Posted: Thursday, June 20th 2013 at 7:22pm
G-Braves close road trip on three-game win streak
BUFFALO, N.Y. –- The Gwinnett Braves (31-44) finished their eight game road trip to the International League North with another victory as they held on for a 3-2 win Thursday afternoon over the Buffalo Bisons (36-36) in the final game of the four game series at Coca-Cola Field in Buffalo, N.Y.
The victory also marked the first win for Gwinnett starting pitcher David Hale (W, 2-3), as he recorded his first win since the opening day weekend series on April 6.
The Braves broke a scoreless tie in the top of the fourth as Todd Cunningham singled to left off of Bisons starter Justin Germano (L, 4-6) to lead off the inning. Cunningham moved to second on a ground out to the mound by Joey Terdoslavich and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Brandon Boggs followed with a two-out single to left, scoring Cunningham for a 1-0 lead.
The Braves added to the lead in the top of the eighth inning as Cunningham led off with a double to right and Ernesto Mejia belted his team-leading 17th home run of the season over the left-center field fence. The two-run shot gave the Braves a 3-0 lead.
They would need all they could get, as Buffalo made it interesting in the bottom of the ninth. With Ryan Buchter pitching, Luis Jimenez drilled a one out single to center, and then with two outs, Buchter walked both Ricardo Nanita and Sean Ochinko to load the bases. Cole McCurry entered the game from the bullpen and gave up a two run single to Ryan Goins, cutting the Gwinnett lead to 3-2. McCurry then walked Eugenio Velez to reload the bases, but got Mike McCoy to fly out to center to end the game.
Hale worked 6 scoreless innings, scattering seven hits and striking out three. Atlanta Braves pitcher Luis Ayala, on a rehab assignment worked a scoreless seventh. Juan Cedeno went 1 inning, allowing one hit and striking out the side. McCurry (S, 2) recorded the save, getting the final out of the last inning.
Germano pitched well, tossing 8 innings. He gave up seven hits, three earned runs, while walking one and striking out three.
Offensively, Cunningham and Boggs were both 2-for-4. Cunningham extended his hitting streak to seven games with the two-hit day. Mejia’s two-run homer in the eighth inning gave him 57 RBI on the season.
For Buffalo, McCoy, Jimenez and Moises Sierra each went 2-for-4.
The Braves return to Coolray Field Friday night to begin an eight game homestand with game one of a four game series against the Syracuse Chiefs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals. Gwinnett’s starting pitcher is yet to be announced, while the Chiefs will start right- hander Yunesky Maya (2-4, 4.81). Tony Schiavone will have the call on WDUN 550 AM/102.9 FM. First pitch set for 7:05 p.m.
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.
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