Felix Pie, G-Braves Snap 15-Game Skid
Photo courtesy of Karl Moore
LAWRENCEVILLE, GA. – The Gwinnett Braves snapped their franchise-record 15-game losing streak with a come-from-behind 6-5 victory over the first place Charlotte Knights on Sunday at Coolray Field. Felix Pie was the hero in a two-run ninth, delivering a walk-off single to right scoring Tyler Pastornicky to give the G-Braves their first win since June 15. For the month of July, the Gwinnett Braves are unbeaten (1-0).
The G-Braves were in first place on June 5, when they hosted the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Phillies Triple-A) for a 10-1 loss at Coolray Field. At the time, the Knights were 0.5 games behind Gwinnett for first. 25 days later on June 30, the G-Braves found themselves in last place of the International League South standings, starring up at first-place Charlotte (White Sox Triple-A), as they trailed them by a season-high 11.0 games. The losing skid saw Gwinnett invent new ways to lose, but for the time being they have found the light at the end of the tunnel with a much-needed win. Their next objective is to draw within striking distance of Norfolk and Durham who lead the G-Braves in the standings by 2.0 and 4.0 games respectively.
The G-Braves were heading toward their 16th straight loss before fortunes turned in the ninth against Charlotte left-hander Donnie Veal. Facing a 5-4 deficit, Luis Durango led off with a bunt single and then advanced to second on Jose Constanza’s sacrifice bunt. Pastornicky followed with a clutch double off a sliding Justin Greene in left-center, scoring Durango from second to tie the score at 4-4. The next batter, Pie, laced a 1-1 pitch from Veal (L, 3-2) to right field to score Pastornicky and send the home dugout racing on to the field in celebration.
Photo courtesy of Karl Moore
Gwinnett had lost 27 of their previous 32 games dating back to May 30, including 25 of 30 contests in June before recording their sixth walk-off win of the year on Sunday. The G-Braves are now 1-1 on the four-game series, bringing them to within 10.0 games of Charlotte for first place in the International League South Division.
It was a back-and-forth game for most of the day as Charlotte took leads of 2-0, 4-2 and 5-4 on the strength of three home runs. G-Braves starter Todd Redmond served up a two-run blast to Dan Johnson in the first inning, another two-run shot to Kyle Shelton in the fourth and a solo homer to Dallas McPherson that snapped a 4-4 tie in the sixth. Redmond did not factor in the decision despite allowing five runs, three earned on seven hits, including a season high-tying three home runs over 5.2 innings.
The G-Braves offense proved resilient, however, as they tied the score at 2-2 in the third inning and 4-4 in the fifth. Pie’s first hit of the day, an RBI double in the first inning, scored Constanza to cut the deficit to 2-1. Pie’s 10th double of the year extended his hitting streak to 14 games, matching the Gwinnett franchise record set by Barbaro Canizares in late 2010….
For the rest of the G-Braves recap from Sunday’s walk-off win, go to gwinnettbraves.com or click this link:
By: Tony Piraro