Posted: Monday, April 14th 2014 at 10:17pm
G-Braves snap four-game losing skid with win over Norfolk
By staff reports
LAWRENCEVILLE -– The Gwinnett Braves (5-6) capitalized on three errors by the Norfolk Tides (3-8) to take the series opener 5-4 on Monday night at Coolray Field. The victory snapped Gwinnett’s four-game losing streak.
Gwinnett fell behind early as Norfolk jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning. Facing G-Braves’ starter Zach Stewart, Brett Wallace singled and moved to third on a double by Chris Marrero. After a strikeout for the first out of the frame, Alexi Casilla singled in Wallace, making it 1-0 Tides.
The G-Braves answered in the bottom of the third, scoring two runs on a defensive miscue by Tides’ shortstop Casilla. With runners on second and third and two outs, Casilla misfired to first base on a potential inning-ending groundout by Phil Gosselin. Both Mark Hamilton and Christian Bethancourt scored on the error, giving Gwinnett a 2-1 lead.
In the top of the fourth inning, David Adams doubled home a pair of runs to regain the lead for the Tides at 3-2.
The Norfolk lead was short lived, as the G-Braves scored two more runs in the bottom of the fourth. For the second straight inning, Gwinnett capitalized on a throwing error by Casilla. With runners on first and second, Hamilton hit into a sure double play, but Casilla’s errant throw allowed Ernesto Mejia to score from second base. Sean Kazmar drove in the next run with an RBI single to right field.
After the Tides knotted the score at 4-4 on a throwing error by third baseman Gosselin in the fifth inning, the G-Braves regained the lead in the sixth. With two outs, Kazmar tripled to right-center and scored on a fielding error by first baseman Marrero.
With a one-run lead, the Gwinnett bullpen took care of the rest, hurling four scoreless innings to preserve the victory. Wirfin Obispo (W, 1-0) recorded the win, tossing two scoreless innings with three strikeouts. Pedro Beato (H, 1) pitched a scoreless eighth, while Ryan Buchter (S, 1) earned his first save of the season with a scoreless ninth.
Chris Jones (L, 0-1) suffered the loss for Norfolk, working 2.0 innings and allowing one unearned run. Tides’ starter Mike Wright pitched well in a no-decision, allowing four runs, two earned on six hits over 5.0 innings.
Kazmar led the offense for Gwinnett, going 2-for-3 with a triple, run scored and an RBI. Mejia (2-for-3, R) and Bethancourt (2-for-4, R) also had multi-hit games.
For the Tides, Wallace went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and Adams went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs.
The Gwinnett Braves finish their five-game homestand with the finale of a two-game series against the Norfolk Tides on Tuesday night at 6:35 PM. G-Braves’ right-hander Cody Martin (0-1, 6.43) will face off against right-hander Kevin Gausman (0-0, 2.08) of the Tides. Tony Schiavone will have the play-by-play call on wdun.com, GwinnettBraves.com, TuneIn Radio and the MiLB First Pitch app.
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