Results tagged ‘ Jose Constanza ’

Series Preview: Gwinnett Braves (0-0) at Durham Bulls (0-0)

Pitching Probables
Thu: Gavin Floyd (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Nathan Karns (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Fri: Ervin Santana (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. LHP Enny Romero (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Sat: LHP Daniel Rodriguez (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Matt Andriese (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Sun: Mitch Atkins (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. LHP Mike Montgomery (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

Pitching: The Gwinnett Braves will open their series against the Durham Bulls with two MLB veterans leading the group. Both Floyd and Santana will be on strict pitch counts, as they work their way back to the Major Leagues. Rodriguez, who missed most of last season with elbow ailments in his throwing arm, will make his first start since June 2nd and Atkins will join the G-Braves after spending 2013 with Double-A Mississippi.

Floyd will try to get the Braves off to a good start in 2014, as he is a perfect 3-0 against the Bulls in his career, but hasn’t pitched in a Triple-A contest in seven years. Rodriguez and Atkins haven’t fared well against the Bulls in their respective careers. Rodriguez gave up seven runs in 0.1 IP in his lose start against the Tampa Bay affiliate, while Atkins is 1-1 with a 5.50 ERA in three career starts against Durham.

Nathan Karns will be the opening day starter. The right-hander was a part of the monster trade, which saw the Tampa Bay Rays exchange catcher Jose Lobaton, pitcher Felipe Rivero and outfielder Drew Vettelson for the Washington Nationals’ Karns. The right-hander is a game-changer as he tosses a mid 90’s fastball, hard sinker and a heavy slider. Last season, he struck out 155 batters in 133.0 IP with Double-A Harrisburg.

Karns wasn’t the only one dominating the Double-A circuit. 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 Bay (5IP, 0R) to end the season. He will get the start in game two of the series.

Andriese will make his first start in International League as he was a part of the San Diego Padres organization in 2013, while Montgomery will put his 2-3 record with a 5.27 ERA in five career starts against Gwinnett on the line in game four.

Batting: Offense will be showcased in the series, as both teams have potent attacks. The Braves will have two-time RBI champion Ernesto Mejia leading the middle of the order. In 2013, Mejia struggled against the Bulls, hitting .192 (14-for-73) with two homers, eight RBIs and 26 strikeouts. While, Mejia struggled against the Bulls, Jose Constanza thrived at the dish against Durham pitching. The outfielder batted .340 (17-for-50) with two doubles, two RBIs and six stolen bases in 12 contests against the Bulls. Constanza is the lone active G-Brave to hold a batting average over .300 against Durham in 2013.

While, the G-Braves struggled to hit Bulls’ pitching, Cole Figueroa welcomed G-Braves pitching. The infielder hit .355 (27-for-76) with three doubles, two triples, one homer and 14 RBIs in 20 games against Gwinnett in 2013.

He will be joined veterans Wilson Betemit and Vince Belnome around the infield. Betemit is coming off of an injury-riddled 2013 campaign, but in 2012, he hit .261 with 19 doubles, 12 homers and 40 RBIs in 102 games with Baltimore. He will try to find his stroke in 2014 with Durham.

Belnome hasn’t had a problem hitting at the minor league level. He is a lifetime .300 hitter at the MiLB level, clubbing 58 homers and driving in 312 runners. Despite struggling against the G-Braves in 2013 (.151, 12K), he hit .300 and drove in 67 runs while earning an IL All-Star Game nod.

Bull Rushed: The Gwinnett Braves will look to get off to a good start in 2014 against the Durham Bulls, as they went 6-15 against Durham in 2013. Durham’s stranglehold was more apparent at Durham Bulls Athletic Park, as they won nine of ten games at home.

-JD-

Il Preview: Gwinnett Braves

The IL Preview concludes with the Gwinnett Braves. Last season, Gwinnett had a forgettable season, finishing last in the IL with a 60-84 mark. Injuries at the Major League level and constant turnover at the minor league level crippled the Gwinnett roster.

The Braves will be led by new skipper Brian Snitker. The former Atlanta Braves third base coach has managerial experience at the minor league level, coaching over 2,000 games (1140-1145 record). He will have a good group of players leading the charge in 2014.

Pitching: The Braves pitching staff took a big hit with the losses of Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy during Spring Training. The losses will trickle down to the minor league level, as two potential G-Braves in David Hale and Gus Schlosser will start in Atlanta.

The G-Braves will start the season with Zach Stewart, Mitch Atkins, Daniel Rodriguez, Cody Martin and Yunesky Maya. All five pitchers have pitched at the Triple-A level and come with experience. Atkins has won 33 games between the Pacific Coast League and International League. Last season, he went 5-2 with a 3.47 ERA in 17 games for Double-A Mississippi.

Martin enters the season with the least amount of experience on the staff, but will be leaned on to built upon his successful 2013 campaign. In 13 games (11 starts), he went 3-4 with a 3.49 ERA with 66 strikeouts in 69.2 IP with the G-Braves.

The bullpen will feature a slew of flamethrowers, as Wirfin Obispo, Mark Lamm, Juan Jaime and Luis Vasquez will be eager to close outs games. Obispo returns to Gwinnett after going 2-4 with a 3.53 ERA in 54 relief appearances. He recorded nine saves, striking out 70 batters in 63.2 innings.

Infield: Offensively, the diamond will be loaded with a deep-talented group. Ernesto Mejia, who hit a career-high 28 homers in 2013, returns for his third season with the G-Braves. He has led the IL in RBIs two straight seasons.

Tommy La Stella will join him on the right side. The former Coastal Carolina alum is a lifetime .327 minor league hitter. The second baseman made an impression with Atlanta during Spring Training, batting .255 with four doubles and five RBIs. He will get his first taste of Triple-A baseball in 2014.

The Atlanta Braves No.2 prospect according to Baseball America, Christian Bethancourt will get his first taste of Triple-A as well. He hit .277 (99-for-358) with 21 doubles, 12 homers and 45 RBIs in 90 games for the M-Braves. He set a club record by reaching base in 40-straight games from June 13 to August 14, batting .338 (54-for-160) with 12 doubles, 10 homers and 27 RBI during the streak.

Tyler Greene and Edward Salcedo will fill out the left side. Both players have the ability to drive in runs and steal bases. Salcedo has swiped 80 bags and drove in 211 runners in 471 minor league contests, while Greene has over 150 stolen bases and 373 RBIs in his ten year career.

Outfield: The Gwinnett Braves will be fortunate to feature a major-league like outfield, as Jose Constanza, Todd Cunningham and Joey Terdoslavich will be manning one of the three outfield positions. Terdoslavich returns after a banner season with Gwinnett. He was named an International League midseason and postseason All-Star after hitting .318 (102-for-321) with 24 doubles, 18 home runs and 58 RBI in 85 games. He was named Gwinnett’s Most Valuable player by Atlanta and Gwinnett. He was as selected to represent Team USA in the 15th annual SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game, but did not participate due to his MLB call-up on 7/4.

Constanza returns for his fourth season with Gwinnett. The longest tenured G-Brave returns for his fourth season with the ball club. Constanza enters the season as the G-Braves all-time hits (306), triples (11) and stolen bases (58) leader. In three seasons, he has tallied a .301 (306-for-1,118) batting average with 19 doubles and 69 RBIs.

Cunningham, the switch-hitting outfielder led the squad in hitting with a .265 (113-for-427) batting average. He tallied 13 doubles, five triples, two home runs, 38 RBI and 20 stolen bases in 116 games.

Projected Depth Chart:

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

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

 

-JD-

Spring Training Q&A with Todd Cunningham

Much like David Hale, outfielder Todd Cunningham has seen quite a shift in his expectations this spring.  A year ago, he entered Major League camp as the reigning Atlanta Braves Minor League Player of the Year, an award that earned him a spot as a non-roster invitee.  He played in 22 Grapefruit League games before ultimately opening the season with Triple-A Gwinnett, where he went on to hit .265 with 60 runs scored an 20 stolen bases.  This spring, Cunningham is a member of the 40-man roster with a taste of the Majors under his belt (he hit .250 in eight games for Atlanta last year), vying for a return trip to Turner Field.  Gwinnett Braves Media Relations Manager Dave Lezotte caught up with him today at Champion Stadium in Lake Buena Vista, FL.

Todd Cunningham (center) has hit .250 with a home run and three RBIs in eight games for the Atlanta Braves thus far this spring. (Photo by Chris Roughgarden)

Todd Cunningham (center) has hit .250 with a home run and three RBIs in eight games for the Atlanta Braves thus far this spring. (Photo by Chris Roughgarden)

DL:  Last year, you were a non-roster invitee to Braves Spring Training.  This year, you’re on the 40-man roster.  How does this spring compare to last year?

TC: Every year, you’re just trying to get ready for Spring Training.  Wherever you settle in the lineup or whatever team you end up on, it kind of works itself out.  It’s all about getting ready for the season and being ready to go for game one.

DL: You’re competing for a roster spot with Atlanta, going up against some former Gwinnett teammates like Jose Constanza and Joey Terdoslavich.  What’s that competition like?

TC: We all get along so well, there’s no bad blood among us.  It’s all about the competition.  We go out and we play hard, all of us enjoy the game of baseball.  We have that connection, that bond, regardless of what happens.  It’s all about going out there and playing hard.

DL: Obviously you still root for those guys when they’re at the plate.

TC: Yeah, they’re your teammates.  You’ve come up with them and played with them, so you want everyone to do well.

DL: Last year with Gwinnett, you hit two home runs all year.  In your third game this spring, you homered.  What was it like showing some power in a Major League Spring Training game?

TC: It feels good.  Hopefully that works itself into my swing; it’s something that I’ve tried to incorporate a little bit.  Hopefully that shows up throughout the whole season.

DL: As a G-Brave in 2013, you were the everyday centerfielder.  This spring, you’ve been playing a lot of left field.  Are you still working towards being in center, or is it left field now?

TC: The whole goal is to be able to play as many (positions) as possible.  You start looking at the levels above you, the big league level and who they have, and there’s a lot of contracts out there.  For me and my position, trying to find a way to get in there, you have to be able to play more than one.  The more positions I can play, the better, but obviously the longer I can stay in the middle of the field, the better, too.

DL: Is there different preparation involved for playing the corner outfield spots as opposed to center?

TC: Balls just don’t stay true on the corners, you get all the slices and hooks and top-spin.  It’s a lot about first-step reads.

DL: Last season with Gwinnett, you hit .265 and stole 20 bases.  Is there an area of your game that you’re working on improving for this year?

TC: Just being able to drive the ball consistently.  I’d kind of go through stretches last year where I’d get behind some balls.  To be able to do it throughout the whole year, would obviously improve (my) game.

DL: Last year, you got the opportunity to make your Major League debut with the Braves.  It was a limited stint, but certainly an eye-opening experience for you.  How important is that experience for you heading into this season?

TC: It’s great.  It put me in position to come in as a roster invitee. It was just a really cool experience, to kind of get (my) feet wet.  Especially when we were on that 14-game winning streak, it was a lot of fun to be in that atmosphere.

DL: Brian Snitker is the manager in Gwinnett this year.  You got a chance to work with him at the Major League level last season, what are your thoughts on Snit?

TC: I’m excited to have his experience transferred down to the Triple-A level.  He’s been around the game for a long time, so I’m sure there are things that everyone can pick up from him.

DL: The Gwinnett roster obviously will take shape once the Atlanta roster works itself out, but there should be a veteran presence on the club this year.   I know you guys aren’t thinking about Triple-A just yet, but what’s your early feeling about the Gwinnett club?

TC: The whole goal, like I said, is to get to the big leagues, but also be ready for game one.  I think everyone is going to be on the same page there and be ready in case the opportunity presents itself to be in Atlanta.  As far as how the Triple-A team is going to shape up, I think it’s going to be a lot of guys all with the same goal in mind, which is really cool when you get that many guys on the same page.  It should be an exciting year, wherever I end up.

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

TC: Just the same as I’ve always handled it.  It’s baseball, I’m trying to get better, I have things that I’m working on.  Keep the big picture in mind, trying to get back to Atlanta, and just keep working.

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

Terdoslavich, G-Braves Walk Off, 8-7

LAWRENCEVILLE, GA – After recording a season-high four hits on Friday night, Joey Terdoslavich followed up on Saturday by recording his first two-homer game since April 18, 2011.  His walk-off two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth sent the Coolray Field crowd of 9,284 home happy as the Gwinnett Braves (33-44) came back for a 9-8 win over the Syracuse Chiefs (28-45).  The G-Braves have now won five-straight games.

The G-Braves won despite a shaky performance from starter Omar Poveda. The right-hander allowed a season high five runs on eight hits in 5.0 innings. However, the offense had his back as they pounded out 12 hits and scored nine runs.

Both teams got on the board early, scoring a run in the first.  Syracuse used a lead-off double by Will Rhymes, a sacrifice bunt by Danny Espinosa and an RBI groundout by Corey Brown to take a 1-0 lead. In the bottom of the first, Gwinnett took advantage of a throwing error by catcher Brian Jeroloman to push across their first run.

The Chiefs didn’t stop there, scoring one run in the third, two in the fourth and one in the fifth to take a 5-1 lead. In the third inning, Tyler Moore walked and scored on an RBI double by Chris Rahl. In the bottom of the fourth, Danny Espinosa smacked a two-run double down the left field line, scoring Jeroloman and Rhymes to make it 4-1.  Zach Walters capped the scoring, lacing his 17th homer of the season over the right field fence, extending the lead to 5-1.

Syracuse starter Ryan Tatusko stifled the G-Braves through four innings, as he held the offense to four hits and no earned runs.  However, Gwinnett exploded for six runs off of the right-hander in the bottom of the fifth.  Poveda led off with a single and Jose Constanza followed with a single, putting runners on first and second with no outs.  After a fielder’s choice, Terdoslavich hit his 16th homer of the season over the right field fence.  The dinger cut the deficit to 5-4.  Back-to-back walks to Ernesto Mejia and Alden Carriters set up a two out RBI opportunity for Jose Yepez. The backstop delivered with a two-run double to left, making it 6-5.  Luis Nunez added to lead with an RBI double of his own, extending the lead to 7-5. 

In the ninth, Moore walked to lead off and was followed by a Rahl single.  After Walters showed bunt on the first pitch, he took the next offering from Cory Rasmus (W, 3-1) over the right field fence, giving the Chiefs an 8-7 lead.

For Rasmus, it was his first blown save in eight chances.  However, Chiefs closer Michael Broadway (L, 1-1) didn’t fare any better.  He gave up a leadoff single to Todd Cunningham after a nine pitch at bat, which saw Cunningham battle back from a 0-2 count. The key hit would set the stage for Terdoslavich, who drove Broadway’s first offering out to deep right-center.

Terdoslavich finished the night with a team-high three hits and five RBI, while Constanza, Cunningham and Nunez picked up two hits each.

Walters led the Chiefs, going 2-for-5 with two homers and four RBI.

The Gwinnett Braves return to action Sunday afternoon as they host the Syracuse Chiefs for doubleheader starting at 2:05 PM. Braves right-hander Cody Martin (1-0, 0.00) will get the ball in game one, while Kameron Loe (2-1, 4.19) will toe the rubber in game two. Syracuse will throw left-hander Danny Rosenbaum (5-3, 3.76) in game one and right-hander Tanner Roark (3-3, 4.07) in game two. Listen to the games on WDUN 550 AM and 102.9 FM with Tony Schiavone calling the play-by-play.  Game one of the doubleheader will also be televised on CSS.

The first 2,000 fans in attendance on Sunday will receive a Fifth Anniversary Logo Drawstring Bag courtesy of Dave & Buster’s.  “Family Sunday” also includes Pre-Game Catch in the Outfield prior to game one and the Post-Game Kids Base Run following game two.  To purchase tickets, call the Coolray Field Box Office at (678) 277-0340 or visit gwinnettbraves.com.

 

-Jd-

G-Braves Double Up Syracuse, 8-4

LAWRENCEVILLE, GA – In a season that has seen Joey Terdoslavich do just about everything at the plate, he crossed another feat off his list on Friday night, collecting a season-high four hits to lead the Gwinnett Braves (32-44) to an 8-4 win over the Syracuse Chiefs (28-44). The G-Braves extended their winning streak to four games in front of a Coolray Field crowd of 5,837.

Terdoslavich went a perfect 4-for-4 on the night, scoring three runs and driving in one to back the solid performance by right-hander Joe Bisenius (W, 1-0). Bisenius, signed to a minor league contract by Atlanta out of the independent American Association and assigned to Gwinnett earlier in the day, tossed 5.2 innings with four runs allowed, three earned, on eight hits. The right-hander walked two and struck out six.

The G-Braves took some of the pressure off of Bisenius early, taking advantage of an error to jump out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. After a single by Jose Constanza and fielder’s choice groundout by Todd Cunningham, Terdoslavich singled to right, sending Cunningham to third. Chiefs’ right fielder Chris Rahl misplayed the ball for a fielding error, allowing Cunningham to score.

Gwinnett added another run in the third. Terdoslavich doubled and scored on an error by third baseman Will Rhymes, pushing the lead to 2-0.

The Chiefs came roaring back, scoring a run in the fourth and fifth innings to knot it up. In the fourth, Rahl hit his sixth home run of the season, cutting the lead to 2-1. In the fifth, Brian Jeroloman singled and scored on a double by Corey Brown, making it 2-2.

With the score tied, the G-Braves scored four runs in the bottom half of the fifth off of Syracuse starter Yunesky Maya (L, 2-5). Terdoslavich singled with two outs and came around to score on Ernesto Mejia’s home run to left, his team-leading 18th blast of the season. Gwinnett increased the lead to 6-2 on a two-run single by Matt Pagnozzi.

Syracuse didn’t go away easy, scoring two runs in the top of the sixth. Rahl doubled to start the inning and Zach Walters reached base on error by Constanza, putting runners on second and third with no outs. Carlos Rivero followed with an RBI single and Jeroloman drove in the second run with a sacrifice fly, cutting the lead to 6-4.

However, that would be as close as the Chiefs would get as Gwinnett tacked on two runs late and the bullpen shut it down.

Joe Beimel, Wirfin Obispo and Pat Egan combined to throw 3.1 innings of hitless baseball to secure the victory. Obispo extended his team-beset scoreless streak to 17.1 innings as he tossed two solid frames of relief. Egan closed down a non-save ninth inning, pitching a perfect frame with two strikeouts.

In addition to Terdoslavich’s four-hit night, Alden Carrithers added a 3-for-4 game including a run scored. Seven of the eight Gwinnett position players picked up at least one hit on the night.

Rahl paced the Chiefs, going 3-for-4 with the home run, two runs scored and an RBI.

The Gwinnett Braves take on the Syracuse Chiefs in game two of the four-game series on Saturday night at Coolray Field, first pitch scheduled for 7:05 PM. Right-hander Omar Poveda (5-4, 3.08) will start for the G-Braves, while right-hander Ryan Tatusko (1-2, 3.08) makes the start for the Chiefs. Listen to the game on WDUN 550 AM and 102.9 FM with Tony Schiavone calling the play-by-play. The game will also be televised on CSS.

-JD-

Series Preview: Gwinnett Braves (17-30) vs. Toledo Mud Hens (15-32)

Thu: LHP Daniel Rodriguez (2-3, 5.77) vs. LHP Ramon Garcia (1-4, 5.20)
Fri: RHP Brandon Beachy (0-0, 0.00) vs. LHP Jose Alvarez (4-2, 1.98)
Sat: LHP Sean Gilmartin (2-3, 4.23) vs. RHP Shawn Hill (0-4, 4.92)
Sun: RHP Tim Corcoran (2-3, 3.64) vs. RHP Derek Hankins (1-2, 2.51)

Gwinnett enters the series losing three of their last four. In their last series against Louisville, they were outscored 22-17 and fell to last place in the South Division.

Hitting-
Jose Constanza
continues to close in on his 22-game hitting streak from last season. He currently has hit in 18 straight games, hitting .380 (27-for-71) during that span. He has raised his average to .284 (33-for-116) after starting the season at .163. He is tied for third in the International League in triples (3)… Joey Terdoslavich enters the series leading the league with 19 doubles. In 2011, he set the Carolina League All-Time mark with 52 doubles…

Pitching-
Brandon Beachy
highlights the pitching staff for the weekend. The 26-year-old pitcher was added to the Gwinnett roster by Atlanta on May 19 and was supposed to start that night against the Louisville Bats, but the game was postponed by rain. He has yet to pitch in a live game on his rehab stint. Before suffereing the injury, Beachy was tied for the Major League lead with a 1.98 ERA and led the Majors with a .171 opponent batting average.

Toledo enters the series with the worst record in the International League. They have struggled away from home, posting a 4-18 record. They are currently 17 games behind the front-running Indianapolis Indians in the West Division.

Batting-
Jordan Lennerton leads the Mud Hens attack. The first baseman leads the team in hitting (.327), RBI (26) and second in homers (7). He enters the series with the ninth highest batting average in the International League and is third with a .438 on-base percentage… Nick Castellanos, the Detroit Tigers No.1 prospect according to Baseball America, leads the league in games played (47). He is starting to come around at the plate, hitting .253 (47-for-186) with five homers and 23 RBI.

Pitching-
Toledo possesses the second best ERA in the league, but has only 15 wins to show for it. In 424.1 innings pitched, they have allowed 161 earned runs. Bruce Rendon anchors the back end of the pen. He owns a 0-1 record with a 0.54 ERA. He has converted nine of 10 save opportunities. Jose Alvarez has been the Mud Hens most effective starter. The southpaw leads the team in strikeouts (55) and is second on the squad with 54.2 innings pitched. He will get the ball in game two against the Beachy.

-Jd-

Breaking Bad, Ending Slumps

In last night’s doubleheader split with the Louisville Bats (22-23), the Gwinnett Braves snapped a few bad streaks.

First off, they snapped a ten-game home losing streak that spanned all the way back to April 22nd. Tim Corcoran broke a personal three-game losing streak on the mound, recording his first win since April 7th . He also collected the first hit for a G-Braves pitcher in 2013. Sean Kazmar capped the nightcap by breaking a 0-for-31 spell, connecting for a single in the third inning, recording his first hit since April 28th. With a two-run double in the fifth, he recorded his first RBI since April 30th.

With the victory, the G-Braves avoided the 30th loss mark for the season. Currently at 17-29, the Braves are in the bottom half of the standings, but have played better baseball of late. In their last 10 games, they are 5-5 and have inched closer to the middle of the pack.

The Braves top hurler, Omar Poveda will take the mound tonight. He is 3-2 with a 2.35 ERA. His ERA is third in the league, while he leads the league in WHIP (0.97) and fewest base runners allowed (54).

He will face Chad Reineke of the Bats. The right-hander was originally drafted by the Houston Astros in the 13th round of the 2004 draft. He was traded to the San Diego Padres in 2008 for Randy Wolf, and on August 16, 2008 made his major league debut. He bounced around from SD to Oakland before settling with the Reds organization. He enters his fourth season with the Bats, posting a 26-30 record for Louisville. Reineke is an effective starter, featuring four pitches; a fastball, curveball, slider and change-up. He is 3-3 with a 4.10 ERA in 2013.

G-Bites- Last night, Jose Constanza extended his league-high 17 game hitting streak with hits in both games. The left-handed hitter set a G-Braves record with a 22-game hitting streak in 2012. Also, securing the longest hitting streak in the IL last year.

Series Preview: Gwinnett Braves (16-27) vs. Louisville Bats (20-22)

Sat, May 18
LHP Yohan Flande (1-3, 4.95) vs. RHP Greg Reynolds (3-0, 2.92)
Sun, May 19
RHP Brandon Beachy (MLB Rehab) vs. RHP Pedro Villarreal (1-2, 4.53)
Mon, May 20
RHP Tim Corcoran (1-3, 3.93) vs. RHP Daniel Corcino (2-6, 7.20)
Tue, May 21
RHP Omar Poveda (3-2, 2.35) vs. RHP Chad Reineke (3-3, 4.10)

The G-Braves finished off their current road trip on a sour note, as they dropped the finale in Pawtucket 5-4. After leading 4-0 through 6 ½ innings, the Red Sox scored five unanswered runs to clip the Braves. Bryce Brentz ended it in dramatic fashion, as he hit a walk-off three-run homer against Wirfin Obispo to clinch it for the PawSox. The Braves did finish a nice road trip though, going 4-4 and snapping their 14-game losing skid.

Hitting-
Joey Terdoslavich enters the fold hitting .327 (54-for-165) with seven dingers and 26 RBI. He leads the International League in doubles (15), is second in hits (54) and four in extra base-hits (23). In four games against the Bats in 2013, he is hitting .438 (7-for-16) with a homer and two RBI… Jose Constanza increased his hitting streak to a league-high 13 games last night. After a dismal start, he has caught fire of late, raising his average to .275 (28-for-102). He is tied for third in the IL with three triples.

Pitching-
The Braves staff ranks ninth in the league in ERA with a 4.04 mark. However, their biggest concern has been free passes. They lead the league with 186 walks and have hit a league-high 24 batters. It has not served well at the end of games, as the Braves have six blown saves… RHP Brandon Beachy will make a rehab start on Sunday afternoon for the G-Braves. He will make his first professional appearance since undergoing “Tommy John” Surgery in 2012. He is slated for the 2:05 PM start on Sunday.

G-Bites-
The Braves are currently tied for third place in the South Division and are 13.5 games back of the Norfolk Tides.

Louisville Bats
The Bats have not enjoyed the 2013 campaign either. They hold a 20-22 mark and are currently 9.5 games back of the Indianapolis Indians in the West Division. Louisville is on a two-game losing streak and is 5-5 in their last 10.

Hitting-
Felix Perez leads the offense, hitting .308 (45-for-146) with five homers and 25 RBI. The outfielder has been exceptional with men in scoring position, posting a .313 (10-for-32) clip with one homer and 20 RBI… Fellow outfielder Billy Hamilton has been the beneficiary of the production, as he leads the squad in runs scored (21). The speedster also leads the IL in stolen bases with 21. Last season, he set the Minor League record by amassing 155 bags in his stints with High-A Bakersfield and Double-A Pensacola.

Pitching-
The Braves will miss the overpowering Tony Cingrani (1-0, 0.00 ERA) in the series. The left-hander is not scheduled to pitch this weekend. However, they will have their hands full with right-handers Greg Reynolds and Chad Reineke. Reynolds comes into the series a perfect 3-0 with a 2.92 ERA. Saturday will be his first start of the season against the Braves. On the other hand, Reineke faced the Braves at home on 4/25. He was sharp, hurling 7.0 innings of shutout baseball. He did not factor in the decision, as his team dropped the game 1-0. On the season, he is 3-3 with a 4.10 ERA.

Bat Sounds-
The Bats dropped three of four at home against the G-Braves in April. However, they hold the all-time mark at 16-15.

-JD-

Series Preview: Gwinnett Braves (12-19) vs. Pawtucket Red Sox (17-13)

Mon: Omar Poveda (2-1, 1.93) vs. Rubby De La Rosa (0-0, 7.11 ERA)
Tue: Daniel Rodriguez (1-2, 7.48 ERA) vs. Alfredo Aceves (1-0, 0.00 ERA)
Wed: Sean Gilmartin (2-1, 2.70 ERA) vs. Allen Webster (1-0, 2.70 ERA)
Thu: Yohan Flande (1-2, 4.97 ERA) vs. Terry Doyle (2-2, 3.03 ERA)

Gwinnett- The G-Braves are currently on an eight-game losing streak. Their slide has dropped them to third in the division and a whopping 8.5 games back in the South standings. After getting back to 12-11, the Braves have been swept by the Indianapolis Indians (21-10) and Scranton/ Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (17-11)in the last week.

Hitting- Joey Terdoslavich continues to hit. The outfielder is ninth in the IL in batting average (.333), T-1st in hits (41), 1st in doubles (13), 1st in extra-base hits (19) and 1st in total bases (71). He has amassed multi-hit games in 12 of his last 20… Jose Constanza has been missing in action. Since extending his hit streak to 11 games on 4/28, the outfielder has not appeared in a contest…

Pitching- Poveda will take the ball in game one. In five starts, the right-hander is 2-1 with a 1.93 ERA. He is 5th in the IL in ERA, 3rd in WHIP (0.80) and 1st in batting average against (.136)… Rodriguez suffered a setback last time out, as he was roughed up for seven runs (6 ER) in 3 IP. Prior to the start, he tossed 14.1 scoreless frames. He gets the nod in Game 2… Gilmartin suffered his first loss of the season last time out, but he carried a no-hitter through the first six innings. He will pitch on Wednesday… Flande will toss the finale. The left-hander has moved from bullpen-to-starter well, posting a 1-2 record with a 4.19 ERA in four starts.

G-Bites- Infielder Tyler Pastornicky is set to return to the G-Braves lineup tonight, as he was optioned by the Braves last night.

Pawtucket

Hitting- The Pawtuket attack is led by Jackie Bradley Jr. After struggling in the MLB, Bradley Jr. has found his stroke in Triple-A. In 11 games, he is hitting .302 (13-for-43) with two doubles and four RBI… Bryce Brentz is the muscle in the middle of the lineup, leading the squad in homers (5) and RBI (20)… Jeremy Hazelbaker also has five dingers this season…

Pitching-De la Rosa takes the ball in the opener, the former LAD farmhand has struggled in 2013. He is 0-0 with a 7.11 ERA. He has limited hitters to a .229 batting average, but has walked eight in 12.2 IP… Seasoned Vet, Aceves gets the ball in Game 2. After being sent down by the big club, Aceves was sharp with Pawtucket, tossing six scoreless in a win last week… Baseball America’s No.4 ranked Boston prospect, Allen Webster will start on Wednesday. He has an impressive strikeout rate, as he has set down 26 hitters in 20 IP… Doyle gets the call on Thursday. The right-hander currently leads the team in innings (32.2), walks (18) and strikeouts (28)…

-JD-

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