Posted: Saturday, May 24th 2014 at 11:15am
Tides Big Finish Sinks G-Braves
LAWRENCEVILLE, GA – The Norfolk Tides (18-29) scored seven runs in the ninth inning to rout the Gwinnett Braves (26-20) 12-5 on Friday night at Coolray Field.
With the loss, the G-Braves dropped to second place in the International League South Division as the Durham Bulls won 3-1 at Columbus.
Things got off to a rocky start for Gwinnett for the second straight night. In the top of the first inning, Jemile Weeks and Steve Lombardozzi singled to start the inning off G-Braves’ starter Yunesky Maya. After a fly-out and a hit batter, Francisco Peguero hit a sacrifice fly to left field to score Weeks, making it 1-0.
Maya set down the next 13 batters, but his streak came to an end in the top of the fifth inning. He allowed a two-out solo home run to Quintin Berry (3), extending Norfolk’s lead to 2-0.
The Tides tacked on another run in the top of the sixth inning. With two outs, Peguero doubled and scored on an RBI single by Xavier Paul, making it 3-0.
The G-Braves took a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the sixth inning, scoring four runs on four hits against Norfolk reliever Heath Bell. Christian Bethancourt started the inning with a walk and advanced to third on a double by Brandon Boggs. After a strikeout, Ozzie Martinez and Todd Cunningham connected for back-to-back RBI singles, cutting the deficit to 3-2. Phil Gosselin put the G-Braves ahead with a two-run double to right field, making it 4-3.
Norfolk answered right back with a run in the top of the seventh. Berry singled to start the inning, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a groundout by Cord Phelps, knotting the game at 4-4.
Boggs (1) quickly untied the game in the bottom of the seventh as he connected for his first home run since May 29, 2013. His solo shot off reliever Kelvin De La Cruz made it 5-4 Gwinnett.
The Tides tied the game again in the eighth inning as Peguero walked, moved to second on a wild pitch, advanced to third on a single and scored on a double play ground-out off the bat of Ivan DeJesus.
In the ninth inning, the Tides scored seven runs on six hits off reliever Mark Lamm (L, 1-3). The right-hander allowed a season-high seven runs, four earned to take his third loss of the season. DeJesus delivered the big blow as his two-run double made it 10-5, while RBIs by Ward and Berry extended the lead to 12-5.
Despite the poor performance by the bullpen, Maya turned in a fine outing in the start, tossing 6.1 innings and allowing four runs on seven hits. He struck out three and walked one.
For the Tides, starter Eddie Gamboa was brilliant. The right-hander hurled 5.0 innings of scoreless baseball, walking four and striking out three. Evan Meek (W, 1-0) earned the win, tossing 1.1 inning of scoreless relief.
Gosselin paced the G-Braves attack, going 4-for-5 with a double, two RBIs and one stolen base. Boggs went 2-for-5 with a double, home run, two runs and one RBI.
Weeks (3-for-5, 2 R) and Berry (3-for-4, HR, 3 R, 2 RBI) each had three-hit games for Norfolk. Phelps, Peguero and Paul each had two hits on the night.
On Saturday, the first 2,000 fans in attendance will receive a Gwinnett Braves Pint Glass, courtesy of Dave & Buster’s. For tickets, call the Coolray Field Ticket Office at 678-277-0340 or visit GwinnettBraves.com.
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