July 2013

Cory Gearrin Optioned to Gwinnett

Ayala (Roughgarden)

Ayala (Roughgarden)

The Atlanta Braves have optioned right-handed reliever Cory Gearrin to Triple-A Gwinnett, effective Friday, July 5. Right-hander Luis Ayala will take his place on the 25-man Major League roster as he has completed his rehab stint with Gwinnett. To make room for Gearrin on the G-Braves’ roster, the Braves have announced that left-hander Cole McCurry has been released.

The 27-year old Gearrin had been with the Atlanta Braves the entire season prior to being optioned to Gwinnett on Friday. In 37 appearances with the Braves, the right-hander was 2-1 with a 3.77 ERA (13 ER in 31.0 IP). He recorded his first career Major League save on May 20 vs. Minnesota. Despite strong outings early in the year, Gearrin had appeared in just seven games since the end of May, going 0-0 with a 12.00 ERA (8 ER in 6.0 IP) in that span.

The Chattanooga, TN native will return to Gwinnett for his fourth career stint with the club. From 2010 through 2012, Gearrin was one of the top workhorses out of the G-Braves’ bullpen. He appeared in 126 games, posting a 10-9 record with a 2.63 ERA (54 ER in 185.0 IP) and 13 saves in 16 chances. Gearrin was named to the 2012 Triple-A All-Star Game after going 3-1 with a 1.25 ERA and seven saves in 28 games prior to the break. Following the season, he was named Gwinnett’s Pitcher of the Year by the Atlanta Braves.

Gearrin is in his seventh professional season with the Atlanta Braves organization. He was originally drafted in the fourth round of the 2007 First Year Player Draft out Mercer University (Macon, GA).

Replacing Gearrin on Atlanta’s 25-man roster will be Ayala, who will return to the Major Leagues for the second time this year. The right-hander had been on the Braves’ disabled list since April 30 with anxiety disorder and had made 11 minor league rehab appearances between Double-A Mississippi and Triple-A Gwinnett. With Gwinnett, he went 0-1 with a 6.48 ERA (6 ER in 8.1 IP) in eight outings. Before being placed on the disabled list, Ayala was 0-1 with a 3.86 ERA in five games with Atlanta.

McCurry went 1-1 with a 5.73 ERA (21 ER in 33.0 IP) and two saves in 20 relief appearances with Gwinnett this season. He also pitched with Double-A Mississippi, going 0-0 with a 3.38 ERA (3 ER in 8.0 IP) in four games, one start.

The Gwinnett Braves return to action on Friday night at 7:05 PM against the Charlotte Knights. Right-hander

Cody Martin (2-0, 1.29) will start for the G-Braves, while right-hander Jason Berken (6-8, 3.95) will counter for the Knights.

Knights Double up G-Braves, 6-3

LAWRENCEVILLE, GA – The Gwinnett Braves (37-51) took a 2-1 lead into the sixth inning, but a three-run Charlotte frame turned the game around as the Knights (39-49) came back for a 6-3 win on Thursday night at Coolray Field. Gwinnett pitchers allowed eight walks, including four free passes in the sixth inning.

The Gwinnett offense, shut out in a 13-0 loss on Wednesday at Norfolk, was also limited on Thursday night. The G-Braves collected six hits and went just 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position.

The Knights got on the board early, playing a little small ball to manufacture their first run. Jim Gallagher walked to start the third inning and moved to second on a single by Steve Tolleson. Both runners advanced into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt by Carlos Sanchez. Gallagher scored on a sacrifice fly by Lars Anderson, making it 1-0 Charlotte.

The G-Braves took the lead in the bottom half of the third. Two walks and a hit batter loaded the bases with one out for Jose Yepez. The backstop jumped on the first pitch from Charlotte left-hander Charlie Leesman, lacing a single off of the diving second baseman Sanchez to give Gwinnett a 2-1 lead.

As a result of a 61-minute rain delay and high pitch counts, both teams’ starting pitchers exited after just four innings. Right-hander Omar Poveda tossed 4.0 innings, scattering four hits and allowing one run, while Leesman went 4.0 innings with two runs on four hits. 

In the sixth, the Knights took advantage of shaky relief to bat around and score three runs. Charlotte loaded the bases on back-to-back singles by Tyler Greene and Bryan Anderson off of Juan Cedeno, putting runners on first and second with one out. The Knights would tie it up as Cedeno walked the next two batters, allowing a run to cross the plate. Wirfin Obispo replaced Cedeno and didn’t fare any better as he walked the leadoff man, giving the Knights a 3-2 lead. Obispo would allow another run to score on a groundout, but got out of further damage with a strikeout and fly out to end the frame.

The G-Braves inched closer in the bottom of the sixth. Luis Nunez tripled and scored on an RBI groundout by Joe Leonard, cutting the deficit to 4-3.

However, the Knights answered by scoring two more runs in the top of the eighth inning on a two-run single by Andy Wilkins, extending the lead to 6-3. Both runs were earned by left-hander Ryan Buchter.

Jake Petricka (W, 1-0) picked up the victory in his Triple-A debut for Charlotte, firing 2.0 innings of one-run baseball. He allowed one hit and struck out three. Donnie Veal (S, 2) struck out the side in the ninth to pick up the save. 

Cedeno (L, 0-2) suffered the loss, allowing three runs on three hits over 1.0 inning.

Nunez led the G-Braves’ offense, going 3-for-4 with a run scored to extend his hitting streak to eight games. Yepez went 1-for-4 with two RBIs.

Wilkins paced the Charlotte attack, going 2-for-4 with two RBIs.

The Gwinnett Braves return to action on Friday night at 7:05 PM against the Charlotte Knights. Right-hander Cody Martin (2-0, 1.29) will start for the G-Braves, while right-hander Jason Berken (6-8, 3.95) will counter for the Knights. The game will be broadcast on radio on WDUN 550 AM and 102.9 FM with Tony Schiavone calling the play-by-play. The game will also be televised on CSS.

Friday night is “Beach Party Night” at Coolray Field, sponsored by 12Stone Church. Wear your favorite beach attire to the ballpark, and watch the Gwinnett Braves as they don Pirate-themed jerseys for the game! All jerseys will be available for bid via auction, with the proceeds benefitting Right to Hike, Inc., a charity for hiking safety. Fans will also have the opportunity to win tickets to the Kenny Chesney No Shoes Nation Tour on Zach Brown’s Southern Ground at the Georgia Dome on Saturday, August 5! Stay after the game for a special screening of “American Made Movie,” a documentary about U.S. manufacturing presented by Life is My Movie Entertainment. For tickets, call the Coolray Field Box Office at (678) 277-0340 or visit gwinnettbraves.com.

-Jd-

Series Preview: Gwinnett Braves (37-50) vs. Charlotte Knights (38-49)

Thu: RHP Omar Poveda (5-5, 3.42) vs LHP Charlie Leesman (1-1, 3.55)

Fri: RHP Cody Martin (2-0, 1.29) vs. RHP Jason Berken (6-8, 3.95)

Martin (Moore)

Martin (Moore)

The Gwinnett Braves finished their mini-road trip, dropping three of four to the Norfolk Tides (46-40). With the losses, the Braves have fallen 9.5 back in the Wild Card standings and to fourth place in the South division.

Batters- The recent promotion of Joey Terdoslavich (.318/18 HR/ 58 RBI) leaves a big void in the middle of the lineup. .. Ernesto Mejia will carry the load. The first baseman was recently named to his second consecutive Triple-A All Star game. On the season, he is hitting .249 (73-for-293) with 21 homers and 62 RBI. He leads the squad in both categories, while coming in second in the International League in both home runs and RBI… Brandon Boggs has cooled off of late, but the switch hitter has been solid since joining the G-Braves. In 47 games, he is batting .277 (43-for-155) with five dingers and 17 RBI.

Pitchers- The Braves will throw two of their best this weekend against the Knights. In game one, Omar Poveda will take the ball looking for his team-leading sixth win of the season. The right hander is 5-5 with a 3.42 ERA in 16 starts for the G-Braves… Cody Martin will take the ball in game two for the Braves. Since being called up from Double-A Mississippi three weeks ago, the righty is 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA, delivering three quality starts for Gwinnett.

Charlotte Knights

The Knights have rebounded from a poor 7-21 start and are now third in the South Division and only 8.5 games back of the Wild Card leading Tides. However, they have not fared well against the Braves, posting a 2-8 mark against Gwinnett.

Batters- Recently named Triple-A All-Star Josh Phegley leads the Knight attack. The backstop is hitting .316 (73-for-231) with 18 doubles, 15 homers and 41 RBI. He has been just as good against the Braves in 2013, hitting .345 (10-for-29) with two doubles, two homers and three RBI in eight games… Blake Tekotte is swinging a hot bat of late. In his last 10 games, he is batting .389 (14-for-36) with one homer and seven RBI.

Pitchers- Charlie Leesman would have been a late September call up last season, but a knee injury in the IL Playoffs sidelined the southpaw. He missed part of this season, but has been great since returning. In seven starts, he is 1-1 with a 3.55 ERA. He features four quality pitches, relying on his fastball and changeup… Game two starter Jason Berken will try to reverse his luck against the G-Braves. In his lone start against Gwinnett, he was roughed up for six runs on ten hits in 4.1 innings. On the season, he is 6-8 with a 3.95 ERA in 16 starts for the Knights.

-Jd-

Mejia, Terdoslavich Named International League All-Stars

Mejia (Cooper)

Mejia (Cooper)

LAWRENCEVILLE, GA – In an announcement made today by the International League, Gwinnett Braves’ first baseman Ernesto Mejia and outfielder Joey Terdoslavich have been selected to participate in the 26th Annual Triple-A All-Star Game, set to take place on Wednesday, July 17 in Reno, NV.   Mejia is honored for the second-straight season as an IL All-Star, while Terdoslavich will participate in the Triple-A All-Star Game for the first time.

Both players will represent the IL as they face off against the Pacific Coast League at Aces Ballpark in Reno, NV.  The game will air live on MLB Network, the American Forces Network and the Triple-A All-Star Game Radio Network beginning at 9:00 PM ET.

Mejia, 27, is one of 17 players selected by the IL office to the game.  He makes the trip to the Triple-A All-Star Game for the second straight year, this time as a reserve.  In his first Triple-A campaign last season, the slugging first baseman started the All-Star Game in Buffalo, NY and went 0-for-3 at the plate.  As of July 3, the right-handed hitter is batting .249 (73-for-293) with a team-high 21 home runs and 62 RBI.  Mejia currently ranks among IL leaders in home runs (2nd, 21), RBI (2nd, 62), extra-base hits (T-2nd, 41), total bases (4th, 157) and slugging percentage (6th, .536).

Terdoslavich (Roughgarden)

Terdoslavich (Roughgarden)

Terdoslavich, 24, will start the All-Star Game as one of the 13 players elected by a combined vote of fans, IL field managers, general managers and members of the media.  The switch-hitting outfielder is in the midst of an impressive sophomore season in the IL, ranking fifth in the league in hitting with a .322 batting average as of July 3.  The Sarasota, FL native also ranks among IL leaders in hits (1st, 102), total bases (1st, 182), extra-base hits (1st, 43), slugging percentage (3rd, .574), RBI (4th, 58), OPS (4th, .937), doubles (T-4th, 24), home runs (T-4th, 18) and runs scored (T-6th, 48).  Terdoslavich was also named to the 2013 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game by Major League Baseball on June 26.

Mejia, Terdoslavich and the rest of the Gwinnett Braves are currently on the road as they finish a five-game series with the Norfolk Tides on Wednesday night at Harbor Park in Norfolk, VA.  Right-hander Joe Bisenius (2-0, 3.09) will start for the G-Braves, while left-hander Jake Pettit (2-1, 3.75) counters for the Tides.  The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM.  Tony Schiavone will have the call on WDUN 550 AM and 102.9 FM.

-Jd-

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