Series Preview: Gwinnett Braves (6-9) at Charlotte Knights (5-10)

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.

-JD-

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