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Posted: Friday, May 10th 2013 at 11:20pm

Scranton downs G-Braves to extend losing skid to 13

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MOOSIC, Pa. –- Over the past two seasons Curtis Granderson has hit 84 homeruns with the New York Yankees. Friday night, in his second game in a rehab assignment in Triple-A, he proved his homerun stroke is still there.

After going hitless in his first four at bats of the game, Granderson hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning off of G-Braves reliever Andy Russell, propelling the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (19-14) to a 5-3 win over the Gwinnett Braves (12-24) in the opener of the four-game series at PNC Field.

Russell (L, 2-4) entered the game to begin the bottom of the eighth. He recorded the first out of the inning, but gave up a single to right to Corbin Joseph. With Joseph on first and a 3-and-1 count, Granderson sent the next pitch over the wall in left-center, beyond the outstretched arm of Gwinnett leftfielder Brandon Boggs, breaking a 3-3 tie.

The game began on a high note, as if the G-Braves would put an end to their current losing streak. In the top of the first, against starting pitcher Chris Bootcheck, Tyler Pastornicky led off with a single. Alden Carrithers followed with a bunt single to put two on with no outs. Joey Terdoslavich then drilled a three-run homer to right to put the Braves up, 3-0.

But the Braves would not score again.

On the other side, RailRiders kept the pressure on Gwinnett starter Michael Lee, who was making his first ever Triple-A start after being called up from Double-A Mississippi.

Finally, after three scoreless innings, the RailRiders broke through in the fourth. Melky Mesa led off with a single to left and scored from first on a double to center by Addison Maruszak, cuttting the Gwinnett lead to 3-1. Joseph then reached on a fielders’ choice putting two on for Zolio Almonte. The outfielder delivered with a two-run single to center, scoring both Maruszak and Joseph to tie the game at three.

Both offenses sputtered the rest of the way, until Granderson’s heroics in the bottom of the eighth.

Russell (L, 2-4) took the loss, working 1.0 innings, allowing two runs on two hits. Lee was effective in his first start for Gwinnett, hurling 5.0 innings. He gave up 10 hits and three earned runs while walking three and striking out one. Luis Ayala, in his second rehab outing with Gwinnett, worked two scoreless innings with two hits and two strikeouts.

Despite giving up three runs early, Bootcheck went 6.0 innings for the RailRiders. He gave up five hits and three earned runs. He walked one and struck out four. Dellin Betances (W, 3-2) picked up the win in his first bullpen outing of the season. He went 2.1 innings with one walk and one strikeout. Sam Demel (S, 1) worked a scoreless ninth, recording his first save of the season.

At the plate, the Braves were led by Terdoslavich who was 2-for-3 with a homer and three RBIs. Ernesto Mejia broke out of an 0-26 slump with a 2-for-3 night including a double and a single. Jason Heyward, with the team on a rehab assignment, did not play due to soreness. The G-Braves plan to have him in the lineup on Saturday.

For the RailRiders, Almonte had three hits and two RBIs. Mesa was 3-for-4, while Joseph, Dan Johnson and Ronnier Mustelier each contributed two hits.

The G-Braves and RailRiders play game two of the series Saturday night with a first pitch of 7:05 p.m. RHP Omar Poveda (2-2, 2.33) will start for the Braves. The RailRiders will pitch RHP Chien-Ming Wang (2-2, 2.63). Tony Schiavone will have the call on WDUN AM 550/FM 102.9.

Tickets for all Gwinnett Braves home games are on sale now at the Coolray Field Box Office. Call (678) 277-0340 or visit gwinnettbraves.com for more information.
Associated Categories: Sports News, Professional Sports

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