Results tagged ‘ Ernesto Mejia ’

2013 Spring Training – Weekly Update

Ernesto Mejia is 1-for-6 in four games in Grapefruit League.

Ernesto Mejia is 1-for-6 in four games in Grapefruit League.

Spring Training is underway and the Atlanta Braves have got off to a slow start, losing three of their first four games. With new faces around camp and early departures for the World Baseball Classic, the Braves are not worried about win-loss records, but concerned with building a continuity to prepare for an exciting summer of baseball.

With several regulars leaving for the WBC, it has allowed for former 2012 G-Braves to make an impact in Lake Buena Vista, FL. Twelve of 15 Braves that wore the G-Braves uniform in 2012 have seen the field this spring.

Joe Terdoslavich made a big splash, hitting a solo-homer on Feb.22 against the Detroit Tigers. His home run was the lone run for the Braves, as they were stymied by seven different pitchers in a 2-1 loss.

Tyler Pastornicky has flourished since Andrelton Simmons left to Taiwan to prepare for the WBC. In his last two games, Pastornicky has picked up two hits and an RBI.

The other three positions players, Ernesto Mejia, Jordan Parraz and Jose Yepez have one hit each through the first four games. Jose Constanza, who is having visa issues in the Dominican Republic, is yet to report to camp.

On the hill, the race for five went from luke-warm to steamy. Sean Gilmartin and Julio Teheran matched each other on Sunday afternoon with two scoreless frames. Both hurlers picked up two strikeouts and allowed one base runner each. Gilmartin gave up a single, while Teheran walked one.

If the race for five was not enough, the bullpen battles are starting to get hot. Cory Gearrin has tossed two scoreless frames, allowing one hit and recording two strikeouts, while Dusty Hughes hurled a perfect frame with one strikeout.

Lefties Ryan Buchter, Yohan Flande and Daniel Rodriguez have struggled through the first few days of camp. Buchter has allowed two runs on three hits in one inning. Flande has given up six runs on seven hits in two innings of baseball. Rodriguez’ control issues continue to give him trouble, walking three and giving up three runs in his lone appearance.

The players return to action today at 1:05 p.m. at Champion Stadium in Lake Buena Vista, FL against the Washington Nationals.

-JD

2013 Spring Training – Competing to Make the Team

Ernesto Mejia led the G-Braves with 24 home runs in 2012.

Ernesto Mejia led the G-Braves with 24 home runs in 2012.

The 2013 Gwinnett Braves will see a lot of turnover as a majority of the team has moved on to different clubs. However, there is a great deal of players still connected to the Braves organization.  Here’s a look at some 2012 G-Braves heading to Atlanta’s Major League camp this year.

Former International League hitting champion Jose Constanza remains in the fold. The 5’9” outfielder remains on the Braves 40-man roster after leading the IL in hitting with a .314 batting average. Since being acquired through free agency in 2010, Constanza has been a solid pick up. In 174 games, he hit .318 (212-for-667) with two home runs and 52 RBI. He reports to MLB Spring Training fighting for one of the final Braves’ roster spots.

Constanza will not be alone fighting for a roster spot, as Ernesto Mejia looks to lock up one of the bench spots. The infielder came into his own last season, hitting .296 (152-for-514) with 24 home runs and 92 RBI. He was awarded the IL Rookie of the year and was added to the Braves’ 40-man roster at the end of the season.

Jose Constanza led the IL in hitting with a .314 batting average.

Jose Constanza led the IL in hitting with a .314 batting average in 2012.

While Constanza and Mejia head to camp as part of the 40-man roster, three former G-Braves will look to come out of nowhere and steal a spot on the roster.

Joe Terdoslavich, Jordan Parraz and Jose Yepez will push the veterans for a bench spot. Terdoslavich struggled in his first stint with the G-Braves in 2012, hitting .180 with four home runs and 20 RBI. He committed 22 errors in 53 games, but he turned it around after being sent down to Double-A Mississippi. He finished his second full season (third with organization) hitting .315 with five home runs and 51 RBI.

Parraz was solid as a utility outfielder last season. In 34 games, he hit .288 (34-for-118) with six doubles, two home runs and 19 RBI.  His 2012 campaign was significantly shortened by a pair of hand injuries.

Yepez will head to his second straight Spring Training, as he hopes to win the backup spot on the MLB roster while Brian McCann is out with an injury. Yepez played in 79 games for the G-Braves, hitting .264 with three home runs and 30 RBI.

With the Atlanta Braves offseason deal of Randall Delgado, an immediate spot in the rotation has opened up. Both Sean Gilmartin and Julio Teheran will go to Spring Training battling for the fifth and final spot in the rotation.

Teheran, who was IL Player of the Year and Atlanta Braves Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2011, is the front-runner for the rotation spot. In two seasons with the G-Braves, Teheran is second all-time in wins (22) and boasts the club’s best ERA (3.75).

Teheran will have to be careful, as Gilmartin is eager to win the final spot after completing his first full season with the organization. In 20 starts with Double-A Mississippi, he went 5-8 with a 3.54 ERA, while going 1-2 with a 4.78 ERA in seven starts for Gwinnett.

While Teheran and Gilmartin battle for a rotation spot, Cory Gearrin, Dusty Hughes and Anthony Varvaro will try to fit in the Atlanta bullpen. Gearrin has been outstanding, appearing in an all-time high 126 games for the G-Braves. Last season, he went 3-3 with a 2.30 ERA and 9 saves in 39 games for Gwinnett. He was even better in Atlanta, hurling 20 innings, allowing four runs (1.80 ERA) in 22 games for the Braves.

Hughes looks to crack the MLB team for the first time in his career. Having big league experience with the Kansas City Royals, Hughes knows what it takes to make the big team. The lefty had a solid 2012 in Gwinnett, posting a 3-2 record with a 3.31 ERA.

Varvaro rounds out the list of Spring Training invitees. He pitched well for Gwinnett before moving up to the big leagues. In 44.1 innings, the right-hander posted an 0-2 record with 2.23 ERA.

Ryan Buchter, Yohan Flande and Daniel Rodriguez also received invitations to camp. They will get an opportunity to win one of the 12 spots on the staff, but will have a tough hill to climb as all three have no MLB experience. Flande will go in with the most upside, as he spent all of last two seasons with the G-Braves. In 2012, he was 6-11 with a 4.21 ERA.

The bullpen may be a bit crowded with the acquisition of Jordan Walden from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, but these six arms are up for the task.

While plenty of former G-Braves will look to make an impression on the Braves as full practices start tomorrow, there’s plenty of new faces in camp this year.  The next edition of the G-Blog will take a look at those new players, some of which could be heading to Gwinnett in 2013.

Ernesto Mejia Named IL Rookie of the Year

Photo courtesy of Chris Roughgarden

Gwinnett Braves first baseman Ernesto Mejia has been named the International League Rookie of the Year as well as the Postseason All-Star first baseman for the 2012 season, announced on Tuesday, August 28 by the league office. Mejia is the third-straight G-Brave to win the award for the IL’s top rookie, joining first baseman Freddie Freeman (2010) and pitcher Julio Teheran (2011).

Mejia, 26, established himself as one of the premier hitters for power and average in the IL this season. Entering play on Tuesday, the Guanare, Venezuela native ranked first in the circuit in RBI (91), hits (148) and total bases (253), second in slugging percentage (.517) and at-bats (489), tied for second in home runs (24), third in extra-base hits (56), fourth in OPS (.871), fifth in runs scored (72) and tied for sixth in both doubles (31) and games played (126). His season accolades include the IL’s Batter of the Week award on May 21 and his first Triple-A All-Star Game selection.

Mejia’s numbers are not only among the league’s best, they are also challenging Gwinnett Braves’ franchise records. Mejia’s 91 RBIs are tied alongside Stefan Gartrell (2011) for the most in one season since the team’s arrival to Lawrenceville in 2009. He’s currently one home run shy of tying Gartrell’s record of 25 blasts, also set in 2011. His 148 hits are six away from matching Mauro Gomez’s 2011 record, while his 31 doubles are four away from Freeman’s record of 35 set in 2010.

For the rest of the International League’s 2012 Postseason awards, visit ilbaseball.com.

Mejia and the rest of the Gwinnett Braves continue the final homestand of the 2012 season on Tuesday, August 28 against the Pawtucket Red Sox. The game time, originally scheduled for 7:05 PM, has been moved to 2:05 PM as a result of rain expected from Hurricane Isaac. The radio broadcast will air on WDUN 550 AM / 102.9 FM in Gainesville, Georgia, while the television broadcast will air on CSS.

Please note that game times for all remaining Gwinnett Braves home games, including Fan Appreciation Night on Thursday, August 30, may change due to Hurricane Isaac. Check in at gwinnettbraves.com for updated information on game times. For tickets, call the Coolray Field Box Office at (678) 277-0340.

By: Tony Piraro & Dave Lezotte

Boston Red Sox Affiliate at Coolray Field for Final Homestand of Regular Season

Photo courtesy of Karl Moore

For the second-straight night, Syracuse needed just one pitcher to shut down the Gwinnett Braves. Right-hander Jeff Mandel threw the second-straight complete game shutout against the G-Braves in as many nights, leading the Chiefs to a 7-0 win at Coolray Field. Mandel’s six hitter, his first nine-inning effort this season, ensured a split of the four-game series.

Syracuse left-hander John Lannan threw 9.0 scoreless, three-hit innings on Saturday night, and Mandel (W, 5-5) continued the trend on Sunday, scattering six hits over 9.0 innings while striking out four. He walked none in a 102-pitch, 69-strike outing.

After escaping major damage in the second inning, Gwinnett starter Yohan Flande was not able to make it past the third. The left-hander surrendered four runs on five hits in the frame, including five-straight one-out hits. Josh Johnson and Chris Marrero reached on back-to-back singles, and Carlos Rivero singled to left-center, scoring them both. Jesus Valdez singled to score Rivero, and Sandy Leon added a double plating Valdez for a 4-0 lead.

Flande (L, 7-9) allowed four earned runs on six hits, walked three and struck out two over just 2.2 innings of work. Cole McCurry relieved Flande with two outs in the third inning and worked 3.1 scoreless innings. McCurry struck out three and walked none, departing after Stefan Gartrell singled in his pinch-hit at-bat for the pitcher in the sixth.

Ryan Buchter entered the game for the G-Braves in the seventh and allowed three more runs over 1.1 innings. Rivero singled home Johnson to raise the lead to 5-0 in the seventh, and a two-run triple by Eury Perez ensured the final score of 7-0 in the eighth. Anthony Varvaro relieved the left-hander, pitching 1.2 innings of scoreless baseball with one strikeout.

Monday, August 27th G-Braves Starting Line-up from Coolray Field:

The Gwinnett Braves (61-75) welcome the Pawtucket Red Sox (73-63) to town on Monday night as the two teams begin the final four-game series of the season at Coolray Field. First pitch scheduled for 7:05 PM. The Gwinnett starting pitcher has yet to be announced, while the PawSox will start right-hander Nelson Figueroa (10-5, 4.40). The radio broadcast will air on WDUN 550 AM / 102.9 FM in Gainesville, Georgia with Tony Schiavone calling the play-by-play. The television broadcast will air on CSS.

Pawtucket (2nd IL North) vs Gwinnett (4th IL South) 

Monday night is Kids Eat Free Monday as all kids 12 and under will receive a voucher for a free hot dog, a bag of chips and a small soda. It’s also the fifth night of “Drive Me Crazy” as the G-Braves gather donations of canned foods, clothes, sports equipment, toys and more to restock local shelters and storage centers. 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.

Pawtucket Red Sox Batting Order:

1) Nate Spears, 1B

2) Ivan DeJesus, 2B

3) Jeremy Hazelbaker, DH

4) Tony Thomas, LF

5) Danny Valencia, 3B

6) Dan Butler, C

7) Jason Repko, CF

8) Jon Hee, SS

9) Che-Hsuan Lin, RF

G-Braves Batting Order:

1) Jose Constanza, LF

2) Jack Wilson, SS

3) Lyle Overbay, DH

4) Ernesto Mejia, 1B

5) Josh Kroeger, RF

6) Rusty Ryal, 3B

7) Brian Friday, 2B

8) J.C. Boscan, C

9) Luis Durango, CF

By: Tony Piraro

G-Braves Offense, Ryal Rolling Toward End

Photo courtesy of Kyle Hess

Four Gwinnett pitchers including starter Randall Delgado combined on a seven-hit shutout as the Braves defeated the Syracuse Chiefs, 6-0 on Friday night at Coolray Field. A season-high 9,372 fans packed the park as the G-Braves won for the second-straight night to start the final eight-game homestand.

Delgado worked 4.0 scoreless innings with four hits and three walks allowed, striking out seven in a no-decision. Dusty Hughes (W, 3-2) grabbed his third win of the season with 3.0 scoreless, two-hit innings and four strikeouts. Peter Moylan threw a scoreless eighth and Andy Russell added a scoreless non-save ninth to finish off Gwinnett’s ninth shutout win of the year.

Offensively, Rusty Ryal continued his torrid series with a 3-for-4 night, including an RBI double in the third inning. Lyle Overbay went 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles, driving in two RBIs as well.

The G-Braves started the scoring early, crossing the plate in each of the first four innings.Jose Constanza led off the first with a single and advanced to second on a passed ball before scoring on a Terry Tiffee RBI single to give Gwinnett a 1-0 lead.

Gwinnett added three more runs in their half of the second, highlighted by a Constanza two-run double that scored Ryal and Delgado. The G-Braves extended the lead to 4-0 as Overbay doubled home Constanza with two outs.

Felix Pie reached base to start the third on a fielding error charged to Chiefs’ first baseman Mark Teahen. Following a fielder’s choice off the bat of Jose Yepez, Ryal once again came through in the clutch with a run-scoring double that raised the Gwinnett lead to 5-0.

Chiefs starter Yunesky Maya (L, 11-9) lasted just 3.0 innings, surrendering five runs, four earned on eight hits. The right-hander struck out two and walked one, throwing 58 pitches.

Mitch Atkins replaced Maya in the fourth inning and allowed an RBI single to Pie scoring Overbay. After Pie’s hit made it 6-0 G-Braves, Atkins settled in for two more innings of scoreless relief. He pitched 3.0 innings in total, yielding an unearned run on three hits. Pat Lehman added 2.0 scoreless innings for Syracuse.

In addition to multi-hit efforts from Ryal and Overbay, Constanza also went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI in the leadoff spot. Constanza’s two-hit effort came a night removed from seeing his International League best 38-game on-base streak snapped by the Chiefs.

Saturday, August 25th G-Braves Starting Line-up from Coolray Field:

The Gwinnett Braves (61-73) take on the Syracuse Chiefs (63-71) in game three of the four-game series on Saturday night at Coolray Field, first pitch scheduled for 7:05 PM. The G-Braves will start right-hander Julio Teheran (7-7, 5.48) against Syracuse left-hander John Lannan (7-11, 4.89). Listen to the broadcast on WDUN 550 AM / 102.9 FM in Gainesville, Georgia. The game will also air on CSS.

Syracuse (5th IL North) vs Gwinnett (4th IL South) 

Come out to Coolray Field on Saturday night and place your bid on a Gwinnett Braves game-worn jersey with the G-Braves Jersey Auction. Each jersey worn during the game will be auctioned off to benefit the Gwinnett Medical Center Foundation. It’s also the third night of “Drive Me Crazy” as the G-Braves gather donations of canned foods, clothes, sports equipment, toys and more to restock local shelters and storage centers. 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.

Syracuse Chiefs Batting Order:

1) Eury Perez, LF

2) Corey Brown, CF

3) Jim Negrych, 2B

4) Chris Marrero, 1B

5) Jesus Valdez, LF

6) Sandy Leon, C

7) Zach Walters, SS

8) Jarrett Hoffpauir, 3B

9) John Lannan, SP

G-Braves Batting Order:

1) Luis Durango, CF

2) Jack Wilson, SS

3) Lyle Overbay, 1B

4) Stefan Gartrell, RF

5) Terry Tiffee, 3B

6) Rusty Ryal, 2B

7) Brian Friday, 2B

8) J.C. Boscan, C

9) Julio Teheran, SP

By: Tony Piraro

Red-Hot Randall Delgado Set for Syracuse Tonight

Photo courtesy of Kyle Hess

The Gwinnett Braves rallied from a 4-0 deficit to defeat the Syracuse Chiefs, 5-4, in 10 innings on Thursday night at Coolray Field. Rusty Ryal won the game for Gwinnett with his RBI single in the 10th that scored Lyle Overbay, capping a four-hit night. With the victory, the G-Braves have now registered 60 wins in 2012, including nine in walk-off fashion and nine in extra innings.

Overbay started the 10th inning with a one-out walk, and Stefan Gartrell’s single up the middle placed runners on first and second base. Jose Yepez then notched his third hit of the game with a single to left, loading the bases with one out and thus setting the stage for Ryal’s heroics. Ryal laced a single to center sending Overbay home easily from third base.

Christian Garcia (L, 1-1) was handed the loss for the Chiefs with a run on three hits over 1.1 innings. Cole McCurry (W, 1-2) picked up with the win for Gwinnett with a scoreless 10th inning, keeping the game tied at 4-4. The G-Braves’ bullpen as a whole allowed just two hits while striking out six over the final 6.0 innings.

Gwinnett starter Sean Gilmartin got off to a rocky start, surrendering three runs in the first frame. Carlos Rivero doubled to score Jarrett Hoffpauir, and two batters later, Zach Walters narrowly missed a grand slam to left as he doubled off the wall to plate Chris Marrero and Rivero. Gilmartin struck out opposing pitcher Zach Duke to leave the bases loaded in the first inning, but yielded another run in the second on a Marrero RBI double scoring Hoffpauir.

Gilmartin lasted 4.0 innings on a limited pitch count. He allowed four runs on six hits, walked three and struck out three in a 71-pitch outing.

Duke, a 2012 Triple-A All-Star, started for Syracuse and was stingy against the G-Braves’ offense most of the night. The left-hander didn’t allow his first hit of the night until the fifth, when Yepez led off with a single. Duke eventually yielded an RBI fielder’s choice to Brian Friday in the inning, cutting the Syracuse lead to 4-1.

The G-Braves cut the deficit to one run in the seventh, as Ryal singled and Josh Wilsonwalked to set the table for Terry Tiffee. The pinch-hitter stepped to the plate for pitcher Buddy Carlyle and laced a two-run double over the head of Perez, the Syracuse left-fielder, cutting the Chiefs lead to 4-3. Duke ended the night with a strikeout of Jose Constanza, exiting with three runs on five hits over 7.0 innings.

Friday, August 24th G-Braves Starting Line-up from Coolray Field:

The Gwinnett Braves (60-73) take on the Syracuse Chiefs (63-70) in game two of the four-game series on Friday night at Coolray Field, first pitch scheduled for 7:05 PM. The G-Braves will start right-hander Randall Delgado (4-2, 5.13) against Syracuse right-hander Yunesky Maya (11-8, 3.42). Listen to the broadcast on WDUN 550 AM / 102.9 FM in Gainesville, Georgia.

Syracuse (5th IL North) vs Gwinnett (4th IL South) 

Friday is the G-Braves’ Annual Mystery Ball Auction, giving fans the chance to buy autographed balls from some of their favorite players and teams from the Major and Minor Leagues. Mystery bags will be sold for $25 each, with proceeds going to the Gwinnett Braves division of the Atlanta Braves Foundation. Bags are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Following the game, stick around for WAGA Fox 5 Friday Night Fireworks, the last display of the 2012 season.

Friday is also “Paint the Park Purple” at Coolray Field. Join the G-Braves in wearing purple to support the cause of Cancer Awareness Night. It’s also the second night of “Drive Me Crazy” as the G-Braves look for donations of canned foods, clothes, sports equipment, toys and more to restock local shelters and storage centers. 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.

Syracuse Chiefs Batting Order:

1) Eury Perez, LF

2) Corey Brown, CF

3) Jim Negrych, 2B

4) Mark Teahen, 1B

5) Carlos Rivero, 3B

6) Carlos Maldonado, C

7) Zach Walters, SS

8) Brett Carroll, RF

9) Yunesky Maya, SP

G-Braves Batting Order:

1) Jose Constanza, LF

2) Jack Wilson, SS

3) Lyle Overbay, 1B

4) Terry Tiffee, 3B

5) Felix Pie, RF

6) Josh Kroeger, LF

7) Jose Yepez, C

8) Rusty Ryal, 2B

9) Randall Delgado, SP

By: Tony Piraro

Washington Nationals Affiliate in for Racecar Night

Photo courtesy of Kyle Hess

8.23.12 GBraves Game Notes

The Norfolk Tides concluded their two-game series sweep of Gwinnett with an 8-0 drubbing of the G-Braves on Tuesday afternoon at Coolray Field. Dana Eveland worked 7.0 scoreless, three-hit innings in the start for Norfolk, and Jamie Hoffmann’s three-run homer in the second provided all the offense he’d need.

Eveland (W, 5-4) scattered three hits – all singles – over his seven frames, walked none and struck out five in an 89-pitch outing. Starter turned reliever Brian Matusz worked a scoreless eighth inning and Pat Egan added a scoreless ninth inning.

Norfolk started the scoring with three runs in the second inning off Gwinnett starterYohan Flande. Brandon Waring and Steve Tolleson reached on one-out singles and Hoffmann followed with a three-run home run to left. Hoffmann’s ninth blast of the year made it 3-0, Tides.

The Tides added two more runs in their half of the fourth. Joe Mahoney led off with a single and both Waring and Hoffmann reached on walks. L.J. Hoes boosted the lead to 5-0 with a single scoring Mahoney and Waring.

Flande (L, 6-9) worked 6.0 innings, allowing five earned runs on nine hits. The left-hander struck out four while yielding three walks in a losing effort.

Norfolk plated two more runs in their half of the seventh against Dusty Hughes. The left-hander loaded the bases on a hit batter, single and walk. He then issued a bases-loaded walk to Tolleson scoring Ryan Flaherty and another free pass to Hoffmann, scoring Paulino. Peter Moylan relieved Hughes and retired Hoes to end the inning.

The Tides’ lead grew to 8-0 with a final run in the ninth. Cory Gearrin loaded the bases on two walks and a single, then walked Ryan Adams to force in Paulino. Gearrin ended the inning strong, however, striking out Flaherty looking to leave the bases full.

Jose Constanza went 1-for-4 in the leadoff spot to extend his International League leading on-base streak to 38 games. He, Luis Durango and Josh Wilson had the only hits for Gwinnett on the day.

Thursday, August 23rd G-Braves Starting Line-up from Coolray Field:

The Gwinnett Braves (59-73) have an off day on Wednesday before welcoming the Syracuse Chiefs to town for four games, beginning with a 7:05 PM first pitch on Thursday night at Coolray Field. The G-Braves will start left-hander Sean Gilmartin (1-1, 3.20) against Syracuse left-hander Zach Duke (14-5, 3.50). Listen to the broadcast on WDUN 550 AM / 102.9 FM in Gainesville, Georgia.

Syracuse (5th IL North) vs Gwinnett (4th IL South) 

Thursday night is “Back to School” recognition night, as the G-Braves honor organizations that support education or after school/mentoring programs. Thursday night’s festivities also include “Racecar Night” and the first night of “Drive Me Crazy.”For more details, visit gwinnettbraves.com. 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.

Syracuse Chiefs Batting Order:

1) Eury Perez, LF

2) Corey Brown, CF

3) Jarrett Hoffpauir, 2B

4) Chris Marrero, 1B

5) Carlos Rivero

6) Sandy Leon, C

7) Zach Walters, SS

8) Brett Carroll, RF

9) Zach Duke, SP

G-Braves Batting Order:

1) Jose Constanza, LF

2) Luis Durango, CF

3) Lyle Overbay, 1B

4) Stefan Gartrell, RF

5) Jose Yepez, C

6) Rusty Ryal, 3B

7) Josh Wilson, SS

8) Brian Friday, 2B

9) Sean Gilmartin, SP

By: Tony Piraro

Education Day Game at Coolray Field This Morning

Photo courtesy of Karl Moore

The Norfolk Tides scored three times in the ninth to tie the game and three more times in the 11th to steal a 6-3 win from the Gwinnett Braves on Monday night at Coolray Field. Miguel Batista pitched 6.0 scoreless innings for the G-Braves and left with a 3-0 lead, but the bullpen failed to hold the advantage.

With Gwinnett leading 3-0, they went to their bullpen and Cole McCurry following the brilliant 77-pitch, 50-strike effort from Batista. McCurry worked 2.0 innings before exiting with runners on first and second base with nobody out in the ninth. Andy Russellentered the game and proceeded to allow three runs to cross the plate, two to McCurry’s line, as Norfolk tied the game at 3-3.

Ryan Flaherty walked and Joe Mahoney singled off McCurry to start the ninth. Bill Hall welcomed Russell by driving home the first run of the game for Norfolk, singling past first baseman Josh Kroeger to cut the deficit to 3-1. Endy Chavez then singled home Mahoney, and Luis Exposito grounded into a double play that scored the tying run.

McCurry worked 2.0 innings and allowed two runs on two hits. Russell followed him, lasting 2.0 innings with one run on two hits.

Ryan Buchter entered the game to start the 11th inning for the G-Braves. The left-hander walked Jamie Hoffmann to lead off the inning, then misfired to first for a throwing error after a Chavez bunt. Following a spectacular play by Buchter to force Hoffmann at third on a sacrifice bunt attempt by Exposito, a walk to pinch hitter Ryan Adams loaded the bases. Steve Tolleson drove home the go ahead run with a sacrifice fly to center, and L.J. Hoes put the game on ice with a two-run single off shortstop-turned-reliever Josh Wilson to give Norfolk a 6-3 lead.

Photo courtesy of Karl Moore

Buchter (L, 0-2) was credited for 0.2 innings, as he surrendered three unearned runs on no hits and three walks. Wilson worked 0.1 innings and surrendered just the one hit to Hoes.

Greg Burke (W, 2-1) worked 2.2 scoreless innings en route to the victory for Norfolk. The right-hander struck out two without yielding a walk through extra innings. Zach Phillips (S, 6) closed the door on the G-Braves for the save, recording the final out of the game. The Tides bullpen allowed just one run over 5.0 innings of relief on the night.

Batista was outstanding for the G-Braves on Monday, working 6.0 innings of scoreless baseball. The veteran right-hander surrendered just three total hits and struck out a season-high seven hitters, leaving the game in line for the victory.

Rusty Ryal was the lone offense to start the ballgame, doubling home Ruben Gotay in the second and fourth innings respectively, giving Gwinnett a 2-0 lead after four innings. Gotay walked with one out in the second, then scored from first on the double by Ryal. In the fourth, Gotay scored from first once again, this time after his single off Norfolk starter Zach Clark.

Jose Constanza walked to lead off the G-Braves’ seventh inning against Villarreal, extending his on-base streak to an International League leading 37 straight games.

Tuesday, August 21st G-Braves Starting Line-up from Coolray Field:

The Gwinnett Braves (59-72) conclude the two-game series against the Norfolk Tides (67-64) on Tuesday morning at Coolray Field. First pitch is scheduled for 10:35 AM. Left-hander Yohan Flande (6-8, 4.00) is scheduled to start for the G-Braves against left-hander Dana Eveland (4-4, 2.81) of the Tides. The radio broadcast will air live on 1240 ESPN Radio, while the television broadcast will air on CSS at 1:00 PM.

Norfolk Tides (2nd IL South) vs Gwinnett (4th IL North) 

Celebrate back to school on Tuesday morning with the Gwinnett Braves, as students are welcomed to join the fun at Coolray Field on Belk Education Day. The day also features a special “Goosebumps Book Giveaway” to the first 1,000 fans age 14 and under, courtesy of Scholastic Books. 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.

Durham Bulls Batting Order:

1) L.J. Hoes, LF

2) Ryan Adams, 2B

3) Ryan Flaherty, LF

4) Bill Hall, DH

5) Joe Mahoney, 1B

6) Ronny Paulino, C

7) Brandon Waring, 3B

8) Steve Tolleson, SS

9) Jamie Hoffman, RF

G-Braves Batting Order:

1) Jose Constanza, LF

2) Luis Durango, CF

3) Ernesto Mejia, 1B

4) Stefan Gartrell, RF

5) Jose Yepez, C

6) Josh Kroeger, DH

7) Rusty Ryal, LF

8) Josh Wilson, SS

9) Brian Friday, 2B

By: Tony Piraro

Delgado Starting as G-Braves Seek Series Win Tonight

Photo courtesy of Kyle Hess

Atlanta Braves right-hander Tommy Hanson, pitching on a rehab assignment, threw 5.0 scoreless innings to lead the Gwinnett Braves to a 5-2 victory over the Louisville Bats on Sunday at Coolray Field. Ernesto MejiaRusty Ryal and Brian Friday all homered off Bats’ starter and former G-Brave Todd Redmond in a five-run fourth inning.

Hanson (W, 1-0) allowed just three hits and two walks while striking out five in his first start for Gwinnett since May 31, 2009. The right-hander threw 78 pitches, 48 for strikes in his first game action since being placed on Atlanta’s disabled list on July 31 with lower back stiffness.

“My back felt better, that was the main thing,” said Hanson. “I didn’t have much time to prepare for this start, but I still went out and made pitches. My off-speed stuff was really good. I felt really good with my curveball and slider. I feel good about the way I threw today. I’m looking forward to my next start.”

It was a scoreless game until the bottom of the fourth inning as Hanson and Redmond were caught in a pitcher’s duel. However, Gwinnett opened the floodgates as Josh Kroeger drew a walk and Mejia followed with a two-run blast that cleared the centerfield batter’s eye for a 2-0 lead. Stefan Gartrell stayed hot at the plate with a single, and Ryal followed with a two-run shot of his own, his first with Gwinnett, to give the G-Braves a 4-0 lead. Two hitters later, Friday laced a solo home run to left for the third Gwinnett homer of the frame and a 5-0 advantage.

The three-homer frame was the first in Gwinnett Braves history. The last instance of three home runs in a single inning by a Braves’ Triple-A club came on May 13, 2008, when the Richmond Braves slugged three homers in the sixth inning as part of a 7-1 win at Indianapolis.

Yohan Flande worked 2.0 scoreless innings in relief of Hanson, making his first relief appearance since April 5. The left-hander allowed just one hit and struck out one.

Louisville added two runs in their half of the eighth inning off Peter Moylan to cut the lead to 5-2. Felix Perez capped a 2-for-4 game with a two-run single off Moylan scoring Cody Puckett and Didi Gregorius. Anthony Varvaro closed the door on the Bats with a perfect frame in the ninth inning for his fifth save of the season.

Redmond (L, 8-9), making his first start at Coolray Field since a trade that sent him to the Cincinnati organization, allowed five earned runs on seven hits over 6.0 innings. The longtime G-Brave yielded three homers, walked one and struck out four. Kanekoa Texeira and Nick Masset combined to work 2.0 scoreless innings following the departure of Redmond.

Mejia finished 1-for-4 with his team-leading 24th home run and his International League best 84th and 85th RBIs. Ryal went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and Friday finished 2-for-3 with one RBI.

Photo courtesy of Chris Roughgarden

Monday, August 13th G-Braves Starting Line-up from Coolray Field:

The Gwinnett Braves (55-68) take on the Louisville Bats (48-75) in the series finale on Monday night at Coolray Field, first pitch scheduled for 7:05 PM. Right-hander Randall Delgado (2-2, 4.43) will start for the G-Braves against right-hander Pedro Villarreal (3-9, 4.12) of the Bats. The radio broadcast will air on WDUN 550 AM and 102.9 FM in Gainesville, Georgia with Tony Schiavone calling the play-by-play.

Norfolk Tides (2nd IL South) vs Gwinnett (4th IL North) 

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

Louisville Bats Batting Order:

1) Denis Phipps, CF

2) Didi Gregorius, SS

3) Henry Rodriguez, 3B

4) Neftali Soto, 1B

5) Dioner Navarro, C

6) Felix Perez, RF

7) Chris Valaika, 2B

8) Cody Puckett, LF

9) Pedro Villareal, SP

G-Braves Batting Order:

1) Luis Durango, CF

2) Josh Kroeger, RF

3) Ernesto Mejia, 1B

4) Stefan Gartrell, LF

5) Terry Tiffee, 3B

6) Jose Yepez, C

7) Rusty Ryal, LF

8) Brian Friday, 3B

9) Randall Delgado, SP

By: Tony Piraro

Tommy Hanson Starting for G-Braves Today

Photo courtesy of the 2009 Gwinnett Braves staff photographers

Left-hander Sean Gilmartin earned his first Triple-A victory with 6.2 impressive innings as the Gwinnett Braves defeated the Louisville Bats, 8-2 on Saturday night at Coolray Field. Stefan Gartrell led the offensive attack with a 2-for-3 game including his 18th home run and three RBIs. Josh Kroeger added a pinch-hit three-run homer in the eighth to put the game out of reach.

Gilmartin (W, 1-1), the Atlanta Braves’ first-round pick in 2011, made his Coolray Field debut on Saturday after starting his Triple-A career with two road outings. The left-hander was outstanding, limiting the Bats to just two runs on seven hits while walking two and striking out three. The Florida State University product threw 96 pitches, 61 for strikes and exited to cheers from the 7,747 fans in attendance.

The G-Braves gave Gilmartin an early lead to work with, scoring a run in the first inning.Luis Durango led off the game with a walk from Louisville starter and former Parkview High School standout Tim Gustafson. Durango stole second base for his International League leading 41st theft of the season, then scored on an awkward defensive play by the Bats. Ernesto Mejia reached on a dropped third strike, and catcher Corky Miller’s throw was dropped by first baseman Neftali Soto for an error, allowing Durango to come home.

Louisville tied the game at 1-1 against Gilmartin in the third inning. Miller led off the inning with a walk, reaching base for the first of three times on the night, then was driven home on an RBI single by Denis Phipps.

Gwinnett took the lead for good in the fourth. Mejia led off the frame with a double that was scorched into the left-center gap. Gartrell followed with a two-run blast to left-center, giving the G-Braves a 3-1 lead.

Gartrell drove home Felix Pie with a double in the sixth, raising the lead to 4-1. Gilmartin gave that run back to Louisville in the top of the seventh as Miller blasted a solo shot to left. After a walk to Phipps and a single by Willie Harris, the Gwinnett starter’s night was done.

Ernesto Mejia’s two-out, two-run single in the top of the ninth led the Gwinnett Braves to a 6-4 victory over the Durham Bulls in the series finale on Sunday night at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.

The G-Braves entered the ninth trailing the Bulls 4-3 and three outs away from being swept in the four-game series. The Bulls’ closer Dan De La Rosa immediately got into trouble as he walked Josh Wilson and with one out, walked Brian Friday. G-Braves’ leadoff batter Luis Durango beat out a ground ball to short to load to bases with one out. Wilson then scored from third on a passed ball by catcher Chris Gimenez to tie the game, 4-4. After Josh Kroeger popped-up to short for the second out of the inning, Mejia delivered the clutch single, plating Friday and Durango with the decisive runs.

The comeback win for the G-Braves came after they allowed Durham to come back from a two-run deficit, taking a late lead 4-3.

With the game scoreless in the top of the fourth, Gwinnett got on the board first. Durham starting pitcher Cesar Ramos walked Stefan Gartrell to begin the inning and a groundout to first by Jose Yepez moved Gartrell to second. Terry Tiffee then singled to right, scoring Gartrell from third to give the G-Braves an early 1-0 lead.

Durham rallied in the bottom of the fourth, as former Braves’ infielder Brooks Conrad lined a two-out double to left off Gwinnett starter Sean Gilmartin and scored when Evan Longoria singled to left. The game was tied 1-1 after four.

In the top of the fifth, Rusty Ryal led off with a single to right and moved to third on a single by Friday. A bunt single by Durango scored Ryal from third giving the G-Braves a 2-1 lead. Then with one out, Mejia cracked a single that scored Friday from second moving the Gwinnett lead to 3-1.

Photo courtesy of Kyle Hess

Sunday, August 12th G-Braves Starting Line-up from Coolray Field:

The Gwinnett Braves (53-68) take on the Louisville Bats (48-73) in game three of the four-game series on Sunday night at Coolray Field, first pitch scheduled for 5:05 PM. Atlanta Braves’ right-hander Tommy Hanson (12-5, 4.29 with Atlanta) is expected to make a rehab start for Gwinnett. Former G-Braves right-hander Todd Redmond (8-8, 3.36) will start for the Bats. The radio broadcast will air on WDUN 550 AM and 102.9 FM in Gainesville, Georgia.

Louisville Bats (3rd IL West) vs Gwinnett (4th IL North) 

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

Photo courtesy of Kyle Hess

Louisville Bats Batting Order:

1) Didi Gregorius, SS

2) Henry Rodriguez, SS

3) Felix Perez, RF

4) Neftali Soto, 1B

5) Mike Costanzo, 3B

6) Denis Phipps, CF

7) Willie Harris, LF

8) Corky Miller, C

9) Todd Redmond, SP

G-Braves Batting Order:

1) Luis Durango, CF

2) Josh Kroeger, RF

3) Ernesto Mejia, 1B

4) Stefan Gartrell, LF

5) Terry Tiffee, 3B

6) Rusty Ryal, LF

7) J.C. Boscan, C

8) Brian Friday, SS

9) Tommy Hanson, SP

By: Tony Piraro
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