G-Braves Power Past Buffalo, 7-5
LAWRENCEVILLE, GA – In his second start since being signed out of the Independent American Association, Joe Bisenius was stellar, tossing 6.0 innings of one-run ball to lead the Gwinnet Braves (36-45) over the Buffalo Bisons (40-39), 7-5 on Thursday night. Ernesto Mejia, Alden Carrithers and Luis Nunez all homered to power the G-Braves to their eighth win in the last 10 games.
Bisenius (W, 2-0), who was 3-2 with the Lincoln Saltdogs, picked up his second victory of the season with Gwinnett. The 30-year-old right-hander yielded a run on seven hits, walked one and struck out four.
The offense backed him early. In the top of the second inning, Mejia hit his 19th home run of the season, a solo shot over the left field fence to give the G-Braves a 1-0 lead.
However, the Bisons had an answer as Kevin Pillar continued his hot series with an RBI double scoring Munenori Kawasaki in the third inning. Pillar’s sixth double of the series tied the game up at 1-1.
Buffalo ran into trouble in the next inning. Before the third inning began, Buffalo starter Chad Jenkins was forced to exit the game with an apparent injury. The G-Braves took advantage in the bottom of the fourth, scoring three times against reliever Dave Bush (L, 7-6). Joey Terdoslavich singled and scored on single off the right-field wall by Brandon Boggs. One batter later, Carrithers connected for his second home run of the season, a two-run shot into the right-field bullpen to extend the lead to 4-1.
Gwinnett would add two more in the fifth and one in the sixth. In the fifth, the G-Braves loaded the bases on two walks and a single before Stefan Gartrell smashed a two-run single through the left side, making it 6-1. Nunez added the other run, belting a solo homer off of former G-Brave Buddy Carlyle to raise the lead to 7-1.
Luis Ayala, Juan Cedeno and Cole McCurry combined to finish the game, as they all tossed one inning of relief to secure the victory. Ayala and Cedeno notched scoreless frames, while McCurry was roughed up for four runs on four hits in a non-save ninth inning.
Mauro Gomez belted his league-leading 24th home run of the season off of McCurry, a two-run shot to left, cutting the lead to three. Luis Jimenez then made it a two-run game with a solo blast to left-center. After the back-to-back blasts, McCurry survived the scare, striking out Moises Sierra to finish the game.
Offensively, Gwinnett pounded out 12 hits and tied a season high with three homers to beat Buffalo. Todd Cunningham, Terdoslavich, Gartrell and Nunez all had two-hit games, while Carrithers added two RBI.
After picking up seven extra base hits on Wednesday night, Buffalo was limited to four on Thursday. Ryan Goins led the way, going 4-for-5 with a double and an RBI, while Pillar added to his series total with two more hits. The outfielder is 7-for-14 with six doubles in the series.
The Gwinnett Braves will finish off their series with the Buffalo Bisons on Friday night at 7:05 PM. G-Braves’ right-hander Omar Poveda (5-4, 3.39) will face Bisons’ right-hander Todd Redmond (2-1, 7.47) in the homestand finale. Listen to the game on WDUN 550 AM and 102.9 FM with Tony Schiavone calling the play-by-play.
The first 2,000 fans in attendance on Friday night will receive iPad covers presented by YP.com. To purchase tickets, call the Coolray Field Box Office at (678) 277-0340 or visit gwinnettbraves.com.