Results tagged ‘ David Hale ’

Scenes from Spring Training 2014

Chris Roughgarden of the Gwinnett Braves Photography Staff was at Champion Stadium on Thursday night to shoot the Atlanta Braves/Washington Nationals night game.  She got some great shots of several 2013 G-Braves, which can be viewed in the slideshow below.  The Braves won the contest, 3-2.

-DL

Spring Training Q&A with David Hale

This time last year, right-hander David Hale was working on adding a sinker to his repertoire and preparing for his first Triple-A season with Gwinnett.  A year later, the Marietta, GA native finds himself competing for an Opening Day roster spot with the Atlanta Braves, having already made his Major League season and postseason debuts last fall.  Gwinnett Braves Media Relations Manager Dave Lezotte caught up with Hale today at Champion Stadium in Lake Buena Vista, FL.

Image

Hale, Atlanta’s third-round pick in 2009 out of Princeton University, went 6-9 with a 3.22 ERA in 22 games, 20 starts for Gwinnett last year. (Photo by Chris Roughgarden)

DL: Last year, you made your Triple-A debut, battled back from a right shoulder strain and made your Major League debut by season’s end.  A lot of things happened to you in one season.  What did you learn from those experiences?

DH: Just to stick with it, and to improve on the stuff that I have.  I added another pitch last year, my sinker.  It gave me a lot of confidence in pitching, and I could focus more on the art of pitching instead of just trying to overpower people.  I could actually go at them with a pitch that I could come in on them and then go away on them.  It’s more of an art to me now, to focus on pitching like that.

DL: September 13, 2013, you made your Major League debut for the Atlanta Braves.  Being from Marietta, growing up a Braves fan and getting a chance to make a debut in front of your family and friends, what was that like?

DH: It was incredible, I had so many people there that I haven’t seen in years.  To have all them come out and support me, it means a lot, it really does.

DL: You worked 5.0 scoreless, four-hit innings and struck out nine in that game.  You didn’t have more than nine strikeouts in any Triple-A start all season.  Did your performance surprise you that night?

DH: I think it did.  It was good for me because it gave me some confidence; let me know that I can perform at that level.  I couldn’t have asked for a better outing, just to do that in front of my family and friends, and like I said, to give myself some confidence.

DL: You got a win the next time out on September 26 vs. Philadelphia, and not long after, you were named to the Braves’ postseason roster.  How shocking was that?

DH: You know, I really wasn’t expecting that.  When it came down to it, I guess they were looking for a long relief kind of guy, and I was able to fill that spot.  It was a blast; it’s something that I certainly won’t ever forget.

DL: You pitched in Game 3 of the NLDS at Los Angeles, a tough 13-6 loss for the Braves.  Still, it was a huge personal moment for you at the end of that game.  What was it like stepping on the mound in the playoffs, at Dodger Stadium of all places?

DH: It was pretty cool to be on the mound during the playoff atmosphere.  Like you said, L.A., that place is enormous; I didn’t realize it was the largest stadium in the league.  It was a little daunting, but we were down a little bit, so that took away (some) of the nerves because it was out of our hands.  But still, my heart was racing and it was fun to be there.

DL: When we talked last season, one of the things we focused on was your use of video as preparation at the Triple-A level.  You have access to even more of that at the Major League level, what is your preparation like here?

DH: I kind of do the same thing.  We have a lot of the same video stuff in the big leagues as in Triple-A, so I always like watching that.  I get a feel for the hitter before I ever see him, so it’s like I’ve faced him before.  It’s being comfortable through knowledge, I guess.

DL: This year at Spring Training, you’re competing for a Major League roster spot.  What is that competition process like?

DH: It’s pretty stiff.  We have a lot of good starting pitching, so I’m just doing the best I can and hopefully putting the ball in the decision-makers’ courts.

DL: What are you working on the most this spring?

DH: Consistency, that’s something I’ll say for the rest of my career.  Working on that sinker, just being consistent with it, as well as my off-speed pitches.

DL: Do you have a good feel for that sinker so far this year?

DH: Yeah, it actually is feeling really good right now.  I’ve got to get that off-speed stuff going again, but it’s early obviously, and that’s why we have Spring Training.  Just getting the feel back.

DL: You’ve been a starter and a reliever in your minor league career.  Would you accept either role in the Majors?

DH: I’ll catch if they want me to.  Whatever they want me to do to be on this roster, I’ll do it.

DL: This is a young pitching staff, both the rotation and the bullpen.  Who do the young guys look up to on the staff?

DH: Like you said, it’s a pretty young staff.  (Kris) Medlen has taken on a big leadership role.  Then you have Freddy (Garcia), he’s been around forever, so we all look up to him.

DL: If you end up back in Gwinnett at some point this season, how do you handle that?

DH: Just stick with it and just keep getting better through practice.  I don’t think any team has ever had 25 men on it for the entire season.  I just need to put myself in position to take a spot if one opens up.

Series Preview: Gwinnett Braves (51-69) vs. Lehigh Valley IronPigs (60-60)

Mejia (Cooper)

Mejia (Cooper)

Fri: LHP Yohan Flande (7-6, 4.42) vs. RHP David Buchanan (1-0, 2.57)

Sat: RHP Cody Martin (2-3, 2.96) vs. LHP Greg Smith (6-2, 2.50)

Sun: RHP David Hale (6-6, 2.99) vs. LHP Adam Morgan (1-5, 4.05)

Mon: RHP Omar Poveda (5-7, 3.42) vs. LHP Tom Cochran (3-6, 5.70)

The Gwinnett Braves enter the series coming off back-to-back one-run victories over the Norfolk Tides, while Lehigh Valley has dropped two straight games. The IronPigs have slipped to fourth place in the North Division and sit two games out of the Wild Card lead.

Batters: The G-Braves offense has been held to four runs or less in their last eight games. They have found a way to win three of those games, but runs are at a premium for the Braves… Ernesto Mejia will try to carry the offense. In his last contest, he hit a game-winning home run against the Norfolk Tides. On the season, he has belted 28 dingers, while hitting .243 (95-for-391) with a league-leading 77 RBI. Stefan Gartrell has carried a hot bat the last five days. In four games, he is hitting .417 (5-for-12) with a solo homer.  

Pitchers: In the last six games, the pitching staff has allowed 12 runs (11 earned), while logging 47 innings on the mound. They have posted a 2.11 ERA in that span, allowing 32 hits, 13 walks and striking out 41… Yohan Flande has led the way, winning three straight contests and being named IL Pitcher of the Week last week. In his last three starts, he has gone 3-0 with a 1.17 ERA (3ER/23IP), while fanning 15 and issuing one walk. He will try to improve to improve on his 7-6 mark, as he takes the ball in game one.

Lehigh Valley IronPigs

Batters: The IronPigs lineup features multiple table-setters and one big bopper in Cody Oberdeck. The first baseman leads the team in homers (19), runs (51) , RBI (58) and possesses a .265 (99-for-373) batting average…. Cesar Hernandez is one of the table-setters at the top of the lineup. The No. 15 prospect in the Phillies organization according to Baseball America is having a stellar campaign with the IronPigs. In 87 games, he is hitting .310 (104-for-335) with 11 doubles, eight triples, two homers and 31 RBI.

Pitchers: The pride of Georgia State University, David Buchanan, will take the ball in game one of the series. The right-hander made his Triple-A on 8/4, tossing seven innings, scattering six hits, allowing two runs and striking out four en route to his first career Triple-A victory. The Atlanta, GA native will have a large crowd in attendance, as he pitches in his home state for the first time in his career since being drafted in the seventh round of the 2010 First Year Player Draft by the Philadelphia Phillies.

Brundy’s Back: Dave Brundage returns to Coolray Field for the first time since taking the managerial job with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. He was the first manager in G-Braves history.

Series Preview: Gwinnett Braves (45-61) vs. Charlotte Knights (48-58)

Hale (Makensie Cooper)

Hale (Makensie Cooper)

Fri, July 26: RHP David Hale (4-5, 3.03) vs. RHP Zach Stewart (5-10, 4.91)
Sat, July 27: RHP Omar Poveda (5-6, 3.30) vs. LHP Charlie Leesman (2-1, 3.62)
Sun, July 28: RHP Joe Bisenius (3-3, 5.83) vs. TBA
Mon, July 29: TBA vs. RHP Jason Berken (8-9, 3.85)

Gwinnett dropped their last two at Durham, losing the road-home series three games to one. Charlotte is on a roll of late, winning their last three games and taking sole possession of third place in the South Division.

Batters: Since rejoining the G-Braves, Tyler Pastornicky has hit in four straight games. In his last four games, he is hitting .462 (6-for-13) with one run scored and two RBI. On the season, he is batting .317 (78-for-246) with 13 doubles, two triples, four homers and 27 RBI for Gwinnett… Todd Cunningham returned from a minor hip flexor strain on fire. In three games, he is hitting .455 (5-for-11) with a double and three runs scored. He has been a sparkplug, taking over the leadoff spot since returning to the lineup. In 20 games as the leadoff hitter, he is batting .280 (21-for-75) with two doubles, one triple and two RBI.

Pitchers: David Hale will get the ball in the opener. In his last seven starts, he is 3-2 with a 1.12 ERA (5 ER/40.1 IP) and a 1.16 WHIP. Hale won his first career Triple-A contest against the Charlotte Knights on 4/6, tossing five innings of two-run ball. Omar Poveda continues to have solid starts for the G-Braves. In his last contest, he went six innings, allowing seven hits and two runs in a 2-1 loss to Indianapolis. Poveda leads the squad with 13 quality starts.

Charlotte Knights
Batters: Charlotte has had a rough time against the G-Braves, posting a .251 (98-for-390) batting average, while striking out 105 times… Steve Tolleson leads the team in hitting, batting .292 (83-for-284) with six homers and 43 RBI. However, the infielder has struggled against the G-Braves, posting a .238 (10-for-42) batting average… Mike McDade fared well against the Braves in their two game series three weeks ago. In two games, he went 3-for-7 with two walks. On the season, he is hitting .257 (82-for-319) with eight homers and 42 RBI.

Pitchers: Zach Stewart is having a tough season. Originally the opening day starter for the Knights, the right-handed hurler has posted a 5-10 record with a 4.91 ERA. The long ball has been one of his problems, as he has issued 13 in 20 starts… Charlie Leesman suffered a huge setback last season, tearing his ACL in an International League playoff game; however, he has come back strong in 2013. In 11 starts for the Knights, he is 2-1 with 3.62 ERA. He has struck out 54 in 59.2 innings, while walking 25 batters. Last season he was 12-10 with a 2.45 ERA.

Knight Tales: Charlotte enters play 7.5 games back of the Wild card spot. They will need a big weekend against the G-Braves, as they have lost eight of 12 against Gwinnett.

Road Preview: Gwinnett Braves (45-59) at Durham Bulls (65-39)

Thu: RHP Brandon Beachy (1-3, 3.38) vs. LHP Mike Montgomery (4-4, 4.52)

FRI: RHP Cody Martin (2-1, 2.94) vs. RHP Merrill Kelly (4-1, 2.57)

The Gwinnett Braves and the Durham Bulls continue their home-away series tonight in Durham, NC. After splitting two at Coolray Field, the teams will travel seven hours north to finish off their series.

Batters: Tyler Pastornicky is back with the G-Braves and is 3-for-7 since returning to Gwinnett lineup. In his last contest, he went 2-for-3 with a run scored. On the season, the right-handed batter is hitting .313 (75-for-240) with 12 doubles, two triples, four homers and 25 RBI… Joe Leonard finished the Braves homestand hitting .333 (7-for-21) with two doubles and five RBI. He is currently on a three-game hitting streak, collecting five hits in his last ten at bats. On the season, he is hitting .228 (63-for-276) with 17 doubles, three triples and 21 RBI…

Pitchers: Disregarding Monday night’s 7-0 loss, the Braves staff allowed eight runs in the other five games during the homestand. Lefties Alex Wood and Yohan Flande picked up wins, while right-handers Brandon Beachy and David Hale added a tally to the win column… Beachy will go in game one of the series. In his last start, he matched a season-high going 5.0 innings. He allowed five hits, one earned run and struck out three, picking up his first Triple-A victory of the season. Martin hasn’t started since 7/10, but picked up a save on 7/18 against the Indianapolis Indians, as he tossed four one-run innings in relief of Wood. On the season, he is 2-1 with a 2.94 ERA, while fanning 37 in 33.2 innings.

Durham Bulls

The Tampa Bay Rays affiliate is just as hot as their big club, winners of 14 of their last 21, batting a combined .278 and posting a 2.98 ERA as a staff.

Batters: Cole Figueroa has been tough to get out. The left-handed infielder is batting .366 (15-for-41) with three doubles, one triple, one homer and seven RBI against Gwinnett. He has fared well against everyone, hitting .300 (99-for-330) with 17 doubles, three triples, three homers and 47 RBI on the season… All-Star Vince Belnome continues to have a monster season for the first-place Bulls. In 93 games, he is hitting .330 (106-for-321) with 29 doubles, three triples, seven homers and 59 RBI. He leads the team in hitting, hits, doubles and RBI, while coming in second in runs (62)…

Pitchers: Both Bulls’ starters have faced the Gwinnett offense in 2013. On 7/6, Montgomery went 4.2 innings, allowing two runs on four hits. He struck out four and took the loss… Kelly on the other hand, is a perfect 2-0 with 0.00 ERA. In 13 innings against the G-Braves, the right-hander has not allowed a run, scattering eight hits and striking out seven….

Bull-Headed: The Durham Bulls have owned the season series vs. Gwinnett, taking eight of 10 from the G-Braves in 2013.

-Jd-

Pillar’s Career Night Leads Bisons Past Braves

LAWRENCEVILLE, GA – On a night when Joey Terdoslavich was announced to the 15th Annual SiriusXM Futures Game, Buffalo outfielder Kevin Pillar stole the show, going 4-for-5 with four doubles and two runs scored to lead the Bisons (40-38) to a 4-3 victory over the Gwinnett Braves (35-46) on Wednesday night.

The G-Braves got off to a great start, taking advantage of three errors and coming up with clutch hits to take a 3-0 lead in the first inning. Todd Cunningham singled, stole second, advanced to third on a groundout by Phil Gosselin and scored on a grounder by Terdoslavich for the game’s first run.  Terdoslavich reached on an error by first baseman Luis Jimenez and Ernesto Mejia reached on an error by third baseman Mauro Gomez, putting runners on first and second with one out. Stefan Gartrell and Joe Leonard each picked up RBI singles to make it 3-0.

Jimenez cut into the lead with a solo homer in the top of the fourth.  His 14th home run of the season snapped a 13.1-inning scoreless streak by Gwinnett starting pitcher David Hale

In the fifth, the Bisons would tie up.  Sean Ochinko drew a one out walk and advanced to third on a double by Pillar. They both came around to score on a two-run double by Ryan Goins, making it 3-3.  Goins attempted to stretch the double into a triple, but was thrown out at third as Terdoslavich recorded his team-leading eighth outfield assist.

Hale exited after 6.0 innings, allowing three runs on six hits and striking out six.  After turning in his third quality start of the season, he turned a tie game over to the bullpen.

However, the bullpen had some trouble in the eighth, as the Bisons took the lead in the top of the frame.  Pillar connected for his fourth double of the game to lead off the inning, becoming the first Buffalo player in the modern era to record four doubles in a game.  He would eventually come around to score on a wild pitch by Wirfin Obispo (L, 1-3). The right-hander’s errant pitch snapped a 14-outing, 17.2-inning scoreless streak, the longest by a Gwinnett pitcher this season.

Thad Weber (W, 3-1) was impressive for the Bisons in the victory.  After allowing the three runs in the first inning, he went on to face the minimum in his last six innings of baseball, allowing one hit and striking out three in the process.  He went 7.0 innings with three runs, one earned on four hits.  Joel Carreno (H, 3) and Brad Lincoln finished off the G-Braves, tossing two scoreless innings to end the game. Lincoln (S, 3) picked up the save, stranding a pair of baserunners in the ninth.

The Gwinnett offense was held to five singles on the night.  Terdoslavich, Cunningham, Gartrell, Leonard and Sean Kazmar each had one hit.

Pillar led the Buffalo offense with his four hits.  In two games against the G-Braves, he is 5-for-9 with five doubles.

The Gwinnett Braves continue their four game series with the Buffalo Bisons on Thursday night at 6:05 PM. G-Braves right-hander Joe Bisenius (1-0, 4.76) will face off against Bisons right-hander Chad Jenkins (0-3, 11.37). Listen to the game on WDUN 550 AM and 102.9 FM with Tony Schiavone calling the play-by-play.  First pitch is 6:05 PM.

Thursday is another “$3 Thursday” at Coolray Field.  Enjoy $3 food and beverage specials all game long.  All Lawn Seats are also just $3.  To purchase tickets, call the Coolray Field Box Office at (678) 277-0340 or visit gwinnettbraves.com.

Series Preview: Gwinnett Braves (28-39) at Rochester Red Wings (30-36)

Beachy (Lofton)

Beachy (Lofton)

THU: RHP Brandon Beachy (0-0, 3.00) vs.  LHP Andrew Albers (4-2, 3.06)

FRI: LHP Sean Gilmartin (3-6, 5.40) vs. LHP Pedro Hernandez (1-1, 3.71)

SAT: RHP David Hale (1-3, 6.12) vs. RHP Kyle Gibson (6-5, 3.16)

SUN: RHP Omar Poveda (5-3, 3.01) vs. RHP Cole De Vries (1-2, 10.48)

Gwinnett Braves finished an eight-game homestand 3-5, dropping three of four to Rochester before splitting with Columbus.  They are currently in third place in the South Division, trailing Durham by 13.5 games.

Hitting-

Joe Leonard has been one of the G-Braves hottest hitters, collecting a hit in 16 of his last 17 games. During that span, he has raised his batting average from .187 to .245, while matching his career-high of three hits on three different occasions.  On the season, he is hitting .245 (46-for-188) with 12 doubles, three triples and 13 RBI… Tyler Pastornicky had his season-high 11-game hitting streak snapped on 6/9, but has connected in 13 of his last 14 games, recording eight multi-hit games during that span. In 52 games with the G-Braves, he is batting .316 (67-for-212) with three homers and 22 RBI.

Pitching-

Atlanta Braves starter Brandon Beachy will make his potential final rehab start in the opener of the series. In his last start, he went five innings, allowing one run and striking out eight, but tossed 94 pitches. He was scheduled to throw six innings, but exceeded his pitch limit, forcing him to exit early… Gilmartin will be back on the bump in game two after giving up a career-high 10 runs, nine earned on nine hits in 3.2 innings in his last outing…

Rochester Red Wings-

Rochester took three of four from the Braves, outscoring the Braves 19-5 in their three wins, while being outscored 11-3 in their lone loss… Rochester is fifth in the North Division and eight games behind the front-running Pawtucket Red Sox.

Hitting-

Chris Colabello will anchor the lineup. In 52 games, he is hitting .362 (72-for-199) with 12 homers and 43 RBI. He did not fare so well against the Braves at Coolray field, going 2-for-10 with one double, one RBI and four strikeouts… Jeff Clement will be happy to see the G-Braves staff, as he went 5-for-11 with two homers and four RBI in the first series. On the season, the first baseman is hitting .204 (43-for-211), but is second on the squad in homers (9)…

Pitching-

Andrew Albers will get the ball in the opener. In his last start, he hurled a complete-game shutout against the Braves. He scattered six hits and struck out seven. For Albers, former reliever, it was his first complete game… The No.5 rated prospect in the Minnesota organization will get the ball in game three. Gibson went six innings, allowing two runs in his lone start against Gwinnett this season.  The right-hander leads the squad with two complete game shutouts.

Wing Dips-

With over 60 games played in the 2013 season, the Rochester Red Wings pitching staff has thrown five complete game shutouts. They are the only team in the International League that has a pitcher with a complete game shutout… Gibson leads the team with two, while Albers, Vance Worley and P.J. Walters have one a piece.

-JD-

Draft Day, G-Braves Draft Classed

It’s every amateur player’s dream to hear your name called on draft day. Tonight at 7: 05 ET, young baseball players from all over the country will have a new uniform to sport, as they will selected by a major league baseball team in the 2013 First Year Player Amateur Draft.

As we wait in anticipation of the MLB First Year Player Draft, we will take a look at all the Gwinnett Braves that have been drafted in the past.

First off, the Braves roster has seen 17 players called on draft day; six of those players were originally drafted by the Braves. Sean Gilmartin out of Florida State University was the highest draft choice, selected in the first round (28th overall) of the 2011 draft, while, Cory Rasmus was picked in the supplemental first round (38th overall) out of Columbus, GA in 2006. Right-Hander David Hale was a third round pick in 2009 out of Princeton University.

With the bevy of talent in the rotation, the G-Braves benefited offensively from the 2010 draft.  Todd Cunningham (2nd round) out Jacksonville State University, Joe Leonard (3rd round )out of Pittsburgh University and Joey Terdoslavich (6th round) out of Long Beach State University were all a part of the 2010 class.

The rest of the non-international players were drafted by other clubs. The highest pick of the 11 remaining players was outfielder Brandon Boggs, selected in the fourth round of the 2004 draft out of Georgia Tech by the Texas Rangers. The 2004 class produced infielders Sean Kazmar (5th round by the San Diego Padres out of College of Southern Nevada) and Paul Janish (5th round by the Cincinnati Reds out of Rice University) as well.

The following two seasons would have produced two players apiece. However, in 2005, Cole McCurry was selected in the 31st round out Surry Community College (NC) by the Atlanta Braves, but elected not to sign. The other southpaw picked in 2005 was Ryan Buchter, 33rd round by the Washington Nationals out of Highland Regional Park H.S. (NJ).

In 2006, outfielder Stefan Gartrell went in the 31st round out University of San Francisco to the Chicago White Sox, while Pat Egan went in the 36th round to the Baltimore Orioles out of Quinnipiac College.

In 2008, Tyler Pastornicky heard his name called, as the Toronto Blue Jays picked him in the fifth round out of The Pendleton School (FL). Alden Carrithers was also selected in that draft, going in the 15th round to the Detroit Tigers out of UCLA.

The rest of the G-Braves did not have a partner in their draft class, as Joe Beimel (18th round by the Pittsburgh Pirates out of Duquesne University), Matt Pagnozzi (8th round by the St. Louis Cardinals out of Central Arizona College) and McCurry (43rd round by the Baltimore Orioles out of Tennessee Wesleyan College) all came out solo.

G-Braves take on Rochester tonight, Thursday, June 6 at 6:05 PM.

-JD-

Series Preview: Braves (4-0) at Bulls (3-1)

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.

-Jd-

Game Preview: G-Braves (1-0) vs. Knights (0-1)

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

Mitchell 8
Sanchez 4
Morel 5
Danks 9
Greene 6
Loman DH
Anderson C
Tolleson LF
Gallagher 3
Rienzo P

Gwinnett Braves Starting Lineup

Constanza 7
Pastornicky 6
Terdoslavich DH
Mejia 3
DeWitt 4
Cunningham 8
Leonard 5
Parraz 9
Yepez 2
Hale 1

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