Clippers Pound Braves, 16-5
LAWRENCEVILLE, GA – After a thrilling 4-3 victory on Saturday night, the Gwinnett Braves (27-38) were roughed up by Columbus Clippers (31-33), 16-5, on Sunday afternoon at Coolray Field. The Clippers’ offense was on point all day, amassing 17 hits, nine doubles and two homers in their rout of the G-Braves.
Gwinnett starter Sean Gilmartin (L, 3-6) had the worst outing of his professional career, giving up 10 runs, nine earned on nine hits in 3.1 innings.
Things started out bleak for the lefty. In the top of the first, the Clippers utilized three consecutive doubles and single to jump out to an early 3-0 lead. Matt Carson, Lonnie Chisenhall and Cord Phelps all doubled and Chun Chen added an RBI single, giving Columbus the early advantage.
The G-Braves answered with two runs of their own in the bottom half of the first inning. Back to-back singles by Jose Constanza and Todd Cunningham put runners on first in second with no outs. Ernesto Mejia followed with a one-out two-run double to right field, cutting the deficit to 3-2.
The Clippers tacked on another run in the second, but the G-Braves would take the lead in the bottom of the second. Alden Carrithers doubled to start the inning and scored on an RBI single by Jose Yepez. A two-out single by Cunningham and a fielding error by the first baseman Chen allowed Yepez to score. Gwinnett took a 5-4 lead on an RBI single by Mejia.
That would be the last time the G-Braves would lead, as the Clippers scored 12 unanswered runs to take command of the game. Columbus would score at least one run in the first eight innings, pushing their lead to 16-5.
Chen’s solo home run off Gilmartin in the third inning tied the game, and the Clippers scored five runs in the fourth to chase the Gwinnett starter. Chisenhall’s two-run double off the wall in right gave Columbus a permanent lead.
The G-Braves’ bullpen did not fare any better, giving up six runs in 5.1 innings of baseball. Outfielder Brandon Boggs was the only reliever to toss a scoreless frame, as he came in the game in the ninth inning to help out the bullpen that had thrown 18.2 innings in the last three days.
In his second career appearance, Boggs did a great job, giving up one hit and recording three outs. His last pitching appearance came on June 5, 2012 when he tossed a scoreless inning for the Indianapolis Indians at Pawtucket.
Clippers’ starter Danny Salazar gave up five runs in 1.2 innings, but the bullpen picked up the slack, tossing 7.1 innings of scoreless relief. Cole Cook (W, 1-0) led the effort, tossing 2.1 scoreless innings.
Cunningham led the Gwinnett offense, going 3-for-5 with two runs, while Mejia went 2-for-4 with a double and three RBI. Tyler Pastornicky finished 0-for-5, snapping an 11-game hitting streak.
The Clippers offensive attack was led by heart of the order, as the 2-3-4-5 hitters went 9-for-20 with nine runs scored and eight RBI. Chisenhall and Chen each had three hits and four RBI.
The Gwinnett Braves continue the series against the Columbus Clippers on Monday night, first pitch scheduled for 6:05 PM. Right-hander David Hale (1-2, 5.40) will start for the G-Braves, while right-hander Joe Martinez (1-5, 6.95) will start for the Clippers. Tony Schiavone will call the play-by-play on WDUN 550 AM and 102.9 FM.
Monday is “Kids Eat Free Night” at Coolray Field, with all kids ages 12 and under receiving a voucher good for a hot dog, bag of chips and small soda. Tickets are on sale now by calling the Coolray Field Box Office at (678) 277-0340 or by visiting gwinnettbraves.com.