Results tagged ‘ durham bulls ’

Series Preview: Gwinnett Braves (48-61) at Scranton/ Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (53-56)

Probables

Tues: Kanekoa Texeira (1-3, 6.00) vs. LHP Nik Turley (1-2, 6.23)

Wed: Gus Schlosser (6-5, 3.58) vs. LHP Matt Tracy (1-3, 3.76)

Thu: LHP Daniel Rodriguez (6-11, 4.67) vs. Bruce Billings (4-5, 4.94)

Cody Martin

Cody Martin

Fri: Cody Martin (6-6, 3.45) vs. Bryan Mitchell (2-1, 2.70)

Gwinnett and SWB meet up for the second time in the last five days. In their latest matchup, the RailRiders swept a four game series from the G-Braves at Coolray Field. The G-Braves enter play with the worst record in the IL and are 10.5 games behind the Durham Bulls in the IL South, while the RailRiders are in fifth in the IL North and are 9.0 games behind the Syracuse Chiefs.

Pitching: The matchup feature boasts the No. 9 and No. 10 ranked pitching staffs in the IL. Gwinnett enters at No. 9 with a combined 4.22 ERA, while SWB ranks tenth with a 4.34 ERA.

Rodriguez has been on fire of late for the G-Braves. In his last two starts, he is 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA (0 ER in 12.0 IP). Rodriguez has not allowed a run in over 12.0 innings.

Schlosser has been solid as well. In five appearances (three starts) during the month of July, the righty is 1-1 with a 2.03 ERA. He hasn’t allowed a run since July 13, spanning over 10.2 innings. He did not face the RailRiders last time around, as he was recalled by the Atlanta Braves.

SWB will counter with two lefties and two righties. Turley struggled against the G-Braves, while Tracy missed them at Coolray Field.

However, Billings and Mitchell were lights out for the RailRiders. Billings went 7.0 innings, scattering six hits and allowing one run in the no decision.

Mitchell was better, going 5.0 scoreless innings to record his first win of the season. The Reidsville, NC native was even sharper in his last start against the Pawtucket Red Sox on July 27, tossing 7.0 innings of scoreless baseball with a season-high six strikeouts. Mitchell hasn’t allowed a run since July 17.

Batting: Gwinnett lost their most consistent hitter on Saturday night as Phil Gosselin was recalled by the Atlanta Braves. The Braves will rely Todd Cunningham and Jose Constanza to lead the offense. Cunningham enters play with a .277 (99-for-357) batting average with 19 doubles, two triples, five homers and 44 RBI. He leads the squad in hits, doubles, triples, RBI and is four in homers and third in runs scored (41).

Constanza has missed parts of the season, but still leads the team in hitting with a .288 (93-for-323) batting average. He has 21 stolen bases and 27 RBI from the leadoff spot.

SWB is led by Jose Pirela since Zoilo Almonte has been called up by the New York Yankees. The slick-fielding infielder is batting .310 (126-for-407) with 15 doubles, five triples, eight homers and 42 RBI. He was selected to the IL All-Star game.

In the four game series against the G-Braves last week, the RailRiders outhit the home squad 44-to-28 and outscored the G-Braves 24-to-6.

G-Bites: Atlanta Braves’ right-hander Shea Simmons was placed on the DL on Tuesday afternoon. Right-hander Juan Jaime will take his place on the activate Atlanta roster.

-Jd-

 

 

Series Preview: Gwinnett Braves (20-17) at Buffalo Bisons (21-14)

Pitching Probables

Tues: LHP Daniel Rodriguez (3-3, 3.08) vs. LHP Sean Nolin (2-1, 2.34)

Wed: Gus Schlosser (0-1, 9.82) vs. LHP Ricky Romero (0-1, 6.00)

Thu: Yunesky Maya (0-0, 2.55) vs. Kyle Drabek (3-2, 4.04)

Maya (Chris Roughgarden)

Maya (Chris Roughgarden)

Fri: Zach Stewart (2-2, 4.65) vs. Liam Hendriks (5-0, 1.51)

The Gwinnett Braves and Buffalo Bisons will matchup for the final time this season at Coca-Cola Field from May 13 through May 16. Last weekend, the G-Braves took three of four from the Bisons at Coolray Field. Buffalo enters the contest seven games above .500 and in first place of the IL North, while Gwinnett is one game back of the Durham Bulls in the IL South. G-Braves have lost two straight games, while the Bisons have a three-game win streak.

Pitching: Buffalo enters the series with a league-best 3.09 ERA, allowing a league-low 123 runs (107 ER) in 35 games. Gwinnett is at the bottom of the ERA standings, holding a 4.30 ERA (12th in IL) in 37 games.

Buffalo will lean on Nolin and Hendriks to anchor the staff during the series. Nolin will make his second start of the season against Gwinnett. On 5/8, Nolin recorded the loss against the G-Braves, allowing four runs on 12 hits in 5.2 innings. Nolin was tough for the first five frames, as he tossed five scoreless before being chased in the sixth. On the season, Nolin is 2-1 with a 2.34 ERA with 31 strikeouts in 34.2 innings.

Hendriks fared a lot better against the G-Braves in his start last week, as he went 7.0 innings, allowing seven hits and one unearned run on 5/6. He did not factor in the decision as Gwinnett scored two in the eighth to clip the Bisons on Tuesday night. Hendriks enters the series leading the league in wins and is second in ERA (1.51). He will pitch the finale on Friday night.

Schlosser will pitch in game two for the G-Braves. Since he was optioned to Gwinnett, the right-hander has been roughed up for eight runs in 7.1 innings. He has allowed four home runs, while striking out seven. Right-handed batters are hitting .333 (6-for-18) with five extra-base hits (two doubles & three homers) against him. In his last start, he tossed a season-high 4.0 innings, allowing four runs on four hits and struck out a season-high five.

Maya will enter Thursday’s contest with the best ERA on the G-Braves. He will make his fourth start of the season since taking over for Mitch Atkins on 4/17. In three starts, he is 0-0 with a 2.70 ERA. He has scattered 13 hits, allowing three earned runs and recording three strikeouts.

Batting: G-Braves enter the series with the best-hitting team in the IL, hitting .275 (354-for-1286) as a team. Despite connecting for 24 homers (10th in the IL), the G-Braves have scored 180 runs (2nd in the IL).

Phil Gosselin continues to pace the squad with a .333 (43-for-129) average. He is second on the team with ten doubles and leads the squad with two triples. He is working on a five-game hitting streak, batting .400 (8-for-20) with four runs scores, three doubles and two RBIs during that span.

Despite snapping his eight-game hitting streak in a pinch-hit appearance Monday afternoon, Todd Cunningham enters the series red hot. In 12 May games, he is batting .373 (19-for-51) with nine runs scored, four doubles, one homer and six RBIs. He is perfect 3-for-3 in stolen base chances.

Buffalo’s lineup has a little bit of everything to offer. Dan Johnson provides the power in the middle of the order (.306 BA, 7 HR, 28 RBI), while Kevin Pillar adds speed and versatility at the top of the order. In 34 games, Pillar is hitting .305 with 13 doubles, three triples, one homer, 19 RBIs and five stolen bases. Pillar leads the team in doubles, triples and is second in RBIs and stolen bases. In four games at Coolray Field last week, Pillar went 6-for-14 with one double, one triple and three RBIs.

South Invasion: Buffalo enters tonight’s contest with an 8-4 record against the South Division in 2014. Three of those losses came to the Braves last week at Coolray Field.

“Discipline is choosing between what you want now and want most.” -Abraham Lincoln

-JD-

 

 

Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (11-14) at Gwinnett Braves (15-10)

Martin (Taylor Botta)

Martin (Taylor Botta)

Probables Pitchers

Thu: Zach Stewart (1-1, 4.98) vs. Sean O’Sullivan (0-2, 3.97)

Fri: Cody Martin (2-1, 2.66) vs. Jonathan Pettibone (1-0, 4.09)

Sat: LHP Daniel Rodriguez (3-2, 2.67) vs. David Buchanan (3-0, 3.45)

Sun: Mitch Atkins (1-3, 5.01) vs. LHP Greg Smith (2-0, 1.82)

The Gwinnett Braves return home after a solid 4-4 road trip, while the Lehigh Valley IronPigs begin their eight-game swing with a four-game set at Coolray Field. Gwinnett enters the game with a one game lead in the Wild Card lead and two games behind the Durham Bulls in the South division. Lehigh Valley is tied for fifth in the North division and is four games behind the front-running Pawtucket Red Sox.

Pitching: Lehigh Valley comes into the contest with a team ERA of 3.80 through 25 games. The duo of Buchanan and Smith has led the IronPigs rotation. Buchanan leads the league with six starts and his tied for second in wins. He has fanned 19 batters in 28.2 innings. He will get the ball in game three.

Smith has been even better. The southpaw is a perfect 2-0 with a 1.82 ERA. He has recorded three quality starts in four attempts. On April 17, he tossed a complete game shutout against the Syracuse Chiefs. He is one three pitchers in the IL to toss a complete game shutout. He has 18 punch outs in 24.2 innings.

Gwinnett will counter with Stewart, Martin, Rodriguez and Atkins.

Martin has been sensational in his last three starts. The righty has gone 2-0 with a 1.08 ERA over his last three. On April 26, he fanned a season-high ten batters at Toledo. In 23.2 innings, he has recorded 33 punch outs. He will get the ball in game two.

Rodriguez will pitch game three. Through five starts, Rodriguez has recorded three wins, tying his mark from 2013. He has been solid, striking out 28 batters in 27.0 innings. He is coming off of his strongest outing of the season on April 27, as he tossed 7.0 scoreless innings at Toledo.

Batting: The Braves have had to live life without Ernesto Mejia since being released on Saturday to pursue other opportunities. In his absence, Joey Terdoslavich has carried the load. The switch-hitting outfielder has been on a tear of late, recording a hit in his last ten games. On Monday morning, the IL named him the Batter of the Week after posting a .500 average with one homer and three RBIs from 4/21-4/27. On the season, he is batting .330 (30-for-91) with two homers and 10 RBIs.

Tommy La Stella continues to impress in his first season of Triple-A ball. The infielder is hitting .310 (27-for-87) with two doubles and 15 RBIs. He leads the team in RBIs. In 99 plate appearances, the lefty has fanned six times.

Lehigh Valley is off to a slow start at the plate, posting a team batting average of .235 through 25 games. Highly-touted prospect Maikel Franco is having a nightmarish start to the season. The third baseman is hitting .172 (15-for-87) with one homer and seven RBIs. The No.1 prospect in the Phillies organization according to Baseball America has fanned 18 times and has committed two errors on the field.

Bacon Bites: Former G-Braves manager Dave Brundage returns to Coolray Field for the second time in his career as an opposing manager. Last season he took three of four from Gwinnett.

Gwinnett Braves (4-3) vs. Durham Bulls (5-3)

Series probables
Fri: LHP Daniel Rodriguez (1-0, 1.80) vs. LHP Mike Montgomery (1-0, 0.00)
Sat: Mitch Atkins (0-1, 6.75) vs. LHP Erik Bedard (0-0, 2.25)
Sun: Gavin Floyd (0-0, 5.06) vs. Nathan Karns (0-1, 13.50)

The Gwinnett Braves will welcome the Durham Bulls for a three game set starting on Friday, April 11 at Coolray Field.

Last weekend, the squads met for a four game set at Durham Bulls Athletic Park. They ended up splitting the series, as Durham took game one and four, while the Braves took care of business in game two and three.

Pitching: The home opener will feature two southpaws that shut down the respective opposition last weekend. Rodriguez tossed 5.0 IP, allowing two hits, one run and struck out nine as he recorded the victory on Saturday night; while, Montgomery dominated Sunday’s matinee, tossing 5.0 innings of scoreless baseball in the Bulls 8-1 victory. He allowed three hits, three walks and struck out seven.

Game three will feature Gavin Floyd, as he makes his third rehab start with the Gwinnett Braves. After a shaky first start, Floyd was solid on Tuesday night. He tossed 4.0 innings, scattering three hits, allowing one run and striking out two. He threw 60 pitches, 37 for strikes in the no decision victory by the Braves.

Former Nationals prospect Nathan Karns will get the ball in game three. The right-hander has got off to a slow start, allowing 11 runs in 7.1 innings (13.50 ERA). He has walked ten batters and struck out ten, so he has electric stuff but is hampered with control issues. He will look to get back on track on Sunday afternoon.
The Braves will have to get to the Bulls pitching staff early, as the back end of the bullpen has been tough on opponents. Right-hander Kirby Yates is a perfect 3-for-3 in save opportunities and has allowed one hit, no runs with four strikeouts in 4.0 innings.

Batting: Ernesto Mejia has headlined the G-Braves offense with five homers and 10 RBIs in seven games, but Phil Gosselin and Tommy La Stella are off to solid starts. Gosselin leads the team with a .500 (10-for-20) batting average with a team-high three doubles. In three games against Durham last weekend, Gosselin went 4-for-11 with three runs scored, one double and one RBI. La Stella has been just as good, batting .308 (4-for-13) with one double and three triples. La Stella has also drawn four walks in five games.

Durham is off to great start offensively, scoring 40 runs in eight games. They have relied on the long ball, slugging eight round trippers this season. Wilson Betemit, Justin Christian, Kevin Kiermaier and Jerry Sands have each clubbed two. Sands is off to the best start of the four of them, batting .333 (10-for-30) with six doubles and six RBIs.

Staying Figgy with it: Cole Figueroa is off to another great start for the Durham Bulls… The infielder is batting .463 (6-for-13) with two doubles. In his career, he has batted .356 (42-for-118) with 16 runs scored, six doubles, two triples, one homer and 20 RBIs against the G-Braves. Last season, Figueroa batted .355 (27-for-76) with six extra-base hits and 14 RBIs, while only striking out twice in 18 games against Gwinnett.

 

-JD-

Inside the Numbers: Cole Figueroa

The Gwinnett Braves (0-1) started off the season with another tough loss to the Durham Bulls (1-0) on Thursday night at Durham Bulls Athletic Park. Facing a 6-2 deficit in the top of the third inning, the Bulls battled back, scoring one run in the fourth inning, three in the fifth and one in the seventh to claim the victory 7-6.

Bulls’ shortstop Cole Figueroa scored the game-winner, as he continued to haunt the G-Braves by going 2-for-3 with two runs scored in the contest.

In 30 games against the Braves, Figueroa has tallied a .354 (40-for-113) batting average with 15 runs scored, six doubles, two triples, one homer and 20 RBIs. Last season, Figueroa batted .355 (27-76) with six extra-base hits and 14 RBIs, while only striking out twice.

So, what makes Figueroa so good against the Braves?

In 113 official at bats, the infielder has fanned five times. His .044 strikeout per at bat average is well below his career strikeout per at bat average of .103 (225 K / 2180 AB). In addition to his low strikeout rate against the G-Braves, Figueroa has a BABIP (Batting Average on Balls in Play) of .358 against Gwinnett.

Some sabermetricians would suggest that Figueroa is getting lucky, as his BABIP is greater than his BA.

But, line drive hitters tend to have high BABIP’s. Figueroa is a great example, as he holds a BABIP of .312 in his career, opposed to a lifetime batting average of .291 (635-for-2180).

So, luck has nothing to do with it and the G-Braves will have to deal with Figueroa another three days at the DBAP.

Gwinnett will face Figueroa and the Bulls in game two of this four game series at 7:05 PM tonight.

Background Check: Stephen Cole Figueroa is a Tallahassee, FL native, but played his collegiate baseball at the University of Florida. He was drafted in the sixth round of the 2008 First Year Player Draft by the San Diego Padres. In 2010, he was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays along with RHP’s Brandon Gomes and Adam Russell and LHP Cesar Ramos in exchange for shortstop Jason Bartlett. Figueroa is entering his fourth season with the Rays organization and his seventh in professional baseball.

G-Braves News & Notes: Ryan Buchter was optioned from Atlanta prior to last night’s contest. The southpaw tossed a scoreless eighth inning. Buchter made the Opening Day roster, but did not appear in a game in his first call-up to the big leagues.

 

-JD-

IL Preview: Durham Bulls

The Durham Bulls will begin their title defense with another star-studded team. Last season, the Bulls posted an International League best 87-57 mark and rolled through the IL playoffs to claim their fourth Governor’s Cup.

However, they would fall to the Omaha Storm Chasers 2-1 in the Triple-A Championship.

Charlie Montoyo returns to the helm to lead the Bulls for the eighth straight season. He will go on without outfielder Wil Myers and pitchers Jake Odorizzi and Chris Archer, but he will have another loaded roster.

Pitching: Last year, it all started and ended with pitching. The Bulls posted a team ERA of 3.33 and had a 16-game winner in J.D. Martin. The IL All-Star has moved on and will be playing his baseball overseas, and with the 50-game suspension of Alex Colome, the IL champs will have four spots to fill in 2014.

Nathan Karns will take over one of the spots. The former Washington Nationals’ farmhand will be a big part of the rotation. Last year, Karns went 10-6 with a 3.26 ERA in 23 starts for Harrisburg. He made his major league debut in September, making three starts for the Nationals. The right-hander is a fire-baller, featuring a mid 90-s fastball, hard sinker-splitter and wipeout curveball. He has some control issues, which will keep him from starting on the Rays to begin the season.

In addition to Karns, the Bulls will have Enny Romero. Romero was spectacular in the Southern League, going 11-7 with a 2.76 ERA in 27 starts for the Montgomery Biscuits. He made one start for Triple-A Durham (8IP, 0R, 2K) and one for Tampa (5IP, 0R) to end the season. He enters the season the No.6 ranked prospect in the Rays organization according to Baseball America.

If you add Merrill Kelly (8 wins), Mike Montgomery (7 wins) and MLB veteran Erik Bedard, the Rays rotation will be loaded once again.

Infield: The group around the horn will be led by Triple-A All Star Vince Belnome. The infielder hit .300 with eight homers and 67 RBIs last season. He recorded a team-high 133 hits.

Hak-Ju Lee will be another player to keep an eye on, as he will start the season recovering from a torn ACL, but will return to the Bulls lineup in 2014. Prior to tearing all three ligaments in his left knee, Lee was hitting .462 (19-for-45) with three doubles, one triple, one homer and seven RBIs for the Durham Bulls. He enters the season as the No.2 ranked prospect in the Tampa Rays organization according to Baseball America.

Outfield: Originally a 31st round pick in the 2010 draft, Kevin Kiermaier has exceeded all expectations in the Tampa organization. Regarded as one of the best outfielders in minor league baseball, Kiermaier has great instincts to the baseball and plus arm that allows him to play all three outfield positions. In 39 games with the Bulls, he hit .263 (36-for-137) with seven doubles, six triples, one homer and 13 RBIs. He enters the season as the No. 10 ranked prospect in the Tampa Rays organization according to Baseball America.

Schedule:
At Durham: April 3-5, July 2-3, August 22-25
At Gwinnett: April 11-13, July 17-20, August 26-27

Projected Depth Chart:

(Depth chart is not official, based on projections.)

(Depth chart is not official, based on projections.)

-JD-

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-

Series Preview: Gwinnett Braves (38-53) vs. Norfolk Tides (48-42)

Bisenius (Karl Moore)

Bisenius (Karl Moore)

Mon, July 8: RHP Joe Bisenius (2-1, 5.87) vs. LHP Jake Pettit (3-1, 2.37)
Tue, July 9: TBA vs. RHP Jair Jurrjens (5-6, 4.38)
Wed, July 10: RHP Cody Martin (2-1, 1.38) vs. TBA
Thu, July 11: RHP Kameron Loe (3-2, 2.97) vs. LHP Tsuyoshi Wada (2-4, 5.14)

The Gwinnett Braves are off to a slow start in their current homestand, dropping three of their first four games. Despite holding the No.1 offense in the International League, the Durham Bulls, to one run during their two-game series, the G-Braves only came away with one victory.

Batters: With Ernesto Mejia sidelined with a sore hamstring, the G-Braves have had to rely on others to take care of the offensive load… However, the Braves have scored five runs in their last five games, while being shut out three times… Luis Nunez has been the best hitter during that span, hitting .267 (4-for-15) with one run… Sean Kazmar and Jose Yepez have driven in two apiece during that span…

Pitchers: After getting routed 13-0 on Wednesday night at Norfolk, the pitching staff has been sharp during their current homestand. They have allowed nine runs, eight earned in 36 innings, while scattering 31 hits… Kameron Loe is the only pitcher to collect a victory during this homestand. On 7/7, he tossed five innings of scoreless ball, scattering three hits and striking out two. His night was washed away, as a 51-minute rain delay impeded his chances from returning to the game… Mark Lamm made his Triple-A debut on Saturday, recording two innings of shutout ball and picking up a hold…

G-Bites: Since being optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett on Friday, Cory Gearrin has not appeared in a game.

Norfolk Tides lead the Wild Card race, ahead of the streaking Rochester Red Wings (47-45), by 2.0 games and sit 7.5 games behind the front-running Durham Bulls (56-35) in the South Division.

Batters: Jason Pridie is having a great season, hitting .300 (91-for-303) with 21 doubles, three triples, 11 homers and 43 RBI. He has tormented G-Braves’ pitching, hitting .326 (14-for-43) with four doubles, one triple, one homer and nine RBI…L.J. Hoes has been even better, the fleet-footed outfielder is batting .353 (12-for-34) with one double, one homer and six RBI against Gwinnett in 2013.

Pitchers: Triple-A All Star and former G-Brave, Jairo Asencio is having a fantastic season in 2013. In 33 games, he is 4-0 with a 2.21 ERA, converting 19 of 24 save opportunities. In five games against the G-Braves this season, he is 0-0 with four saves, while striking out six and allowing one run… Game two will feature former G-Brave and Atlanta Braves hurler, Jair Jurrjens. Jurrjens has made a few starts for the Baltimore Orioles, but has spent most of the season with the Tides. In 15 starts, he is 5-6 with a 4.38 ERA.

Off-Shore: The Tides have dominated the G-Braves in 2013, posting an 8-2 record against their South Division foes.

-Jd-

G-Braves Homestand Highlights: August 6-13

The Gwinnett Braves return home to Coolray Field for an eight-game homestand that will begin on Monday, August 6 and conclude on Monday, August 13. The G-Braves will host the International League South’s second place club, the Norfolk Tides (August 6-9) for the first four games, then will welcome former G-BraveTodd Redmond back to town with his new team, the Louisville Bats (August 10-13) for a four-game series.

Gwinnett outfielder Stefan Gartrell is on fire at the plate, having hit .395 with six home runs and 14 RBIs in July. His steady teammate and 2012 All-Star Ernesto Mejia leads the team in most offensive categories including home runs (22) and RBIs (75). Jose Constanza and his IL-best .324 batting average is back with Gwinnett after a brief call-up to Atlanta. Constanza broke the Gwinnett Braves franchise record with a 22-game hitting streak the last time he was in Lawrenceville. Gwinnett’s starting rotation hasn’t looked more dominant than it has lately with the added presence of Randall Delgado, who is coming off a 10-strikeout win against the IL South leading Charlotte Knights. Atlanta’s first round pick from 2011, left-hander Sean Gilmartin made his Triple-A debut with Gwinnett on the road trip and is currently slated to make his home debut on Friday, August 10 vs. Louisville.

The upcoming homestand features plenty of discounts and activities, including “Bike Night” on August 8, WAGA Fox 5 Friday Fireworks and “Beach Night” on August 10 and “Outdoor Night” featuring a Tailgate Stool giveaway sponsored by Charter Business and Telemundo on August 11.

Here’s a look at the homestand:

Photo courtesy of Chris Roughgarden

Monday, August 6
Norfolk Tides (Baltimore Orioles) vs. Gwinnett Braves, 7:05 PM
National Anthem performed by: Breanna Smith
Features:

  • Kids Eat Free Monday - All kids 12 and under will receive a voucher for a free hot dog, a bag of chips and a small soda.
  • 11Alive Olympic Broadcast - 11Alive will be hosting a live Olympic broadcast from 5 to 6 PM. Come at 4:30 PM and have a chance to be on live TV, giving reaction to the events and even participating in Olympic Trivia! Paid admission is required for participants.

Tuesday, August 7
Norfolk Tides (Baltimore Orioles) vs. Gwinnett Braves, 7:05 PM
National Anthem performed by: Natalie Francingues
Features:

    • 2 for 1 Tuesday - Save up to 50% off tickets by visiting GwinnettBraves.com/Tuesday. Print your coupon from home and present it at the Box Office to redeem!

Wednesday, August 8
Norfolk Tides (Baltimore Orioles) vs. Gwinnett Braves, 7:05 PM

      National Anthem performed by: Hayley Oliver
      Presenting Sponsors: Save-A-Lot
      • Winning Wednesday - Attend our Wednesday game for a chance to win big. If the G-Braves are victorious, everyone in attendance will receive a special discount offer on future game tickets presented by Georgia Lottery.
      • Baseball Bingo - The first 1,500 fans through the gates will be able to participate to win prizes.
      • Bike Night - Motor on over to Coolray Field for a pre-game ride around the field and enjoy the motorcycle vendors on the concourse. All participants in the ride around the field must have an Infield Box ticket. Please call 678-277-0350 for more details.

Thursday, August 9
Norfolk Tides (Baltimore Orioles) vs. Gwinnett Braves, 7:05 PM

        National Anthem performed by: Destiny Roberts
        Presenting Sponsors: Tyson® Any’Tizers® Snacks
        • $3 Thursday - Kick-off the weekend right with $3 food and drink specials all game long. All general admission berm seating is also just $3 on Thursdays.

Friday, August 10
Louisville Bats (Cincinnati Reds) vs. Gwinnett Braves, 7:05 PM

          Presenting Sponsors: 12Stone Church
          • Beach Night - Put on your hula skirts and coconuts to join us for Beach Night. The Gwinnett Braves will get tropical with beachy music, movie clips and plenty of fun music to keep you dancing all game.
          • Fox 5 Friday Fireworks - Join us for a spectacular fireworks display that will light up the sky immediately following the G-Braves game.

Saturday, August 11
Louisville Bats (Cincinnati Reds) vs. Gwinnett Braves, 7:05 PM

            National Anthem performed by: Charter Business
            Presenting Sponsors: Charter Business & Telemundo
            • Outdoor Night/Family Campout - Join the G-Braves for Outdoors Night, as we welcome families to campout on the field after the game. Call the Group Sales office (678) 277-0340 for more details. All participants must fill out a form.
            • Tailgate Stool Giveaway - First 2,000 fans through the gates will receive a G-Braves tailgate stool.

Photo courtesy of Chris Roughgarden

Sunday, August 12
Louisville Bats (Cincinnati Reds) vs. Gwinnett Braves, 5:05 PM

              Presenting Sponsors: Univision
              • Family Sunday - Bring your ball and glove for a pre-game catch in the outfield starting when the gates open and lasting for 20 minutes. All kids 12 and under will get to run the bases following the game.
              • Summer Safety - The Gwinnett Braves will be recognizing organizations that fund or run safety programs for children.

Monday, August 13
Louisville Bats (Cincinnati Reds) vs. Gwinnett Braves, 7:05 PM

                • Kids Eat Free Monday - All kids 12 and under will receive a voucher for a free hot dog, a bag of chips and a small soda.

Tickets for all Gwinnett Braves home games are on sale now at the Coolray Field Box Office. Call (678) 277-0340 or visit gwinnettbraves.com for more information.

By: Tony Piraro

Gearrin Promoted, Constanza Back to Gwinnett

Photo courtesy of Karl Moore

Gwinnett Braves closer Cory Gearrin has once again been promoted to the Atlanta Braves amidst mass injuries to the pitching staff. Meanwhile, the Gwinnett franchise record holder with his 22-game hit streak, Jose Constanza is back and ready to provide the G-Braves offense with a spark.

However, the Gwinnett offense doesn’t need much of anything lately, as Stefan Gartrell and Ernesto Mejia have carried the team on their collective back. Gartrell is one of the hottest hitters in the International League for July, hitting .395 with six home runs and 14 RBI. For the season, the steady Mejia is leading the team in most offensive categories, including home runs (22) and RBI (75). Felix Pie is coming off the most impressive game by a G-Brave hitter in 2012, bashing the first grand slam of the season for a Gwinnett player, as he registered a team-high six RBI in one game against Durham.

For as explosive as the Gwinnett offense is becoming, in the same respect the G-Braves bullpen is not as deep as it once was in 2012. Jaye Chapman was just dealt to the Chicago Cubs, alongside the promotion of Gearrin to Atlanta, two of the most consistent arms in the G-Braves bullpen are now history. Anthony Varvaro takes over as the best arm in the Gwinnett bullpen, aside from his left-handed counterpart Dusty Hughes. Both will have expanded roles moving forward into the final month of the IL regular season.

Photo courtesy of Chris Roughgarden

With injuries to Tommy Hanson and Jair Jurrjens, who were both placed on the DL this week for the Braves, Atlanta is presently deprived of pitching depth. Thus the move of Chapman and Arodys Vizcaino to Chicago (NL) for Paul Maholm and Reed Johnson, as Atlanta needed a left-hander with rotation and bullpen versatility.

After recording the best record in the IL in the first month of the season, then falling into an IL-worst 15-game losing skid, the G-Braves have kept their heads up as the worst seems to be over. The offense, defense and pitching is getting better and they have only become more consistent in the second half of the season. Regardless of record, Gwinnett is making strides in many departments, namely developing their youngsters as Sean Gilmartin made his Triple-A debut this past week. The future is bright with the Atlanta Braves organization, however they have a chance at winning now, so they will take every precaution along the way to make sure they do just that.

By: Tony Piraro

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