The Gwinnett Braves (8-10) failed to make it three in a row, dropping game three of the four-game set to the Charlotte Knights, 4-3 on Sunday afternoon in front of 6,676 at Coolray Field. The largest crowd of the 2013 season came out to see first baseman Freddie Freeman, as he took the field
in his final rehab start for the Gwinnett Braves.
Freeman went 0-for-2 with an HBP before leaving in the seventh to get on a plane and head to Denver, CO to meet the rest of his Atlanta teammates.
The G-Braves ended their current two-game winning streak, as Dusty Hughes (0-2) gave up the game-winner in the seventh inning. After giving up a single and retiring the next hitter, Hughes gave up two walks and HBP to allow a run to cross the plate, making it 5-4 Knights.
Offensively, the Braves could not get going against the Knights bullpen, as they threw five innings of shutout baseball. Deunte Heath (1-0) picked up the victory, while Ramon Troncoso recorded the save.
League Leaders: Tyler Pastornicky leads the league in hits (26)… Joe Terdoslavich leads the league in doubles (11), at bats (74) and total bases (46)… Ernesto Mejia rounds up the league leaders, as he leads the IL in homers (7) and RBI (20)…
Tonight’s matchup features Yohan Flande (0-0, 5.23) and Simon Castro (0-2, 6.88)
Starting Lineups Below
The Gwinnett Braves (8-9) took to the road and get back on track, winning two straight over the Charlotte Knights. The G-Braves are back in town today, facing the Knights in a home-road split series, before they hit the road for eight straight games.
Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman is still with the G-Braves rehabbing from an oblique injury. Last night, the left-handed hitting Freeman went 5-for-5 with two doubles, two runs and two RBI in their 6-0 victory over the Knights. He will play first and hit third today, as he hopes to join the Braves roster tomorrow.
However, for today, he will be in the lineup and ready to go for the G-Braves, as they try and make it three straight victories. The Braves enter tonight’s contest in third place in the South Division and one game back of second-place Norfolk.
Sean Gilmartin (1-0) will take the ball for the G-Braves. So far, so good for Gilmartin, as he possesses a 1-0 mark with a 1.69 ERA. In his last start, he went seven Innings, allowing one unearned run and struck out won. He did not factor in the decision, as the bullpen blew a two-run lead in the ninth. This will be his second start against the Knights, as he pitched the opener on 4/5. He went five innings, allowing one run on six hits, while striking out four.
Gilmartin looks for his second Triple-A win and second straight quality start of the season.
The Knights enter the contest seven games back of Durham and on a four game losing streak. The team has struggled both offensively and on the mound. The hitters are 10th in the league in batting with a .238 batting average and are third to last in homers (9). On the mound, the Knights possess the third highest ERA in the league at 4.99.
Andre Rienzo (1-1) makes his fourth start of the season. He is 1-1 with a 7.16 ERA. In his lone start against the G-Braves, he went five innings, allowing four runs. He was credited with the loss.
The matchup is set and the lineups are below.
Gwinnett Constanza 7
Fri: Omar Poveda (0-0, 3.27 ERA) at Jason Berken (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Sat: Daniel Rodriguez (0-1, 17.05 ERA) at Zach Stewart (0-1, 4.50 ERA)
Sun: Sean Gilmartin (1-0, 1.69 ERA) vs. Andre Rienzo (1-1, 7.16 ERA)
Mon: David Hale (1-1, 5.51 ERA) vs. Simon Castro (0-2, 6.88 ERA)
Braves Update-The Gwinnett Braves have it the skids after starting the season 4-0… They have dropped 9 of their last 11 and three in a row… They are currently in third place in the South Division and four games out of first place…
-Hitters-Tyler Pastornicky is the team’s leading hitter, posting a .371 (23-for-62) average with one home run and seven RBI. He leads the league with 23 hits and doubles (6). The infielder has dominated Knights pitching, hitting .478 (11-for-23) in six games this season. Last night, he left the game early after fouling a ball of his foot. His status is unknown… Ernesto Mejia enters the contest, leading the league in homers (7), RBI (17) and total bases (42). He has fared well against Charlotte, hitting .389 (7-for-18) with three homers in six games against the Knights.
-Pitchers-Poveda has been pleasant surprise in 2013, sporting a 3.27 ERA in 11 innings of baseball. He has gone at least five innings in both his starts… Rodriguez had his best start of the year on 4/15, tossing 4.2 innings, allowing three runs on three hits… Gilmartin has been Gwinnett’s best start, boasting a 1-0 mark with a 1.69 ERA. He is currently ninth in the league in ERA… Hale has struggled of late, but his best start of the season came against the Knights on 4/6, tossing five innings of two-run baseball.
Knights Minute-The Knights have turned it around after starting a woeful 1-6 on the season. Since then, they have four of their last seven. Currently in last place of the South Division, but one game back of Gwinnett for third.
-Hitters-Seth Loman continues to lead the charge, hitting .326 (15-for-46) with three homers and seven RBI. He has victimized Gwinnett, posting a .476 clip with two homers and four RBI in six games against the G-Braves… Former G-Brave Luis Durango is off to a solid start, hitting .321 with two doubles and four RBI for the Knights. In five games against the G-Braves, he is hitting .400 with three RBI.
-Pitchers-Berken has yet to allow an unearned run this season. In two games, he has given up 11 hits and struck out seven. He will face the G-Braves for the first time… Stewart makes his second start against the G-Braves after giving four runs in four innings on opening day… Rienzo has not made his mark with the Knights, posting a 1-1 record with a 7.16 ERA. After giving up six and seven runs in his first two starts, Rienzo fared well in his last start, tossing six innings of one-run ball… Castro is looking for his first quality start. In three starts, he has given up four, three and six runs, ballooning his ERA to 6.88 in the early season.
The series will begin on the road, as the two teams play two at Knights Stadium before returning to Coolray Field on Sunday.
Braves missed their chance to take sole possession of second place last night, dropping the contest 4-3 on Tuesday night. The Braves took a 3-1 lead into the top of the ninth, but Dusty Hughes and Wirfin Obispo were unable to hold off the Tides, as Jason Pridie hit a bases clearing triple to win it for the Tides.
The troublesome bullpen washed away a great performance by Sean Gilmartin, as he tossed seven innings, allowing one unearned run and striking out one.
After scoring three runs in the bottom of the first inning, the Braves were shut down the rest of the way.
The Braves current slide has them at 6-7 entering tonight’s contest. David Hale (1-0) will go against Freddie Garcia (1-0) at 6:05 p.m. in Game 3 of this four game set at Coolray Field.
Rev on Fire: Tyler Pastornicky continued his early season success, extending his current hit streak to eight games… Also, his multi-hit effort last night, added to his current seven-game multi hit streak… The middle infielder enters the game leading the league in hits (22) and is fifth in batting average (.400)…
Home Cooking: Jordan Parraz belted his third home run of the season last night… His third jack of the season puts him in second place on the G-Braves roster… The outfielder has been solid at home, hitting .263 (5-for-19) with three home runs and five RBI, but has struggled on the road, hitting .095 (2-for-21) with three RBI…
MLB Rehab: Paul Janish joined the Braves on Monday night… He has played in both games at Coolray Field, as he recovers from a shoulder injury that required offseason surgery… He is 1-for-8 in the two contests, while making every play at short.
Coolray Swag: The G-Braves hold the best record in the International League… They have a 5-1 mark at Coolray Field…
Mejia Mashing: The IL Rookie of the Year in 2012, Ernesto Mejia is off to a torrid start… He is hitting .341 (15-for-44) with seven homers and 15 RBI… He leads the league in home runs, RBI, extra base-hits (10), total bases (39) and slugging percentage (.886)…
Starting Lineups below:
The G-Braves won at home, again. The win pushed their record at Coolray Field to 5-0 in 2013. Despite their undefeated mark at home, the Braves check into tonight’s game with a 6-6 mark.
So what has been the difference?
The Braves pitching staff has posted a 2.72 ERA at Coolray. The bullpen has been even sharper, tossing 16 innings, allowing seven runs, five earned and striking out the 22. It has resulted into a 2.03 bullpen ERA.
The trouble, however, has come on the road as the G-Braves have allowed a whopping 49 runs (41 earned) in 58.1 innings. Starters have been tagged for 29 runs in 28.1 innings, while averaging a little over four innings per start.
Last night, starter Daniel Rodriguez did not buck the trend, but he proved effective, tossing 4.2 innings, allowing three runs and striking out six. It was his best appearance of the season, as the Braves won in dramatic fashion in the eleventh. Rodriguez, who witnessed the birth of his first daughter over the weekend, seemed at ease in the start. His only hiccup came in the third, allowing three runs to score in the frame. The southpaw made adjustments throughout the night, utilizing his curveball to put down opposing hitters while attacking the zone with his fastball. He walked a season-high, but only one run proved to be costly as it came around to score on an RBI single by Russ Canzler.
The bullpen went back to its dominant ways, tossing 6.1 innings of one run baseball. Andrew Russell, who dropped two contests on the road, was sharp for the Braves. He pitched two scoreless to pick up the victory. He is another pitcher that has enjoyed the Lawrenceville surroundings, as he is yet to issue a run at Coolray Field. It’s ironic that the well-traveled Aussie has pitched better at home than around the rest of the International League.
The Braves Jekyll-and-Hyde ways will be tested again tonight. Luckily for the Braves, they will be at Coolray Field for the contest tonight.
The G-Braves head into tonight’s game tied for second in the South Division and two games back of the Durham Bulls (8-4). Former G-Brave Jair Jurrjens will match up against the Braves lineup. The former MLB All-Star has been sharp in his first two starts. In 11.1 innings, he is 0-1 with a 1.59 ERA. His command has been spotty, walking six, but he has limited hitters to a .128 batting average.
G-Braves Sean Gilmartin makes his third start of the year. He is going on five days rest, as his scheduled start last night was pushed back to make room for Rodriguez. The lefty will go for his second win of the season. Game time is scheduled for 6:05 p.m.
Starting Lineups are listed below:
Norfolk Tides (6-6)
Gwinnett Braves (6-6)
G-Braves Report-The Braves return home after dropping six of seven on the road… After their best start in franchise history, the Braves could not keep it going on the road, as the pitching staff allowed 49 runs in seven games… The drought has moved the Braves to third place in the South Division.
Hitters-Ernesto Mejia has been on fire of late, hitting four home runs in seven games. He currently leads the International League in home runs (6), RBI (12) and total bases (32). He is hitting well above the .300 mark, checking in with a .316 (12-for-38) batting average after 11 games… Tyler Pastornicky leads all G- Braves in batting, hitting .400 (18-for-45). His 18 knocks lead and is tied for first in doubles (5) through 11 games… Sean Kazmar checks in with a .310 batting average, one home run and 11 RBI. His RBI mark is second in the league behind Mejia.
Pitchers-The staff struggled on the road, giving up 49 runs on the trip… Omar Poveda was the only starting pitcher to get through five innings during the road trip. He tossed six scoreless on 4/8 and five innings of four-run ball on 8/13. He was not a part of either decision. He leads the squad in innings (11) and WHIP (0.82)… Reliever Andrew Russell had a rough week, blowing one save and losing twice. On the season, the Aussie is 0-2 with a 6.23 ERA… Today starter, Daniel Rodriguez has not had a good start to 2012. In two appearances, he is 0-1 with a 48.60 ERA.
G-Bites- The Braves are currently sixth in the League in hitting with a .271 (60-for-361) batting average. They are second in the league in homers (12)… However, they are 11th in ERA (4.98) and have allowed the second most runs in the league (60). Free passes have hurt the staff, as they have issued 49 in 11 games…
Norfolk Update-The Tides have been playing good ball of late. After dropping their first three contests, the Tides have won six of their last eight. They are currently on a three-game winning streak… The Tides swept the mini two-game set against the G-Braves this weekend…
Hitting-Russ Canzler is leading the Tides attack, the infielder is hitting .333 (14-for-42) with three homers and 10 RBI. He leads the Tides in every offensive category and is second in the IL with seven extra base hits, behind the G-Braves Mejia… Danny Valencia is off to a solid start, hitting .316 (12-for-38) with three doubles and six RBI…
Pitchers- The G-Braves were stifled last night by Norfolk’s top arm, Josh Stinson, as he hurled 6.2 innings of one-run ball, collecting his first win of the season. On the year, he is 1-0 with a 0.77 ERA. He has fanned 10 batters over 11.2 innings. He is fifth in the IL in ERA… Former G-Brave Jairo Asencio has been sharp in 2013, converting three of three save opportunities. He has tossed four scoreless innings, allowing four hits and striking out five. He leads the IL in saves…
Rolling With the TidesThe Tides have been playing well of late, winning three in a row. However, they will hit the road for an 11-game road trip starting tonight. So far in the early season, the Tides are 1-1 on the road, as they have played the bulk of their games at home.
Probable Pitching Matchups:
Thu: David Hale (1-0, 3.60 ERA) vs. Andre Rienzo (0-1, 9.00 ERA)
Fri: Tim Corcoran (1-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Simon Castro (0-1, 6.00 ERA)
About the G-Braves
The G-Braves and the Knights meet up for the second time this season… In the last meeting, the G-Braves swept the Knights in a four-game set… The teams will meet for a short, two-game series before Gwinnett moves on to Norfolk. The Braves are currently in second place, two games behind the Durham Bulls.
Hitters: The Braves lineup features Ernesto Mejia, who is tied for second in the International League with four home runs. Last weekend Mejia went 5-for-14 (.357) with five runs, two homers and four RBI against the Knights… Tyler Pastornicky leads the G-Braves in hitting, he is batting .333 (9-for-27) with three doubles and one RBI. He leads the squad with two stolen bases… Since Blake DeWitt got called up by the Atlanta Braves, Sean Kazmar has filled in suitably. The slick-fielding shortstop is hitting .250 (4-for-16) with a homer and seven RBI… He is second on the team in RBI.
Pitchers: David Hale was solid in his first Triple-A start. The right-hander tossed five innings of two-run baseball against the Knights. He picked up his first victory of the season after striking out five… Tim Corcoran was even better on Sunday afternoon, as he tossed five scoreless against the Knights. The grizzled-veteran fended off the Knights attack by limiting them to two hits and four walks. He picked up his first win of the season and his first Triple-A victory since 9/6/10…
G-Braves Bites: The road woes continue. After sweeping the opening series, the G-Braves dropped three straight on the road to Durham. Last season, the G-Braves were 26-44 away from Coolray Field…The G-Braves held the Durham Bulls scoreless for eight innings on Monday night, but after dropping that game in the ninth inning, the G-Braves allowed 24 runs in the last 17 innings of that series. The output resulted in a series sweep… In two starts, left-hander Sean Gilmartin has surrendered seven walks. He leads the IL in walks…
About the Knights
The Charlotte Knights continue to struggle. They are currently in last place and are five games behind first place Durham… Their lone win came on Monday night, as they beat Norfolk 21-4…
Hitters: It has been a slow-start for some of the Knights. Leadoff hitter Jared Mitchell is hitting .107 (3-for-28) with a team-high 12 strikeouts. He recorded a single in his first at bat of the season, but since then he is 2-for-27… Josh Phegley has been on fire though, the backstop is hitting .353 (6-for-17) with two homers and five RBI. He went 4-for-9 (.444) with a round-tripper against the Braves last weekend… Despite his success, it was Seth Loman who led the Knights during teh opening series. The infielder hit .462 (6-for-13) with two doubles, a homer and 3 RBI. Loman accounted for five of the 11 runs the Knights manufactured against the Braves.
Pitchers: Andre Rienzo did not fare so well in his first outing of 2013. The right-hander gave up six runs, five earned in five innings of baseball. He was victimized by the long ball, as he gave up two mammoth blasts to Mejia. However, he did strikeout five… Simon Castro struggled as well, giving up four runs in six innings of baseball. He was also hurt by the home run, as he gave up two solo-blasts to Jordan Parraz. Castro was the only pitcher to go into the sixth inning for the Knights, as the three previous starters exited after the fifth…
Knights Tale: Charlotte scored 21 runs on Monday night, beating Norfolk. Three different Knights hit a home run, while six different players collected multi-hit games. The outburst was the highest tally of the season for the International League. The 21 runs are also two more runs than their 19 runs in other games (all resulting in losses)… Charlotte’s season opener is tonight, as this will be the last season they play at Knights Stadium. The Charlotte Knights and the city of Charlotte have agreed to build a new stadium closer to downtown Charlotte. The stadium is scheduled to open in 2014.
View the slideshow for images of our last hometand against the Knights. Thanks to our photographic team of Karl Moore, Mackensie Cooper, Chris Roughgarden, Davison Wheeler and Bill Lofton for the great shots.
Probable Pitching Matchups:
Monday: RHP Omar Poveda (0-0, 0.00) vs. RHP Jake Odorizzi (0-0, 0.00)
Tuesday: LHP Sean Gilmartin (1-0, 1.80) vs. LHP Alex Torres (0-0, 0.00)
Wednesday: RHP David Hale (1-0, 3.60) vs. RHP Chris Archer (1-0, 1.80)
About the G-Braves:
The Gwinnett Braves are off to their best start in franchise history after sweeping the Charlotte Knights this weekend. The G-Braves came out of the gates hot, utilizing strong pitching and timely hitting to fend off the Knights. The staff allowed nine earned runs through 36 innings, while the hitters combined to hit .277 (31-for-112) with four home runs and 17 RBI.
Hitters: Tyler Pastornicky is 11th in the IL in hitting (.429) and is tied for ninth in hits (9). Last season, he hit .268 (41-for-153) with one home run and 20 RBI in 38 Triple-A Games. The infielder hit his only Triple-A home run against the Durham Bulls last year…. Jordan Parraz and Ernesto Mejia enter the weekday series tied for fourth in home runs (2). In 2012, Mejia hit 24 home runs… Catcher Jose Yepez led all returning G-Braves with a .340 (16-for-47) batting average against Durham in 2012…
Pitchers: The bullpen has been spot on in the early season, locking down four saves in four opportunities. The braves remain without a consistent closer, so four different players have tallied a save… Last season, Yohan Flande led all returning G-Braves with a 2-1 record and 1.78 ERA against the Bulls. He struck out 19 in five appearances (25.1 IP) against Durham.
Cheat Sheet: The G-Braves won the season series in 2012, 11-10 and lead the all-time series 44-41… The G-Braves roster carries four top prospects in the Atlanta Braves organization according to Baseball America, Sean Gilmartin (No.4), Todd Cunningham (No. 12), David Hale (No. 16) and Joe Terdoslavich (No. 19)… 2012 IL Champion Jose Constanza is off to slow start, hitting .100 (1-for-10) with four punch outs…
About the Bulls:
Durham is off to a solid start as well, winning three of their first four. The Bulls have done with strong pitching. Through four games, they lead the league in ERA (2.16) and runs allowed (8).
Hitters: Heralded prospect Wil Myers is off to a solid start, hitting .333 (4-for-12) with two doubles and three RBI… However, he is second on the team in strikeouts (4)… Former No.1 overall draft pick, Tim Beckham returns for another season with the Bulls. He is off to slow start, hitting .143 (2-for-14) with a team-high six strikeouts… The Bulls have been limited to one home run in four games, Brandon Guyer is the only player that has gone deep.
Pitchers: Chris Archer dazzled in his season debut, tossing five innings of one-run ball and striking out five. He is scheduled to throw game two of the series. Last year, he went 2-1 with a 5.74 ERA against the G-Braves… Jake Odorizzi makes his season debut on Monday night. Last season, he went 11-3 with a 2.93 ERA for the Omaha Storm Chasers. He was one of the prospects traded by the Kansas City Royals to the Tampa Rays for Wade Davis and James Shields.
Bull Clips: The Bulls feature a prospect-heavy roster according to Baseball America. Seven of the top 30 Tampa Bay prospects wear a Bulls jersey, Myers (No.1), Archer (No.2), Hak-Ju Lee (No.4), Odorizzi (No.5), Alex Colome (No.6), Beckham (No. 10) and Mike Montgomery (No.15)…
Did You Know: The G-Braves went the whole 2012 season without a multi-homer game at Coolray Field. However, in the opening series, the G-Braves have had two players accomplish the feat, Mejia on Saturday and Parraz on Sunday.
The Gwinnett Braves (3-0) are off to their best start in franchise history after sweeping a twin bill form the Charlotte Knights (0-3) on Saturday night.
The G-Braves got started early, as Ernesto Mejia capped a four-run first inning with a three-run home run in Game 1. The first baseman was not done, as he homered again to left field, helping the G-Braves win the first game of the twinbill, 6-4.
In Game 2, David Carpenter tossed 3.2 innings of shutout ball, holding down the Knights offense through five innings. The Knights would get on the board on a solo shot by Seth Loman, but it was not enough as the G-Braves prevailed behind strong pitching from Carpenter and Yohan Flande. Sean Kazmar’s two-run single in the second inning proved to be the game-winner, as the G-Braves took Game 2, 2-1.
Today, the Braves finish off their home stand as Tim Corcoran (0-0) makes his season debut against Simon Castro (0-0).
Corcoran is entering his 14th professional season. In 429 MiLB appearances (56 starts), he is 58-52 with a 4.26 ERA. From 2005-2007, the right-hander made 40 appearances (17 starts) for the Tampa Bay Rays. He went 5-9 with a 4.97 ERA in 130.1 innings. Last season, he went 7-4 with a 2.50 ERA with the Delfines of the Mexican League.
His opposition will be Castro. The 6-foot, 5-inch, 230-pound right-hander has been one of the top prospects in the White Sox organization since being traded for Carlos Quentin in 2011. The key acquisition in the Quinton trade has been solid, last season he went a combined 7-5 with 88 strikeouts in 117 innings through three different levels. This will be his sixth career start for the Knights, as he went 1-1 with a 4.32 ERA last season.
The Braves will try and make it four straight today. The lineups are below and Coolray is ready to rock at 2:05 p.m.
Charlotte Knights Starting Lineup
Gwinnett Starting Lineup
The Gwinnett Braves took the opener last night, 5-4. Sean Gilmartin (1-0) was impressive, hurling five innings, scattering six hits and allowing one run. He picked up his first victory of the season and his second as a G-Brave.
Shortstop Tyler Pastornicky got off to a blazing start, going 4-for-4 with two doubles and a stolen base. The Sarosota, FL native looked sharp on the field as well, converting on all five of his chances.
Andrew Russell locked it down for the G-Braves, getting out of a jam in the eighth inning and going on to toss two scoreless frames. The Aussie struck out four of the six hitters he faced. He is now 3-for-5 in save opportunities with the G-Braves.
Tonight, the G-Braves and the Knights will make up Thursday night’s rainout with a doubleheader starting at 5:05 p.m. RHP David Hale (0-0) will square off against RHP Andre Rienzo (0-0) in Game 1, while LHP Daniel Rodriguez (0-0) takes the ball against RHP Tony Pena Jr. (0-0) in Game 2.
Hale was selected by the Atlanta Braves in the third round of the 2009 First Year Player Draft out of Princeton University. The former Tiger has bounced around from starter to reliever, however last season he flourished as full time starter in Double-A Mississippi. In 27 starts, Hale went 8-4 with a 3.77 ERA. He topped the Southern League in starts, while finishing fourth in strikeouts (124).
His opponent, Andre Rienzo has been a coveted Chicago (AL) prospect for a few years. Last season, the hard-throwing righty had to battle a 50-game suspension, forcing him to miss a 1/3 of the season. Upon his return, he dominated across three different levels, going 7-3 with a 2.53 ERA. He limited hitters to a combined .206 batting average. Baseball America ranks him the No. 7 prospect in the Sox organization.
In the night cap, Rodriguez will make his third affiliated appearance of his career. The left-hander spent seven years with the Saraperos de Saltillo of the Mexican League. After signing with the Braves on 8/14/12, Rodriguez made two appearances for the G-Braves, going 0-0 with a 1.50 ERA in six innings. He went 11-5 with a 2.54 ERA with Saltillo last year.
He will go up against Tony Pena Jr. The son of former big league catcher Tony Pena, has bounced around from organizations (ATL, KC, SF, BOS), landing with the White Sox organization in the offseason. Last season with the Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox’s, he went 1-9 with a 4.75 ERA. The right-hander began his career as a middle infielder for the Atlanta Braves organization in 2000.
Tonight should be a treat, as the G-Braves look to start the season 2-0 for the first time in Franchise history. Joe Leonard will receive his MiLB Gold Glove award in between games.
Last season, the G-Braves went 5-3 in doubleheaders, sweeping two, splitting one and getting swept once.
Game One Lineups are below:
Charlotte Knights Starting Lineup
Gwinnett Braves Starting Lineup