Tommy Hanson Starting for G-Braves Today

Photo courtesy of the 2009 Gwinnett Braves staff photographers

Left-hander Sean Gilmartin earned his first Triple-A victory with 6.2 impressive innings as the Gwinnett Braves defeated the Louisville Bats, 8-2 on Saturday night at Coolray Field. Stefan Gartrell led the offensive attack with a 2-for-3 game including his 18th home run and three RBIs. Josh Kroeger added a pinch-hit three-run homer in the eighth to put the game out of reach.

Gilmartin (W, 1-1), the Atlanta Braves’ first-round pick in 2011, made his Coolray Field debut on Saturday after starting his Triple-A career with two road outings. The left-hander was outstanding, limiting the Bats to just two runs on seven hits while walking two and striking out three. The Florida State University product threw 96 pitches, 61 for strikes and exited to cheers from the 7,747 fans in attendance.

The G-Braves gave Gilmartin an early lead to work with, scoring a run in the first inning.Luis Durango led off the game with a walk from Louisville starter and former Parkview High School standout Tim Gustafson. Durango stole second base for his International League leading 41st theft of the season, then scored on an awkward defensive play by the Bats. Ernesto Mejia reached on a dropped third strike, and catcher Corky Miller’s throw was dropped by first baseman Neftali Soto for an error, allowing Durango to come home.

Louisville tied the game at 1-1 against Gilmartin in the third inning. Miller led off the inning with a walk, reaching base for the first of three times on the night, then was driven home on an RBI single by Denis Phipps.

Gwinnett took the lead for good in the fourth. Mejia led off the frame with a double that was scorched into the left-center gap. Gartrell followed with a two-run blast to left-center, giving the G-Braves a 3-1 lead.

Gartrell drove home Felix Pie with a double in the sixth, raising the lead to 4-1. Gilmartin gave that run back to Louisville in the top of the seventh as Miller blasted a solo shot to left. After a walk to Phipps and a single by Willie Harris, the Gwinnett starter’s night was done.

Ernesto Mejia’s two-out, two-run single in the top of the ninth led the Gwinnett Braves to a 6-4 victory over the Durham Bulls in the series finale on Sunday night at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.

The G-Braves entered the ninth trailing the Bulls 4-3 and three outs away from being swept in the four-game series. The Bulls’ closer Dan De La Rosa immediately got into trouble as he walked Josh Wilson and with one out, walked Brian Friday. G-Braves’ leadoff batter Luis Durango beat out a ground ball to short to load to bases with one out. Wilson then scored from third on a passed ball by catcher Chris Gimenez to tie the game, 4-4. After Josh Kroeger popped-up to short for the second out of the inning, Mejia delivered the clutch single, plating Friday and Durango with the decisive runs.

The comeback win for the G-Braves came after they allowed Durham to come back from a two-run deficit, taking a late lead 4-3.

With the game scoreless in the top of the fourth, Gwinnett got on the board first. Durham starting pitcher Cesar Ramos walked Stefan Gartrell to begin the inning and a groundout to first by Jose Yepez moved Gartrell to second. Terry Tiffee then singled to right, scoring Gartrell from third to give the G-Braves an early 1-0 lead.

Durham rallied in the bottom of the fourth, as former Braves’ infielder Brooks Conrad lined a two-out double to left off Gwinnett starter Sean Gilmartin and scored when Evan Longoria singled to left. The game was tied 1-1 after four.

In the top of the fifth, Rusty Ryal led off with a single to right and moved to third on a single by Friday. A bunt single by Durango scored Ryal from third giving the G-Braves a 2-1 lead. Then with one out, Mejia cracked a single that scored Friday from second moving the Gwinnett lead to 3-1.

Photo courtesy of Kyle Hess

Sunday, August 12th G-Braves Starting Line-up from Coolray Field:

The Gwinnett Braves (53-68) take on the Louisville Bats (48-73) in game three of the four-game series on Sunday night at Coolray Field, first pitch scheduled for 5:05 PM. Atlanta Braves’ right-hander Tommy Hanson (12-5, 4.29 with Atlanta) is expected to make a rehab start for Gwinnett. Former G-Braves right-hander Todd Redmond (8-8, 3.36) will start for the Bats. The radio broadcast will air on WDUN 550 AM and 102.9 FM in Gainesville, Georgia.

Louisville Bats (3rd IL West) vs Gwinnett (4th IL North) 

Bring your ball and glove for a pre-game catch in the outfield starting when the gates open and lasting for 20 minutes on Family Sunday. All kids 12 and under will get to run the bases following the game. The Gwinnett Braves will also be recognizing organizations that fund or run safety programs for children on Summer Safety night. Tickets for all Gwinnett Braves home games are on sale now at the Coolray Field Box Office. Call (678) 277-0340 or visit for more information.

Photo courtesy of Kyle Hess

Louisville Bats Batting Order:

1) Didi Gregorius, SS

2) Henry Rodriguez, SS

3) Felix Perez, RF

4) Neftali Soto, 1B

5) Mike Costanzo, 3B

6) Denis Phipps, CF

7) Willie Harris, LF

8) Corky Miller, C

9) Todd Redmond, 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) Rusty Ryal, LF

7) J.C. Boscan, C

8) Brian Friday, SS

9) Tommy Hanson, SP

By: Tony Piraro

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