G-Braves Start 9-Game Homestand Thursday

Photo courtesy of Chris Roughgarden

The Gwinnett Braves (35-31)) begin a stretch of nine games in their next eight days, starting on Thursday night with a doubleheader against the Columbus Clippers (30-35) from Coolray Field. The G-Braves will play five games against the Clippers to conclude their season-series, as Columbus currently has the upper hand with a 2-1 season lead. Then the IL West leading Indianapolis Indians (38-27) will visit Lawrenceville for their first of two, four-game series’ against Gwinnett this season.

Gwinnett has lost 10 of their last 13 contests, including recording a 3-7 mark on their present 10-game road trip. Not only have the G-Braves been losing lately, but they have lost ground on their once-familiar first place lead in the IL South. With the G-Braves recent skid and Charlotte’s tremendous hot-streak, Gwinnett now finds themselves 3.5 games out of first place in the standings after once leading the division by 7.0 games, nearly a month ago.

Returning to Gwinnett after a cup of coffee in Atlanta are three main G-Brave contributors; Jose Constanza, J.C. Boscan and Julio Teheran. All three will return to action at Coolray Field when the G-Braves get back from their off day on Wednesday.

In their last 10 games, only two G-Braves are batting over .300, the obvious catalyst of the team Ernesto Mejia and one of the newer additions Lance Zawadzki. The seocond baaseman and hero of the “Memorial Day Miracle” is batting .321 with nine hits, five runs scored, five RBI and two home runs. Mejia continues his torrid pace as he is batting .324 with 11 hits, six runs scored, six RBI and four home runs in his last 10 games. The G-Braves slugger is also currently in fifth place for first basemen for the 2012 All-Star Game voting.

The road trip didn’t have many hightlights for Gwinnett pitching, however Anthony Varvaro and Jaye Chapman continue to emerge as reliable arms out of the bullpen. Varvaro has incredibly registered nine strikeouts in his last 3.2 innings of work, while Chapman has struck out seven through his previous 6.0 innings of one-run work. Both should be highly considered for 2012 All-Star bids. If you’re going to vote, don’t forget about starters Julio Teheran, Todd Redmond and Yohan Flande.

Photo courtesy of Chris Roughgarden

Gwinnett right-hander Todd Redmond (5-4, 3.52) will oppose the Clippers right-hander Corey Kluber (4-6, 4.14) in the first game of the doubleheader, first pitch scheduled for 5:05 p.m. at Coolray Field on Thursday. The second game of the double-dip will begin approximately 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first game. Listen to the broadcast on WDUN AM 550 in Gainesville, Georgia with Tony Schiavone calling the play-by-play.

Join us for our second annual eating contest for Dudes vs. Foods Night on Thursday. Only the bravest fans will dare to tackle the Super Knucksie! Participants will be chosen at the game. Thursday is also “$3 Thursday” so start the weekend right with $3 food and drink specials all game long presented by Dave FM. New for 2012, all general admission berm seating is also $3 on Thursdays!

Tickets for all Gwinnett Braves home games are on sale now at the Coolray Field Box Office. Call (678) 277-0340 or visit gwinnettbraves.com for more information.

Photo courtesy of Leslie Watts

By: Tony Piraro

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