Posted: Monday, August 11th 2014 at 11:31pm
G-Braves' comeback effort falls short in loss to Pawtucket
By staff reports
LAWRENCEVILLE -– The Gwinnett Braves (54-68) came from nine runs down to tie the game in the bottom of the eighth inning, but fell 15-9 to the Pawtucket Red Sox (69-54) on Monday night at Coolray Field. Pawtucket has won 11 straight games over the G-Braves at Coolray Field dating back to the 2011 season.
Pawtucket jumped out to an early lead, scoring three runs on three hits in the first inning. Mookie Betts started the frame with a leadoff walk against starter Zach Stewart, stole second and scored on an RBI single by Bryce Brentz. After a two-out single by Carlos Rivero, Garin Cecchini plated two runs with a double down the right field line.
Cecchini and company added two more runs in the third inning. With runners on second and third and one out, Rivero plated the first run with an RBI groundout, and Cecchini connected for his second double of the game to make it 5-0.
Pawtucket added three more runs in the top of the fourth and one in the fifth to extend the lead to 9-0. Mike McCoy delivered a two-run double, while Travis Shaw and Betts added RBI hits.
Gwinnett got on the board in the bottom of the seventh inning. Christian Bethancourt (7) led off the frame with a solo home run over the left field tent against Miguel Celestino to cut the deficit to 9-1.
The G-Braves tied the game in the in the bottom of the eighth inning, scoring eight runs against the Pawtucket bullpen. Elmer Reyes (3) connected for a solo home run off Drake Britton to make it 9-2, and Bethancourt’s RBI double scored Joey Terdoslavich to make it 9-3. Gwinnett then loaded the bases against Britton, chasing him from the game.
John Ely came on from the bullpen and walked Edward Salcedo to force in a run. The right-hander then gave up two-run singles to Jose Constanza and Todd Cunningham to make it a one-run game. Gwinnett completed the comeback as Ely uncorked a wild pitch, allowing Reyes to score from third to tie it at 9-9. The eight-run eighth matched the G-Braves’ largest scoring inning this season.
Pawtucket answered with six runs in the ninth inning to win the contest. Derrik Gibson and Betts had RBI hits, while Brentz and Cecchini added two-run hits to push the lead to 15-9. All six runs were earned to right-hander Carlos Fisher (L, 2-1), who recorded just two outs before exiting.
Gwinnett’s pitching staff allowed season highs in runs (15) and hits (19) on the night. Right-hander James Hoyt had the best outing, working 2.0 scoreless innings with two strikeouts.
Ely (W, 1-1) earned the win for Pawtucket despite allowing three unearned runs over 1.1 innings.
Bethancourt led the G-Braves offensively, going 3-for-5 with a double, homer and two RBIs. Reyes finished 2-for-5 with a homer and one RBI.
Every Pawtucket player had at least one hit on the night. Cecchini finshed 3-for-6 with five RBIs.
The Gwinnett Braves and Pawtucket Red Sox play game two of the four-game series on Tuesday night at Coolray Field, first pitch scheduled for 6:35 p.m. Right-hander Cody Martin (6-7, 3.84) will start for the G-Braves, while the Red Sox will counter with right-hander Steven Wright (5-2, 2.70). The radio broadcast begins at 6:20 p.m. on WDUN.com, GwinnettBraves.com, Tune-In Radio and the MiLB First Pitch app.
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