August 2012

G-Braves, Paw Sox Game Postponed Tuesday

Steady rain resulting from a changing weather pattern forced the postponement of Tuesday’s scheduled 2:05 PM game between the Gwinnett Braves and Pawtucket Red Sox at Coolray Field. The game will be made up as a single nine-inning contest on Wednesday, August 29 beginning at 1:05 PM. All tickets for Wednesday’s game will be free to the public.

As a result of the rapidly changing weather ahead of Hurricane Isaac, Wednesday’s game was originally postponed with a doubleheader scheduled for Thursday, August 30 starting at 5:05 PM. That doubleheader is on as planned. With Wednesday now serving as the make-up date for Tuesday’s postponed game, the Gwinnett Braves have decided to make all admission for the 1:05 PM game free of charge. Thursday’s games will still feature regularly-priced tickets.

Fans are advised to continue checking in at gwinnettbraves.com for updated details on the remaining games of this final homestand. For tickets, call the Coolray Field Box Office at (678) 277-0340.

By: Tony Piraro & Dave Lezotte

Ernesto Mejia Named IL Rookie of the Year

Photo courtesy of Chris Roughgarden

Gwinnett Braves first baseman Ernesto Mejia has been named the International League Rookie of the Year as well as the Postseason All-Star first baseman for the 2012 season, announced on Tuesday, August 28 by the league office. Mejia is the third-straight G-Brave to win the award for the IL’s top rookie, joining first baseman Freddie Freeman (2010) and pitcher Julio Teheran (2011).

Mejia, 26, established himself as one of the premier hitters for power and average in the IL this season. Entering play on Tuesday, the Guanare, Venezuela native ranked first in the circuit in RBI (91), hits (148) and total bases (253), second in slugging percentage (.517) and at-bats (489), tied for second in home runs (24), third in extra-base hits (56), fourth in OPS (.871), fifth in runs scored (72) and tied for sixth in both doubles (31) and games played (126). His season accolades include the IL’s Batter of the Week award on May 21 and his first Triple-A All-Star Game selection.

Mejia’s numbers are not only among the league’s best, they are also challenging Gwinnett Braves’ franchise records. Mejia’s 91 RBIs are tied alongside Stefan Gartrell (2011) for the most in one season since the team’s arrival to Lawrenceville in 2009. He’s currently one home run shy of tying Gartrell’s record of 25 blasts, also set in 2011. His 148 hits are six away from matching Mauro Gomez’s 2011 record, while his 31 doubles are four away from Freeman’s record of 35 set in 2010.

For the rest of the International League’s 2012 Postseason awards, visit ilbaseball.com.

Mejia and the rest of the Gwinnett Braves continue the final homestand of the 2012 season on Tuesday, August 28 against the Pawtucket Red Sox. The game time, originally scheduled for 7:05 PM, has been moved to 2:05 PM as a result of rain expected from Hurricane Isaac. The radio broadcast will air on WDUN 550 AM / 102.9 FM in Gainesville, Georgia, while the television broadcast will air on CSS.

Please note that game times for all remaining Gwinnett Braves home games, including Fan Appreciation Night on Thursday, August 30, may change due to Hurricane Isaac. Check in at gwinnettbraves.com for updated information on game times. For tickets, call the Coolray Field Box Office at (678) 277-0340.

By: Tony Piraro & Dave Lezotte

Boston Red Sox Affiliate at Coolray Field for Final Homestand of Regular Season

Photo courtesy of Karl Moore

For the second-straight night, Syracuse needed just one pitcher to shut down the Gwinnett Braves. Right-hander Jeff Mandel threw the second-straight complete game shutout against the G-Braves in as many nights, leading the Chiefs to a 7-0 win at Coolray Field. Mandel’s six hitter, his first nine-inning effort this season, ensured a split of the four-game series.

Syracuse left-hander John Lannan threw 9.0 scoreless, three-hit innings on Saturday night, and Mandel (W, 5-5) continued the trend on Sunday, scattering six hits over 9.0 innings while striking out four. He walked none in a 102-pitch, 69-strike outing.

After escaping major damage in the second inning, Gwinnett starter Yohan Flande was not able to make it past the third. The left-hander surrendered four runs on five hits in the frame, including five-straight one-out hits. Josh Johnson and Chris Marrero reached on back-to-back singles, and Carlos Rivero singled to left-center, scoring them both. Jesus Valdez singled to score Rivero, and Sandy Leon added a double plating Valdez for a 4-0 lead.

Flande (L, 7-9) allowed four earned runs on six hits, walked three and struck out two over just 2.2 innings of work. Cole McCurry relieved Flande with two outs in the third inning and worked 3.1 scoreless innings. McCurry struck out three and walked none, departing after Stefan Gartrell singled in his pinch-hit at-bat for the pitcher in the sixth.

Ryan Buchter entered the game for the G-Braves in the seventh and allowed three more runs over 1.1 innings. Rivero singled home Johnson to raise the lead to 5-0 in the seventh, and a two-run triple by Eury Perez ensured the final score of 7-0 in the eighth. Anthony Varvaro relieved the left-hander, pitching 1.2 innings of scoreless baseball with one strikeout.

Monday, August 27th G-Braves Starting Line-up from Coolray Field:

The Gwinnett Braves (61-75) welcome the Pawtucket Red Sox (73-63) to town on Monday night as the two teams begin the final four-game series of the season at Coolray Field. First pitch scheduled for 7:05 PM. The Gwinnett starting pitcher has yet to be announced, while the PawSox will start right-hander Nelson Figueroa (10-5, 4.40). The radio broadcast will air on WDUN 550 AM / 102.9 FM in Gainesville, Georgia with Tony Schiavone calling the play-by-play. The television broadcast will air on CSS.

Pawtucket (2nd IL North) vs Gwinnett (4th IL South) 

Monday night is Kids Eat Free Monday as all kids 12 and under will receive a voucher for a free hot dog, a bag of chips and a small soda. It’s also the fifth night of “Drive Me Crazy” as the G-Braves gather donations of canned foods, clothes, sports equipment, toys and more to restock local shelters and storage centers. 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.

Pawtucket Red Sox Batting Order:

1) Nate Spears, 1B

2) Ivan DeJesus, 2B

3) Jeremy Hazelbaker, DH

4) Tony Thomas, LF

5) Danny Valencia, 3B

6) Dan Butler, C

7) Jason Repko, CF

8) Jon Hee, SS

9) Che-Hsuan Lin, RF

G-Braves Batting Order:

1) Jose Constanza, LF

2) Jack Wilson, SS

3) Lyle Overbay, DH

4) Ernesto Mejia, 1B

5) Josh Kroeger, RF

6) Rusty Ryal, 3B

7) Brian Friday, 2B

8) J.C. Boscan, C

9) Luis Durango, CF

By: Tony Piraro

Cancer Awareness, Jersey Auction Tonight at Coolray Field

Photo courtesy of Kyle Hess

The Gwinnett Braves have unveiled plans for the “Drive Me Crazy” outreach event, scheduled for Thursday, August 23 through Thursday, August 30. The team will be hosting drives for canned foods, clothes, sports equipment, toys and books during all home games that week at Coolray Field.

Tonight the G-Braves will be celebrating a host of special events, including:

  • Drive Me Crazy - The Gwinnett Braves want to drive you crazy with a mega-everything drive during the last homestand of the 2012 regular season. Help re-stock local shelters and storage centers with canned foods, clothes, sports equipment, toys and books. Please bring your donations to any game, from Aug. 23-30 to help support the Drive Me Crazy event at Coolray Field.
  • Cancer Awareness Night - Join the Gwinnett Braves at Coolray Field for Cancer Awareness Night.
  • Jersey Auction - Come out to Coolray Field and place your bid for a Gwinnett Braves game-worn jersey. Each jersey worn during the game will be auctioned off to benefit the Gwinnett Medical Center Foundation.

Please bring donations to any of the games that week, including 7:05 PM games against Syracuse from August 23-25, a 5:05 PM game against Syracuse on Sunday, August 26 and 7:05 PM games against Pawtucket from August 27-30. Donated items will help restock local shelters, storage centers, pantries and food banks in a response to combat depleted resources.

The Gwinnett Braves (61-73) take on the Syracuse Chiefs (63-71) in game three of the four-game series on Saturday night at Coolray Field, first pitch scheduled for 7:05 PM. The G-Braves will start right-hander Julio Teheran (7-7, 5.48) against Syracuse left-hander John Lannan (7-11, 4.89). Listen to the broadcast on WDUN 550 AM / 102.9 FM in Gainesville, Georgia. The game will also air on CSS.

All donations will be given to partnering non-profit groups who show the most need. Cash donations will not be accepted. For more information on the “Drive Me Crazy” event, please contact Gwinnett Braves Community Relations Manager Lindsay Harmon at (678) 277-0346 or lindsay.harmon@braves.com.

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 Piraro

The Chipper Jones Interview (Part 1)

Photo courtesy of Pouya Dianat

Chipper Jones will go down as one of the greatest third basemen to ever play the game of Major League Baseball, if not the greatest. His time in the game has been highly publicized, but nothing has been as crazy as his final season in the big leagues as the future Hall-of-Famer prepares to exit the only profession he has ever known. The stats don’t lie for Jones, however it is Chipper the man that has been lovingly embraced by the Atlanta Braves family over two decades of brilliance.

“I’m very proud that for 23 years, I’ve donned one uniform — the red, white and blue of the Atlanta Braves,” said Jones.

For his career, the eight-time All-Star has seen his share of change within the organization. As a new crop of young Braves begin their respective MLB journey’s, Jones is there for guidance and wisdom. He understands the ups and downs of the business and has been around it long enough to help out the newcomers in Atlanta each season, such as Craig Kimbrel, Jason Heyward, Tommy Hanson and Freddie Freeman to name a few.  Chipper helped create Braves Country and is the face of a franchise that won 14 straight division titles in the 90′s and early 2000′s.

“I often admired, when I was coming up, guys like Cal Ripken and Tony Gwynn, who were able to work with their organization so that they could stay in one place,” Jones said. “They knew how important it was to stay in one place and be the face of the franchise. While I don’t consider myself to be in their realm, I’m awfully proud to say I’ve been a part of this organization for so long.”

Jones has a career batting average of .304, alongside 2,695 hits, 464 career home runs, 1,610 RBI, 1,603 runs scored, 544 doubles, 150 stolen bases and an extrordinary 1,489 walks to just 1,390 walks. Not to mention, countless all-star appearances, 14 straight playoff appearances, two Silver Sluggers (99-00), the 1999 National League MVP award and a World Series Title in 1995.

Photo courtesy of Pouya Dianat

“I look at the numbers as me just going out to do my job,” said Jones. “That’s the way I’ve always approached it. I’ve never really thought about my place or anything like that. But when you grew up hearing about Mickey the way I did and with the reverence that I did from my father, to pass him in career RBIs is quite a feat.”

Chipper Jones was the No. 1 overall selection the 1990 MLB Amateur Draft by the Braves and was ranked the No. 1 prospect in minor league baseball during the 1993 season before he spent all of his time with the Triple-A affiliate of the Braves in Richmond. In 93, Jones hit .325 for the R-Braves, alongside 97 runs scored, 174 hits, 31 doubles, 12 triples, 13 home runs, 89 RBI, 23 stolen bases and 57 walks earned in the International League. His time in Triple-A was short-lived, but the numbers and memories that he registered that season will never be forgotten. Following his dominant 1993 season in the IL, Jones was promoted to Atlanta where he spent his 1994 Rookie year.

Obviously, most players begin to slow down near the end of their career, especially in their final season. Jones has made a mockery of that notion, seemingly getting better with age like fine wine. Chipper was already named a 2012 all-star, alongside being the captain and unquestioned leader of a potential playoff contending Braves team (66-49).

Stay glued to The G-Blog in the coming days for the second part of The Chipper Jones Interview.

By: Tony Piraro

G-Braves Offense, Ryal Rolling Toward End

Photo courtesy of Kyle Hess

Four Gwinnett pitchers including starter Randall Delgado combined on a seven-hit shutout as the Braves defeated the Syracuse Chiefs, 6-0 on Friday night at Coolray Field. A season-high 9,372 fans packed the park as the G-Braves won for the second-straight night to start the final eight-game homestand.

Delgado worked 4.0 scoreless innings with four hits and three walks allowed, striking out seven in a no-decision. Dusty Hughes (W, 3-2) grabbed his third win of the season with 3.0 scoreless, two-hit innings and four strikeouts. Peter Moylan threw a scoreless eighth and Andy Russell added a scoreless non-save ninth to finish off Gwinnett’s ninth shutout win of the year.

Offensively, Rusty Ryal continued his torrid series with a 3-for-4 night, including an RBI double in the third inning. Lyle Overbay went 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles, driving in two RBIs as well.

The G-Braves started the scoring early, crossing the plate in each of the first four innings.Jose Constanza led off the first with a single and advanced to second on a passed ball before scoring on a Terry Tiffee RBI single to give Gwinnett a 1-0 lead.

Gwinnett added three more runs in their half of the second, highlighted by a Constanza two-run double that scored Ryal and Delgado. The G-Braves extended the lead to 4-0 as Overbay doubled home Constanza with two outs.

Felix Pie reached base to start the third on a fielding error charged to Chiefs’ first baseman Mark Teahen. Following a fielder’s choice off the bat of Jose Yepez, Ryal once again came through in the clutch with a run-scoring double that raised the Gwinnett lead to 5-0.

Chiefs starter Yunesky Maya (L, 11-9) lasted just 3.0 innings, surrendering five runs, four earned on eight hits. The right-hander struck out two and walked one, throwing 58 pitches.

Mitch Atkins replaced Maya in the fourth inning and allowed an RBI single to Pie scoring Overbay. After Pie’s hit made it 6-0 G-Braves, Atkins settled in for two more innings of scoreless relief. He pitched 3.0 innings in total, yielding an unearned run on three hits. Pat Lehman added 2.0 scoreless innings for Syracuse.

In addition to multi-hit efforts from Ryal and Overbay, Constanza also went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI in the leadoff spot. Constanza’s two-hit effort came a night removed from seeing his International League best 38-game on-base streak snapped by the Chiefs.

Saturday, August 25th G-Braves Starting Line-up from Coolray Field:

The Gwinnett Braves (61-73) take on the Syracuse Chiefs (63-71) in game three of the four-game series on Saturday night at Coolray Field, first pitch scheduled for 7:05 PM. The G-Braves will start right-hander Julio Teheran (7-7, 5.48) against Syracuse left-hander John Lannan (7-11, 4.89). Listen to the broadcast on WDUN 550 AM / 102.9 FM in Gainesville, Georgia. The game will also air on CSS.

Syracuse (5th IL North) vs Gwinnett (4th IL South) 

Come out to Coolray Field on Saturday night and place your bid on a Gwinnett Braves game-worn jersey with the G-Braves Jersey Auction. Each jersey worn during the game will be auctioned off to benefit the Gwinnett Medical Center Foundation. It’s also the third night of “Drive Me Crazy” as the G-Braves gather donations of canned foods, clothes, sports equipment, toys and more to restock local shelters and storage centers. 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.

Syracuse Chiefs Batting Order:

1) Eury Perez, LF

2) Corey Brown, CF

3) Jim Negrych, 2B

4) Chris Marrero, 1B

5) Jesus Valdez, LF

6) Sandy Leon, C

7) Zach Walters, SS

8) Jarrett Hoffpauir, 3B

9) John Lannan, SP

G-Braves Batting Order:

1) Luis Durango, CF

2) Jack Wilson, SS

3) Lyle Overbay, 1B

4) Stefan Gartrell, RF

5) Terry Tiffee, 3B

6) Rusty Ryal, 2B

7) Brian Friday, 2B

8) J.C. Boscan, C

9) Julio Teheran, SP

By: Tony Piraro

Red-Hot Randall Delgado Set for Syracuse Tonight

Photo courtesy of Kyle Hess

The Gwinnett Braves rallied from a 4-0 deficit to defeat the Syracuse Chiefs, 5-4, in 10 innings on Thursday night at Coolray Field. Rusty Ryal won the game for Gwinnett with his RBI single in the 10th that scored Lyle Overbay, capping a four-hit night. With the victory, the G-Braves have now registered 60 wins in 2012, including nine in walk-off fashion and nine in extra innings.

Overbay started the 10th inning with a one-out walk, and Stefan Gartrell’s single up the middle placed runners on first and second base. Jose Yepez then notched his third hit of the game with a single to left, loading the bases with one out and thus setting the stage for Ryal’s heroics. Ryal laced a single to center sending Overbay home easily from third base.

Christian Garcia (L, 1-1) was handed the loss for the Chiefs with a run on three hits over 1.1 innings. Cole McCurry (W, 1-2) picked up with the win for Gwinnett with a scoreless 10th inning, keeping the game tied at 4-4. The G-Braves’ bullpen as a whole allowed just two hits while striking out six over the final 6.0 innings.

Gwinnett starter Sean Gilmartin got off to a rocky start, surrendering three runs in the first frame. Carlos Rivero doubled to score Jarrett Hoffpauir, and two batters later, Zach Walters narrowly missed a grand slam to left as he doubled off the wall to plate Chris Marrero and Rivero. Gilmartin struck out opposing pitcher Zach Duke to leave the bases loaded in the first inning, but yielded another run in the second on a Marrero RBI double scoring Hoffpauir.

Gilmartin lasted 4.0 innings on a limited pitch count. He allowed four runs on six hits, walked three and struck out three in a 71-pitch outing.

Duke, a 2012 Triple-A All-Star, started for Syracuse and was stingy against the G-Braves’ offense most of the night. The left-hander didn’t allow his first hit of the night until the fifth, when Yepez led off with a single. Duke eventually yielded an RBI fielder’s choice to Brian Friday in the inning, cutting the Syracuse lead to 4-1.

The G-Braves cut the deficit to one run in the seventh, as Ryal singled and Josh Wilsonwalked to set the table for Terry Tiffee. The pinch-hitter stepped to the plate for pitcher Buddy Carlyle and laced a two-run double over the head of Perez, the Syracuse left-fielder, cutting the Chiefs lead to 4-3. Duke ended the night with a strikeout of Jose Constanza, exiting with three runs on five hits over 7.0 innings.

Friday, August 24th G-Braves Starting Line-up from Coolray Field:

The Gwinnett Braves (60-73) take on the Syracuse Chiefs (63-70) in game two of the four-game series on Friday night at Coolray Field, first pitch scheduled for 7:05 PM. The G-Braves will start right-hander Randall Delgado (4-2, 5.13) against Syracuse right-hander Yunesky Maya (11-8, 3.42). Listen to the broadcast on WDUN 550 AM / 102.9 FM in Gainesville, Georgia.

Syracuse (5th IL North) vs Gwinnett (4th IL South) 

Friday is the G-Braves’ Annual Mystery Ball Auction, giving fans the chance to buy autographed balls from some of their favorite players and teams from the Major and Minor Leagues. Mystery bags will be sold for $25 each, with proceeds going to the Gwinnett Braves division of the Atlanta Braves Foundation. Bags are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Following the game, stick around for WAGA Fox 5 Friday Night Fireworks, the last display of the 2012 season.

Friday is also “Paint the Park Purple” at Coolray Field. Join the G-Braves in wearing purple to support the cause of Cancer Awareness Night. It’s also the second night of “Drive Me Crazy” as the G-Braves look for donations of canned foods, clothes, sports equipment, toys and more to restock local shelters and storage centers. 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.

Syracuse Chiefs Batting Order:

1) Eury Perez, LF

2) Corey Brown, CF

3) Jim Negrych, 2B

4) Mark Teahen, 1B

5) Carlos Rivero, 3B

6) Carlos Maldonado, C

7) Zach Walters, SS

8) Brett Carroll, RF

9) Yunesky Maya, SP

G-Braves Batting Order:

1) Jose Constanza, LF

2) Jack Wilson, SS

3) Lyle Overbay, 1B

4) Terry Tiffee, 3B

5) Felix Pie, RF

6) Josh Kroeger, LF

7) Jose Yepez, C

8) Rusty Ryal, 2B

9) Randall Delgado, SP

By: Tony Piraro

Washington Nationals Affiliate in for Racecar Night

Photo courtesy of Kyle Hess

8.23.12 GBraves Game Notes

The Norfolk Tides concluded their two-game series sweep of Gwinnett with an 8-0 drubbing of the G-Braves on Tuesday afternoon at Coolray Field. Dana Eveland worked 7.0 scoreless, three-hit innings in the start for Norfolk, and Jamie Hoffmann’s three-run homer in the second provided all the offense he’d need.

Eveland (W, 5-4) scattered three hits – all singles – over his seven frames, walked none and struck out five in an 89-pitch outing. Starter turned reliever Brian Matusz worked a scoreless eighth inning and Pat Egan added a scoreless ninth inning.

Norfolk started the scoring with three runs in the second inning off Gwinnett starterYohan Flande. Brandon Waring and Steve Tolleson reached on one-out singles and Hoffmann followed with a three-run home run to left. Hoffmann’s ninth blast of the year made it 3-0, Tides.

The Tides added two more runs in their half of the fourth. Joe Mahoney led off with a single and both Waring and Hoffmann reached on walks. L.J. Hoes boosted the lead to 5-0 with a single scoring Mahoney and Waring.

Flande (L, 6-9) worked 6.0 innings, allowing five earned runs on nine hits. The left-hander struck out four while yielding three walks in a losing effort.

Norfolk plated two more runs in their half of the seventh against Dusty Hughes. The left-hander loaded the bases on a hit batter, single and walk. He then issued a bases-loaded walk to Tolleson scoring Ryan Flaherty and another free pass to Hoffmann, scoring Paulino. Peter Moylan relieved Hughes and retired Hoes to end the inning.

The Tides’ lead grew to 8-0 with a final run in the ninth. Cory Gearrin loaded the bases on two walks and a single, then walked Ryan Adams to force in Paulino. Gearrin ended the inning strong, however, striking out Flaherty looking to leave the bases full.

Jose Constanza went 1-for-4 in the leadoff spot to extend his International League leading on-base streak to 38 games. He, Luis Durango and Josh Wilson had the only hits for Gwinnett on the day.

Thursday, August 23rd G-Braves Starting Line-up from Coolray Field:

The Gwinnett Braves (59-73) have an off day on Wednesday before welcoming the Syracuse Chiefs to town for four games, beginning with a 7:05 PM first pitch on Thursday night at Coolray Field. The G-Braves will start left-hander Sean Gilmartin (1-1, 3.20) against Syracuse left-hander Zach Duke (14-5, 3.50). Listen to the broadcast on WDUN 550 AM / 102.9 FM in Gainesville, Georgia.

Syracuse (5th IL North) vs Gwinnett (4th IL South) 

Thursday night is “Back to School” recognition night, as the G-Braves honor organizations that support education or after school/mentoring programs. Thursday night’s festivities also include “Racecar Night” and the first night of “Drive Me Crazy.”For more details, visit gwinnettbraves.com. 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.

Syracuse Chiefs Batting Order:

1) Eury Perez, LF

2) Corey Brown, CF

3) Jarrett Hoffpauir, 2B

4) Chris Marrero, 1B

5) Carlos Rivero

6) Sandy Leon, C

7) Zach Walters, SS

8) Brett Carroll, RF

9) Zach Duke, SP

G-Braves Batting Order:

1) Jose Constanza, LF

2) Luis Durango, CF

3) Lyle Overbay, 1B

4) Stefan Gartrell, RF

5) Jose Yepez, C

6) Rusty Ryal, 3B

7) Josh Wilson, SS

8) Brian Friday, 2B

9) Sean Gilmartin, SP

By: Tony Piraro

Education Day Game at Coolray Field This Morning

Photo courtesy of Karl Moore

The Norfolk Tides scored three times in the ninth to tie the game and three more times in the 11th to steal a 6-3 win from the Gwinnett Braves on Monday night at Coolray Field. Miguel Batista pitched 6.0 scoreless innings for the G-Braves and left with a 3-0 lead, but the bullpen failed to hold the advantage.

With Gwinnett leading 3-0, they went to their bullpen and Cole McCurry following the brilliant 77-pitch, 50-strike effort from Batista. McCurry worked 2.0 innings before exiting with runners on first and second base with nobody out in the ninth. Andy Russellentered the game and proceeded to allow three runs to cross the plate, two to McCurry’s line, as Norfolk tied the game at 3-3.

Ryan Flaherty walked and Joe Mahoney singled off McCurry to start the ninth. Bill Hall welcomed Russell by driving home the first run of the game for Norfolk, singling past first baseman Josh Kroeger to cut the deficit to 3-1. Endy Chavez then singled home Mahoney, and Luis Exposito grounded into a double play that scored the tying run.

McCurry worked 2.0 innings and allowed two runs on two hits. Russell followed him, lasting 2.0 innings with one run on two hits.

Ryan Buchter entered the game to start the 11th inning for the G-Braves. The left-hander walked Jamie Hoffmann to lead off the inning, then misfired to first for a throwing error after a Chavez bunt. Following a spectacular play by Buchter to force Hoffmann at third on a sacrifice bunt attempt by Exposito, a walk to pinch hitter Ryan Adams loaded the bases. Steve Tolleson drove home the go ahead run with a sacrifice fly to center, and L.J. Hoes put the game on ice with a two-run single off shortstop-turned-reliever Josh Wilson to give Norfolk a 6-3 lead.

Photo courtesy of Karl Moore

Buchter (L, 0-2) was credited for 0.2 innings, as he surrendered three unearned runs on no hits and three walks. Wilson worked 0.1 innings and surrendered just the one hit to Hoes.

Greg Burke (W, 2-1) worked 2.2 scoreless innings en route to the victory for Norfolk. The right-hander struck out two without yielding a walk through extra innings. Zach Phillips (S, 6) closed the door on the G-Braves for the save, recording the final out of the game. The Tides bullpen allowed just one run over 5.0 innings of relief on the night.

Batista was outstanding for the G-Braves on Monday, working 6.0 innings of scoreless baseball. The veteran right-hander surrendered just three total hits and struck out a season-high seven hitters, leaving the game in line for the victory.

Rusty Ryal was the lone offense to start the ballgame, doubling home Ruben Gotay in the second and fourth innings respectively, giving Gwinnett a 2-0 lead after four innings. Gotay walked with one out in the second, then scored from first on the double by Ryal. In the fourth, Gotay scored from first once again, this time after his single off Norfolk starter Zach Clark.

Jose Constanza walked to lead off the G-Braves’ seventh inning against Villarreal, extending his on-base streak to an International League leading 37 straight games.

Tuesday, August 21st G-Braves Starting Line-up from Coolray Field:

The Gwinnett Braves (59-72) conclude the two-game series against the Norfolk Tides (67-64) on Tuesday morning at Coolray Field. First pitch is scheduled for 10:35 AM. Left-hander Yohan Flande (6-8, 4.00) is scheduled to start for the G-Braves against left-hander Dana Eveland (4-4, 2.81) of the Tides. The radio broadcast will air live on 1240 ESPN Radio, while the television broadcast will air on CSS at 1:00 PM.

Norfolk Tides (2nd IL South) vs Gwinnett (4th IL North) 

Celebrate back to school on Tuesday morning with the Gwinnett Braves, as students are welcomed to join the fun at Coolray Field on Belk Education Day. The day also features a special “Goosebumps Book Giveaway” to the first 1,000 fans age 14 and under, courtesy of Scholastic Books. 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.

Durham Bulls Batting Order:

1) L.J. Hoes, LF

2) Ryan Adams, 2B

3) Ryan Flaherty, LF

4) Bill Hall, DH

5) Joe Mahoney, 1B

6) Ronny Paulino, C

7) Brandon Waring, 3B

8) Steve Tolleson, SS

9) Jamie Hoffman, RF

G-Braves Batting Order:

1) Jose Constanza, LF

2) Luis Durango, CF

3) Ernesto Mejia, 1B

4) Stefan Gartrell, RF

5) Jose Yepez, C

6) Josh Kroeger, DH

7) Rusty Ryal, LF

8) Josh Wilson, SS

9) Brian Friday, 2B

By: Tony Piraro

Delgado Starting as G-Braves Seek Series Win Tonight

Photo courtesy of Kyle Hess

Atlanta Braves right-hander Tommy Hanson, pitching on a rehab assignment, threw 5.0 scoreless innings to lead the Gwinnett Braves to a 5-2 victory over the Louisville Bats on Sunday at Coolray Field. Ernesto MejiaRusty Ryal and Brian Friday all homered off Bats’ starter and former G-Brave Todd Redmond in a five-run fourth inning.

Hanson (W, 1-0) allowed just three hits and two walks while striking out five in his first start for Gwinnett since May 31, 2009. The right-hander threw 78 pitches, 48 for strikes in his first game action since being placed on Atlanta’s disabled list on July 31 with lower back stiffness.

“My back felt better, that was the main thing,” said Hanson. “I didn’t have much time to prepare for this start, but I still went out and made pitches. My off-speed stuff was really good. I felt really good with my curveball and slider. I feel good about the way I threw today. I’m looking forward to my next start.”

It was a scoreless game until the bottom of the fourth inning as Hanson and Redmond were caught in a pitcher’s duel. However, Gwinnett opened the floodgates as Josh Kroeger drew a walk and Mejia followed with a two-run blast that cleared the centerfield batter’s eye for a 2-0 lead. Stefan Gartrell stayed hot at the plate with a single, and Ryal followed with a two-run shot of his own, his first with Gwinnett, to give the G-Braves a 4-0 lead. Two hitters later, Friday laced a solo home run to left for the third Gwinnett homer of the frame and a 5-0 advantage.

The three-homer frame was the first in Gwinnett Braves history. The last instance of three home runs in a single inning by a Braves’ Triple-A club came on May 13, 2008, when the Richmond Braves slugged three homers in the sixth inning as part of a 7-1 win at Indianapolis.

Yohan Flande worked 2.0 scoreless innings in relief of Hanson, making his first relief appearance since April 5. The left-hander allowed just one hit and struck out one.

Louisville added two runs in their half of the eighth inning off Peter Moylan to cut the lead to 5-2. Felix Perez capped a 2-for-4 game with a two-run single off Moylan scoring Cody Puckett and Didi Gregorius. Anthony Varvaro closed the door on the Bats with a perfect frame in the ninth inning for his fifth save of the season.

Redmond (L, 8-9), making his first start at Coolray Field since a trade that sent him to the Cincinnati organization, allowed five earned runs on seven hits over 6.0 innings. The longtime G-Brave yielded three homers, walked one and struck out four. Kanekoa Texeira and Nick Masset combined to work 2.0 scoreless innings following the departure of Redmond.

Mejia finished 1-for-4 with his team-leading 24th home run and his International League best 84th and 85th RBIs. Ryal went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and Friday finished 2-for-3 with one RBI.

Photo courtesy of Chris Roughgarden

Monday, August 13th G-Braves Starting Line-up from Coolray Field:

The Gwinnett Braves (55-68) take on the Louisville Bats (48-75) in the series finale on Monday night at Coolray Field, first pitch scheduled for 7:05 PM. Right-hander Randall Delgado (2-2, 4.43) will start for the G-Braves against right-hander Pedro Villarreal (3-9, 4.12) of the Bats. The radio broadcast will air on WDUN 550 AM and 102.9 FM in Gainesville, Georgia with Tony Schiavone calling the play-by-play.

Norfolk Tides (2nd IL South) vs Gwinnett (4th IL North) 

All kids 12 and under will receive a voucher for a free hot dog, a bag of chips and a small soda on Kids Eat Free Monday.  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.

Louisville Bats Batting Order:

1) Denis Phipps, CF

2) Didi Gregorius, SS

3) Henry Rodriguez, 3B

4) Neftali Soto, 1B

5) Dioner Navarro, C

6) Felix Perez, RF

7) Chris Valaika, 2B

8) Cody Puckett, LF

9) Pedro Villareal, SP

G-Braves Batting Order:

1) Luis Durango, CF

2) Josh Kroeger, RF

3) Ernesto Mejia, 1B

4) Stefan Gartrell, LF

5) Terry Tiffee, 3B

6) Jose Yepez, C

7) Rusty Ryal, LF

8) Brian Friday, 3B

9) Randall Delgado, SP

By: Tony Piraro
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 41 other followers