Gilmartin Quality in Debut, Grabs Tough Loss

Photo courtesy of Kyle Hess

FORT MILL, SC. – The Charlotte Knights squeezed past the Gwinnett Braves for the second straight game at Knights’ Stadium with a 4-3 win in game three of the four-game series. It was also the Triple-A debut of Braves left-hander Sean Gilmartin, and the Atlanta Braves No. 1 pick in the 2011 MLB Draft did not disappoint despite being tagged with the loss.

The Knights struck for two runs in the bottom of the first off Gilmartin, as Drew Garcia worked a one-out walk and moved to second on an infield single by Brent Morel. Garcia moved to third and then the red-hot hitting Connor Jackson followed with a double down the third base line scoring both Garcia and Johnson.

The Knight maintained the 2-0 lead until the bottom of the fifth. Tyler Saladino, playing in his first Triple-A game, led off the inning with an infield single and moved to second on a bunt single by Tyler Kuhn. On the play, Saladino broke for third, but the G-Braves first baseman Ernesto Mejia threw the ball away, enabling Saladino to score making it 3-0 and moving Kuhn to third. Kuhn then scored on a sacrifice fly to center by Garcia for a 4-0 Charlotte lead.

The top draft choice walked the next batter, Morel, but that would be the last baserunner he would allow, as he retired the last eight batters he faced. Gilmartin (L, 0-1) was credited with a quality start in his first G-Braves appearance. He worked 7.0 innings, with five hits, three earned runs, three walks and four strikeouts.

In the top of the eighth, against reliever Jhan Carlos Marinez, Josh Wilson led off with a single, then with two outs Stefan Gartrell (17) crushed a two-run homer to deep left cutting the Knights lead to 4-2.

Newly acquired infielder Brian Friday (1) hit his first carrer home run with Gwinnett, a solo shot, cutting the lead to 4-3 in the ninth. However, that would be the lone run the G-Braves would score against Charlotte reliever Brian Omogrosso. Omogrosso (S, 4) worked the ninth with one hit, one earned run and one strikeout, earning his fourth save of the season.

Photo courtesy of Kyle Hess

Buddy Carlyle pitched a scoreless eighth inning with two hits, one walk and two strikeouts.

Charlie Shirek (W, 10-4) continued his dominance of the G-Braves. He worked 6.0 scoreless innings with six hits, one walk and four strikeouts. This season against Gwinnett, Shirek is 3-0 with an ERA of 1.38 in three starts and one relief appearance. Marinez went 2.0 innings with three hits and two earned runs, as he walked one and struck out two.

Gartrell, Mejia and Wilson were each 2-for-4 for the G-Braves, as Gartrell extended his hit-streak to 10 games, his longest of the year. It was also the third straight game in which Gartrell has homered and his sixth home run in the month of July.

Jackson and Kuhn were each 2-for-4 for Charlotte and Jackson has a 14-game hitting streak for the Knights, a career best.

The G-Braves (50-61) and Knights (63-48) conclude the four game and season series Tuesday afternoon with first pitch scheduled for 12:05 p.m. at Knights’ Stadium. Right-hander Randall Delgado (1-1, 5.91) will start for Gwinnett against the Knights TBA (0-0, 0.00). Listen to the broadcast on 1240 ESPN Radio in Gainesville, Georgia with Tony Schiavone calling the play by play.

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.

By: Tony Schiavone & Tony Piraro

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