Posted: Monday, August 18th 2014 at 10:48pm
Knights batter G-Braves 17-4
By staff reports
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -– The Charlotte Knights (58-73) pummeled the Gwinnett Braves (56-73) by a 17-4 score in the opener of the two-game series Monday night at BB&T Ballpark.
G-Braves pitching staff allowed season-highs in runs (17) and hits (21) in the loss on Monday night,
Things got off to a great start for Gwinnett, scoring two runs in the top of the first inning. Jose Constanza led off the game with a double to left and stole third base. Donnie Murphy plated Constanza with a ground out to third to give the G-Braves a 1-0 lead. Joey Terdoslavich (11) then drilled a solo homer to left off of Charlotte starting pitcher Chien-Ming Wang for a 2-0 lead.
But the lead did not last, as the Knights scored four runs off of Atlanta Braves' reliever Shae Simmons in the bottom half of the inning. Simmons, in his second rehab appearance with Gwinnett, allowed four runs without recording an out. Jared Mitchell walked and advanced to third on a double by Carlos Sanchez, putting runners on second and third. After a walk loaded the bases, Michael Taylor hit a pop up in shallow right that was misjudged by Edward Salcedo for an RBI single to cut the Gwinnett lead to 2-1. Aaron Northcraft was called in from the Gwinnett bullpen and he allowed Sanchez to score from third on a force play by Andy Wilkins to tie the game at 2-2. Matt Tuiasosopo singled to left, plating Semien for a 3-2 Charlotte lead. Northcraft then walked Miguel Gonzalez to load the bases and hit Josh Richmond with a pitch, forcing across another Charlotte run.
Taylor pushed the lead to 5-2 in the top of the second inning, as he drove in Semien with an RBI single.
Gwinnett looked to make a game of it in the top of the third. With one out, Elmer Reyes doubled to left and scored on a single to center by Murphy to cut the lead to 5-3.
But that would be as close as the G-Braves could get, as the Knights score 11 unanswered runs over the next five innings. Andy Wilkins (29) hit his league leading 29th homer of the season, a two-run shot in the bottom of the fourth off of Northcraft to push the lead to 7-3. Two more runs were scored off Northcraft in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI double by Wilkins and an RBI single by Matt Davidson to make it 9-3. Then in the bottom of the seventh, the Knights sent 10 men to the plate, scoring seven runs on six hits off of G-Braves' pitchers Gus Schlosser and Daniel Rodriguez. Tuiasosopo delivered the big blow, as he connected for a Grand Slam against Rodriguez to extend the lead to 16-3.
Murphy (2) hit his first Gwinnett homer, a solo shot off of Charlotte reliever Ryan Kussmaul in the top of the eight to cut the lead to 16-4, but the Knights scored an unearned run in the bottom of the eighth off of Pedro Beato to cap the scoring at 17-4.
Simmons (L, 0-1) did not record an out, allowing two hits, two walks and four earned runs. Northcraft went 5.1 innings with nine hits, five earned runs, three walks and three strikeouts. Schlosser went 1.0 inning with five hits and five runs (four earned). Rodriguez pitched 0.2 of an inning with two hits, two earned runs and one strikeout. Beato worked 1.0 inning with three hits, one unearned run and two strikeouts.
At the plate for Gwinnett, Murphy was 2-for-4 with a run, a solo homer and three RBIs. Constanza was 3-for-5 with a run.
Charlotte was led by Wilkins (3-for-6 with three runs, a double, homer and five RBIs), Tuiasosopo (2-for-5 with a run, a homer and five RBIs), Mitchell (3-for-5), Taylor (2-for-5 with two runs and three RBIs) Semien (3-for-5 with three runs) and Richmond (3-for-4 with one RBI)
The G-Braves and Knights conclude the two game series in Charlotte Tuesday night at BB&T Ballpark. RHP Kanekoa Texeira (3-4, 4.69) will start for Gwinnett. The Knights will start RHP Carlos Rodon (0-0, 0.00), the White Sox first round draft pick in the 2014 Major League Draft. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. Tony Schiavone has the radio call beginning at 6:50 p.m. on wdun.com, gwinnettbraves.com, Tune-In Radio and MiLB First Pitch.
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