlotte’s Luis Durango could not reach. The hit scored both Freeman and Terdoslavich to put Gwinnett up 2-0.
Gwinnett added an unearned run against Knights’ starter Zach Stewart in the top of the sixth. Freeman led off with a double to left and scored from second as a hard ground ball hit by Ernesto Mejia went between the legs of Charlotte third baseman Steve Tolleson for an error.
With two outs in the top of the seventh, Jose Constanza reached second on an infield hit and an error. Tyler Pastornicky lined a single to left, moving Constanza to third. Stewart was lifted for right-hander Brian Omogrosso, and Freeman greeted him with a double down the right-field line scoring both Constanza and Pastornicky for a 5-0 lead.
The final tally for the G-Braves came in the top of the ninth against left-hander Daniel Moskos. Pastornicky reached on a fielder’s choice and took third on Freeman’s fifth hit of the night, a single to right. An intentional walk to Mejia loaded the bases, and Terdoslavich scored Pastornicky from third with a sacrifice fly to left.
Rodriguez (W, 1-1) set affiliated career highs in both innings (6.0) and strikeouts (10) as he combined with Buchter, Obispo and Rasmus for the two-hit shutout. Gwinnett pitchers have not allowed a run of any kind in the last 19.2 innings dating back to the eighth inning on Thursday vs. Norfolk.
Stewart (L, 0-2) lost to the G-Braves for the second time this season. He went 6.2 innings and allowed four earned runs on nine hits. Omogrosso pitched 1.1 scoreless innings with two hits, one walk and one strikeout. Moskos gave up three hits, one earned run and one walk in one inning of work.
Aside from Freeman’s perfect night, three other G-Braves also enjoyed multi-hit games. Constanza went 3-for-5, Pastornicky went 2-for-5 and Terdoslavich added a 2-for-4 effort with two doubles. Janish drove home two runs on 1-for-5 hitting.
A lead-off double by Drew Garcia in the bottom of the third and a one-out single in the fifth by Jim Gallagher were Charlotte’s only two hits on the night.
Sunday’s game, presented by Univision, features both “Bark in the Park” and “Family Day” festivities. Bring your dog down to Coolray Field to spend the afternoon with the G-Braves, and bring your family out as well. “Family Day” includes Pre-Game Catch in the Outfield for 20 minutes starting when the gates open, as well as Post-Game Kids Base Run for children 12 and under.
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