Posted: Thursday, July 24th 2014 at 10:06pm
RailRiders sweep G-Braves with doubleheader win
By staff reports
LAWRENCEVILLE -– After falling 12-4 in the completion of Wednesday night’s suspended game, the Gwinnett Braves (46-60) dropped a 3-1 game in seven innings to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (51-54) on Thursday at Coolray Field.
With the losses, the G-Braves dropped to last place in the International League South Division.
In the first contest, the RailRiders jumped out a to commanding 8-0 lead as they scored one run in the first inning and seven in third inning before rain stopped the game on Wednesday night. Zoilo Almonte led the offensive outburst, hitting a solo home run in the first and adding a three-run homer in the third off G-Braves starter Kanekoa Texeira.
When the game commenced on Thursday afternoon, outfielder Todd Cunningham belted a three-run homer off Scranton/Wilkes-Barre left-hander Nik Turley to cut the deficit to 8-3. Cunningham’s fifth homer of the season snapped a 19.1-inning scoreless streak for the G-Braves, who hadn’t scored since the top of the second inning on Monday night.
However, Almonte answered Cunningham’s long-ball with his third of the day. His three-run round-tripper off Carlos Fisher in the fifth inning put the game out of reach as the RailRiders extended their lead to 11-3.
RailRiders’ Rob Refsnyder and G-Braves’ Edward Salcedo exchanged solo homers in the ninth to reach the final score of 12-4.
Texeira (L, 1-3) suffered the loss, allowing eight runs on eight hits in 2.2 innings.
Turley (W, 1-2) picked up the victory, tossing 4.0 innings, allowing three runs on four hits with five strikeouts in relief of Wednesday’s starter Joel De La Cruz. De La Cruz worked 2.0 perfect frames, but rain didn’t allow him to factor in the decision. Matt Daley (S, 8) recorded the save, tossing 3.0 innings, allowing one run on two hits with three strikeouts.
In the finale, the RailRiders established an early lead as they scored in the top of the second inning. Corban Joseph opened the frame with a double off right-hander Terry Doyle, moved to third on a groundout and scored on a sacrifice fly by Taylor Dugas.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre added to the lead in the top of the fifth inning. Refsnyder singled with two outs, advanced to second on a throwing error by catcher Christian Bethancourt and scored on an RBI single by John Ryan Murphy, extending the lead to 2-0.
Dugas added an RBI single in the sixth, pushing the lead to 3-0.
Gwinnett avoided the shutout in the bottom of the seventh as Elmer Reyes doubled and scored on a sacrifice fly by Ozzie Martinez.
Switch-pitching Pat Venditte stifled the G-Braves with 4.0 scoreless innings in game two, while right-hander Jim Miller (W, 5-2) added 2.0 scoreless innings in relief for the win. Right-hander Edgmer Escalona (S, 1) recorded the save, allowing one run on one hit.
Doyle (L, 1-2) suffered the loss despite pitching well. He allowed two runs (one earned) on three hits in 4.2 innings.
Cunningham finished the day 2-for-8 with a homer and three RBIs for the G-Braves. Salcedo went a combined 3-for-4 with a homer and two runs scored.
Almonte went 4-for-6 with three homers and seven RBI in game one for the RailRiders, becoming the first player to homer three times in a game against Gwinnett since Durham’s Justin Ruggiano did it on May 9, 2009. Romine and Angelini each added three hits.
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