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 Mejia, Rusty 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