Posted: Friday, August 23rd 2013 at 10:26pm
G-Braves rally in 9th, edge Clippers
By staff reports
COLUMBUS, OHIO –- The Gwinnett Braves (57-77) took advantage of two costly throwing errors by the Columbus Clippers (65-69) in the top of the ninth inning and came back for a 4-3 win in game two of the four-game series at Huntington Park. With the win on Friday night, the G-Braves snapped a three-game losing streak.
The Clippers went to the top of the ninth with a 3-2 lead after mounting a comeback of their own, but would allow two runs to score on consecutive bunt attempts by Gwinnett. Tyler Greene led off the ninth with a single to center off of Columbus reliever Bryan Price. The next batter, Matt Pagnozzi, bunted towards first base. Price fielded the ball and threw wildly to first, allowing Pagnozzi to reach safely and Greene to move to second. The Clippers brought in lefty Clay Rapada from the bullpen to face Jose Constanza. On a 2-2 pitch, Constanza bunted towards the mound. Rapada also threw the ball wildly to first, allowing both Greene and Pagnozzi to score for a 4-3 G-Braves’ lead.
It was a tight game from the beginning. Gwinnett grabbed a 1-0 lead in the third inning as Constanza poked a two-out double to left off of Columbus starter T.J. House and scored from second on a slow roller up the third base line from Phil Gosselin. Constanza’s double extended his on-base streak to 22 games.
The G-Braves added a run in the top of the fourth as Ernesto Mejia led off with a double, moved to third on a Brandon Boggs single and scored on a single by Joe Leonard for a 2-0 lead.
Gwinnett starter David Hale was cruising right along until the bottom of the fifth, when he gave up a leadoff homer to Matt Carson (13) that cut the G-Braves’ lead to 2-1.
Then in the bottom of the seventh, the Clippers edged ahead against Hale. Carson reached on a two-out single and scored from first base on Ryan Rohlinger’s double to left-center, tying the game at 2-2. Justin Toole followed with a single to left, scoring Rohlinger from second to put the Clippers ahead, 3-2. Gwinnett manager Randy Ready was ejected from the game following that play, as he argued that Rohlinger had been tagged out at the plate by Pagnozzi on a close play.
A scoreless eighth inning would follow, setting up Gwinnett’s comeback in the ninth.
Hale turned in his 11th quality start in a no-decision for the G-Braves, allowing three runs on eight hits over 7.0 innings and striking out six. Left-hander Ryan Buchter (W, 3-0) went 1.1 innings of relief for the win. He allowed one hit and struck out three. Right-hander Wirfin Obispo (S, 8) got the save in the bottom of the ninth by working 0.2 of an inning with one hit.
For the Clippers, House went 6.0 inning with 10 hits, two earned runs and six strikeouts. Price (L, 1-3) went 2.0 innings with one hit, two unearned runs and three strikeouts. Rapada was credited with 1.0 inning pitched.
At the plate, the G-Braves were led by Greene who was 3-for-4 with a run scored. Gosselin went 2-for-5 with a double and an RBI, and Mejia went 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored.
The Clippers were paced by Carson, who went 3-for-4 with a homer, two runs scored and an RBI.
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