Results tagged ‘ Jose Lugo ’

Constanza Extends Franchise Record Hit Streak to 22 Games

Photo courtesy of Kyle Hess

Jose Constanza was 2-for-4 on Thursday night against the Indianapolis Indians, as he extended his 22-game hitting streak, which is the longest in the International League since the record 43-game streak of Brandon Watson of Columbus in 2007. The speedster has also raised his batting average to an IL-leading .324 mark on the season.

Constanza has obliterated the old Gwinnett franchise record hit streak of 14 games, which was set by two players in team history; Barbaro Canizares and Felix Pie, who accomplished the feat earlier this season.

The Atlanta Braves unfortunately have no room for the left fielder at the current time, however his role has never been greater within the organization. Constanza offers a variety of talents from speed to defensive awareness, making him invaluable to Gwinnett and the Braves. His current hit streak is just a small sample size of what the man can do on a regular basis. Constanza is hitting .391 during his current 22-game run.

Photo courtesy of Chris Roughgarden

The G-Braves return to Coolray Field Friday night to open a four-game series with the Empire State Yankees as Constanza looks to extend his streak to 23 games. Gwinnett Left-hander Jose Lugo (2-5, 5.02) will start against the Yankees right-hander John Maine (3-3, 6.28). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. on Julio Teheran Day and Superhero Night. Listen to the broadcast on WDUN AM 550/FM 102.9 in Gainesville, Georgia with Tony Schiavone calling the play by play.

Come celebrate Julio Teheran being named to the 2011 Pert All-Star Team, while watching out for your favorite superhero dressed-up around the stadium sponsored by 12 Stone. Immediately following the game, stick around for Fox 5 Friday Fireworks. A spectacular fireworks display will light up the night following every G-Braves Friday home game.

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

Storylines Since the Break

A new post on your Gwinnett Braves has been long overdue since the start of the final 52-game stretch of the regular season.  The G-Braves are off to a 1-4 start since the Triple-A All-Star break and maintain a 1.0-game lead on Durham for third place in the International League South Division.  Dave Brundage’s club stands 10 games behind South-leading Charlotte with time still on the clock to catch the Knights, but it’s clear that the time is now to make a move up the standings.

Here’s some of the storylines playing out since the break:

Constanza has hit in a franchise-record 19-straight games as of July 17. (Chris Roughgarden)

Jose Constanza is on a tear that may not end any time soon.

Constanza entered the All-Star break with a 14-game hitting streak in tact, tying the existing Gwinnett franchise record shared by Barbaro Canizares (2010) and Felix Pie (2012).  He’s re-written the record book with hits in five-straight games since, giving him a 19-game hitting streak as of July 17.  That streak is the second-longest in the International League this season, trailing only a 20-game streak accomplished by three players including former Toledo Mud Hen Brad Eldred.  Constanza isn’t just collecting a hit a night to advance history, he’s often doing it with huge, multi-hit efforts.  He’s logged more than one hit in 12 of the 19 games, hitting an impressive .400 (34-for-85) on the streak.  Not surprisingly, he’s shot to the top of the IL in batting average, now leading the circuit with a .322 mark.

Mejia leads the IL with 106 hits and ranks fourth with a .308 batting average. He’s among offensive leaders in just about every other category. (Karl Moore)

Ernesto Mejia has been even better since appearing in the All-Star Game.

What’s left to prove for Mejia after his first Triple-A All-Star Game selection?  Plenty.  He’s continued to do it with his bat, hitting .354 with four homers and nine RBI over the first 12 games of July.  The slugging first baseman is riding a three-game multi-hit streak that has raised his average to .308, fourth-best in the International League.  He leads the league with 106 hits (amazing for a player with such power to lead in total hits), while ranking second in total bases (189), tied for second in extra-base hits (44), tied for third in RBI (62), fourth in slugging percentage (.549), fifth in OPS (.916) and tied for fifth in home runs (19).  If he can keep up the pace, the IL Triple Crown could be within his grasp in his first year at the level.

Redmond went 6-6 with a 3.58 ERA in 18 starts for the G-Braves before the trade. (Kyle Hess)

It’s going to be weird not seeing Todd Redmond pitch every fifth day.

One constant over the first four years of G-Braves baseball has been the consistency of Redmond in the rotation.  The all-time wins leader in Gwinnett history was shipped to Cincinnati in exchange for shortstop Paul Janish on July 14.  Redmond went 34-30 with a 3.78 ERA in 101 games, 97 starts in a G-Braves uniform, making him one of the faces of the young franchise.  He’ll certainly be most remembered for his nine-inning no-hitter at Louisville on May 28, 2010, still the only no-no thrown by a G-Brave.  Die-hard fans will certainly remember his outstanding 2011 season in which Redmond went 10-8 with the IL’s third-best ERA of 2.92.  One thing is for sure, it’s going to be weird not seeing “Red” on the mound at Coolray Field.  Even stranger, he may face his old club when his new team, the Louisville Bats, come to town in August.

Since throwing his first career complete game on June 3, Teheran is 1-3 with an 8.56 ERA in his last six starts. (Kyle Hess)

With Redmond gone, who steps up?

It’s no secret that even when Redmond was still a member of the rotation, Gwinnett starters had been struggling.  The question is, who is able to shake off those struggles and consistently win for this team?  We’ve seen flashes of dominance from Julio Teheran, Eric Junge, Yohan Flande and Jose Lugo this year, but who takes the reigns as the staff ace?  Teheran would be the likely candidate given what he did just a season ago.  There’s still time for the 21-year-old to improve upon a 6-5 record and uncharacteristic 4.96 ERA.  Randall Delgado served up six runs in his first Triple-A start since being optioned to Gwinnett by Atlanta, but could also ressurect his season with a strong finish in Triple-A.

McCurry has thrown 5.0 scoreless innings across two appearances with Gwinnett this season. (Leslie Watts)

There’s a whole lot of new faces here.

Terry Tiffee, Cole McCurry, Andy Russell…who are these guys?  The G-Braves’ roster underwent nine transactions this past weekend, giving the roster a bit of a new look.  Not only the addition of Tiffee, a third baseman who has logged Major League time in Minnesota and Los Angeles (Dodgers), McCurry, a reliever who came over from the Baltimore  system earlier this year and Russell (not to be confused with Adam), a 28-year-old reliever in just his second U.S. season after pitching in his native Australia, but also the “re-addition” of Jordan Parraz.  Parraz had been out since May 7 with a broken left hand, but went 2-for-5 with a pair of doubles in his first game back with Gwinnett on July 14 at Louisville.  Which of the new faces becomes a key piece of the puzzle?

Carlyle ranks second among IL relief leaders in fewest walks per 9.0 innings with a 1.76 mark. (Melinda Pease)

With a slim lead late in the game, who gets the call?

Triple-A All-Star Cory Gearrin is currently on the DL, so who gets the coveted closer’s role?  Jaye Chapman posted two saves and a win in three scoreless outings from July 4-12, but suffered a tough letdown in a blown save and loss on July 14 at Louisville.  Buddy Carlyle is the active bullpen leader in ERA (2.34) and wins (5), but gave up the grand slam to Bats’ catcher Dioner Navarro that defeated the G-Braves on that same July 14 evening.  Don’t count out the rest of the pen, Billy Bullock, Adam Russell, Dusty Hughes and others to get on track, but the late innings will still likely belong to Chapman and Carlyle.

That’s just a small sampling of what’s going on with the Gwinnett Braves just past the half-way point of July.  To find out how it all plays out, keep coming back to the G-Blog and gwinnettbraves.com, as well as catching the radio broadcasts with Tony Schiavone on WDUN 550 AM / 102.9 FM and WDUN.com.

-DL

G-Braves, Knights Suspended by Rain Tuesday

Photo courtesy of Kyle Hess

LAWRENCEVILLE, GA – Rain has forced the suspension of Tuesday night’s series finale between the Gwinnett Braves and Charlotte Knights at Coolray Field. The game was scoreless when a storm stopped the action heading into the bottom of the second inning. The game will be resumed at Knights Stadium in Fort Mill, SC on Thursday, July 5 at 5:15 p.m. A seven-inning contest will follow the continued game.

Tickets for Tuesday’s game can be exchanged for tickets to any remaining 2012 regular-season game by visiting the Coolray Field Box Office.

Julio Teheran made the start for Gwinnett on Tuesday prior to the rain. The right-hander worked a scoreless first inning before the weather cut short play in the second inning. Unfortunately for the G-Braves ace, his next start is now TBA.

The G-Braves (39-47) and Knights (48-38) will play a regularly-scheduled nine-inning game at Knights Stadium on Wednesday night, first pitch scheduled for 7:15 PM. Left-hander Jose Lugo (1-4, 5.77) is expected to start for Gwinnett against right-hander Deunte Heath (4-2, 1.70) of Charlotte. The game will be broadcast on WDUN 550 AM and 102.9 FM in Gainesville, GA with Tony Schiavone calling the play-by-play.

The Gwinnett Braves return to Coolray Field on Friday, July 6 as they open a three-game series against the Durham Bulls. Tickets for all remaining 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 & Dave Lezotte

G-Braves Can’t Slow Down Indianapolis Offense

Photo courtesy of Kyle Hess

LAWRENCEVILLE, GA. – The Gwinnett Braves led 2-1 after the first inning, but ultimately fell 5-4 to the Indianapolis Indians in the first game of a four-game series on Monday evening at Coolray Field. Jose Lugo made the spot start for Gwinnett and allowed five runs, four earned, over 6.1 innings in the loss. As a result of their 15th loss in the last 20 games and Charlotte’s 5-2 victory over Columbus, the G-Braves find themselves a season-worst 5.0 games behind the Knights (42-30) for first place in the International League South Division.

Ernesto Mejia went 2-for-4 with a solo home run, but it would not be enough for the G-Braves. He crushed his 13th home run of the season, a solo shot to left in the third inning off VandenHurk, to cut the deficit to 4-3. The Gwinnett slugger went 2-for-4 with six total bases, a double, a home run, two runs scored and his team-leading 49th RBI.

The IL West leading Indians jumped out to an early lead almost immediately. The second hitter of the game, Gorkys Hernandez, scalded a triple into the gap and then scored when the following hitter Starling Marte drove him home on a sacrifice fly.

Gwinnett wasted little time responding with two runs of their own in the bottom half of the first. Luis Durango singled for his first of two hits on the night, and two batters later, Mejia doubled to put two runners in scoring position. Felix Pie came through with a clutch two-run double that gave Gwinnett their only lead of the night at 2-1.

Photo courtesy of Karl Moore

Lugo (L, 1-2) worked right into a jam in the top of the second. Georgia native Brandon Boggs led off with a double, then scored on an Anderson Hernandez single to tie the game. Pitcher Rick VandenHurk followed with a run-scoring single to put the Indians ahead, and four batters later, Marte drove in his second of three RBIs on the night when he singled home VandenHurk to raise the lead to….

To read the rest of Monday’s recap, simply click the link: Indianapolis Sneaks Past G-Braves, 5-4

Or visit the home of the Gwinnett Braves at: gwinnettbraves.com for everything G-Braves and more…

By: Tony Piraro

First Place Indians Provide Huge Test for Gwinnett

Photo courtesy of Melinda Pease

The Gwinnett Braves began their nine-game homestand in eight days on Thursday night with a loss to Columbus. The G-Braves wound up losing the series 3-2 after sweeping the doubleheader from the Clippers, then dropped the next two contests. On Father’s Day the G-Braves were trailing by just one run for most of the game until late in the ballgame when the Gwinnett bullpen surrendered three runs. Columbus won the season-series with the G-Braves 5-3 after taking two of three from Gwinnett in Ohio earlier this month.

Monday the G-Braves welcome the International League West leading Indianapolis Indians to Lawrenceville for four games to conclude Gwinnett’s current nine-game homestand. The Pittsburgh Pirates Triple-A affiliate is currently in first place in the IL West with an impressive 40-29 record. They lead the next closest team in the division, Columbus, by a staggering 7.5 games which is easily the biggest first place lead in the league.

The Indianapolis Indians are stacked with former Major League pitching talent such as; Rick VandenHurk, JoJo Reyes, Daniel Cabrera, Daniel McCutchen and Jeff Karstens just to name a few. Indianapolis will be one of the G-Braves toughest tests so far this season at home.

Photo courtesy of Karl Moore

Sunday, June 17 Starting Line-up from Coolray Field in Lawrenceville, Georgia:

The second place Gwinnett Braves continue the homestand with a four-game series against the IL West leading Indianapolis Indians on Monday night at Coolray Field. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM with G-Braves southpaw Jose Lugo (1-1, 3.30) set to make the spot-start against Indianapolis right-hander Rick VandenHurk (4-0, 1.14). The game will be broadcast on WDUN 550 AM and 102.9 FM in Gainesville, GA with Tony Schiavone calling the play-by-play. The game will also air on CSS.

Indianapolis Indians (40-29, 1st IL West) vs Gwinnett (37-34, 2nd IL South) 

Monday 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 Splash Day at Coolray Field as the G-Braves recognize local swim teams. 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 Karl Moore

Indianapolis Indians Batting Order:

1) Chase d’Arnaud, SS

2) Gorkys Hernandez, LF

3) Starling Marte, CF

4) Jeff Clement, 1B

5) Yamaico Navarro, 2B

6) Brandon Boggs, RF

7) Tony Sanchez, C

8) Anderson Hernandez, 3B

9) Rick VandenHurk, P

G-Braves Batting Order

1) Jose Constanza, LF

2) Luis Durango, CF

3) Tyler Pastornicky, SS

4) Ernesto Mejia, 1B

5) Felix Pie, RF

6) Ruben Gotay, 3B

7) Josh Wilson, 2B

8) J.C. Boscan, C

9) Jose Lugo, P

By: Tony Piraro
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