Results tagged ‘ Tampa Bay Rays ’

Series Preview: Gwinnett Braves (51-50) vs. Durham Bulls (51-51)

Pitching probables (All games start at 6:35 p.m.)

Mon: RHP Tyrell Jenkins (1-1, 3.18 ERA) vs. RHP Bradin Hagens (1-1, 3.38 ERA).

Tues: RHP Mike Foltynewicz (1-6, 3.49 ERA) vs. RHP Matt Andriese (2-1, 1.84 ERA).

Wed: RHP Sugar Ray Marimon (3-2, 3.61 ERA) vs. LHP Blake Snell (0-1, 2.25 ERA).

Tyrell Jenkins (Taylor Botta)

Tyrell Jenkins (Taylor Botta)

The Gwinnett Braves worked their way out of the cellar in the International League South Division on Sunday when they beat the Charlotte Knights 5-3 and the Durham Bulls lost 11-1 to the Norfolk Tides. That dropped the Bulls, the Triple-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays, a half-game behind the G-Braves for last place in the division. Gwinnett has won five of the last seven meetings between the clubs this season and leads the season series 7-6. This is the Bulls’ final visit to Coolray Field this season. After an off day on Thursday, the teams will play three more games at Durham from Friday through Sunday, and they have a two-game series at Durham Bulls Athletic Park scheduled for August 21 and September 1. The G-Braves have not taken a season series from the Bulls since they went 11-10 in 2012.

The G-Braves ran their post-All-Star break record to 6-5 with the sweep of Charlotte. Durham, meanwhile, has yet to win consecutive games in the second half and gone 4-7 in that span. The Bulls have the lowest team batting average (.229) and second-highest team ERA (4.64) in the IL for July, but they have slugged 27 home runs through 23 games during the month, which trails only Charlotte’s 33 in that category. Gwinnett’s 11 homers in the July are the second-fewest, ahead of only the nine hit by the Indianapolis Indians. The G-Braves’ .244 batting average for July ranks 11th in the league, but they have managed a 12-12 record since July 1 with the help of a 3.49 team ERA that is the fifth-lowest in the 14-team league.

Pitching: A weekend series vs. Charlotte in which the G-Braves did not allow more than three runs in any of the three victories helped lower the club’s ERA to 3.18 for the season, which is the fourth-lowest of any team in the league. Knights’ outfielder Matt Tuiasosopo hit two home runs on Friday, but those were the only long balls Gwinnett pitchers allowed, and the 51 the G-Braves’ pitching staff has combined to give up are tied for the fourth-fewest in the IL. Durham has the third-highest team ERA in the league at 3.97 and its pitchers have given up the most home runs in the IL with 86. The Bulls have struck out the second-most batters in the league with 761 K’s and issued the second-fewest walks (289), and their relievers have combined for 34 saves, which is tied for the league lead in that department. G-Braves’ hurlers have the fifth-most strikeouts with 723 and the fifth-most walks with 335, while the bullpen has 30 saves to tie for fourth in that category.

Foltynewicz has given up seven of the G-Braves’ home runs allowed total this season and is in his third stint with Gwinnett after two promotions to the Major Leagues with the Atlanta Braves. He worked as a starter in Atlanta from May 1 to June 14, going 3-2 with a 5.19 ERA in nine starts, and pitched three times out of the bullpen from July 7-11, going 0-0 with a 6.75 ERA. Four of his 10 starts for the G-Braves have been quality starts, but the team is 3-7 in those games in part because the offense has provided him the fewest runs of support of any pitcher currently in the starting rotation (14 total, 1.40 per game).

Hagens has made four starts (five appearances) for the Bulls this season after he began the year at Double-A Montgomery, where he posted a 4-5 record and 3.86 ERA in 16 outings (eight starts). He stuck out nine Charlotte batters in his most recent start on July 22 and has a 3.75 strikeouts-to-walks ratio (30 strikeouts/8 walks) since his move to the Triple-A level. Andriese has split the season between Durham and Tampa Bay. He has gone 3-2 with a 3.11 ERA and two saves in 12 outings (seven starts) for the Rays in his Major League rookie campaign. He was optioned to Durham most recently on July 8.

Hitting: Barrett Kleinknecht hit his fourth home run of the season with a solo shot in the seventh inning on Sunday, but the G-Braves still sit at the bottom of the IL in that department with 32 homers and trail the next closest team, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, by 10.  They are on pace 46 home runs for the season, which would be the fewest in franchise history and the fewest in the league since the Tidewater Tides hit 43 in 1980. The lowest season home run totals for Richmond/Gwinnett teams is 68 set in 2001 and tied in 2006. However, the G-Braves have used their team speed to steal 114 bases and tie Indianapolis for the lead in that category. That puts Gwinnett on pace for 163 on the season but still well behind the franchise record of 195 set in 1986.

Durham is third in the league with 100 stolen haves but is also second in the IL with 90 home runs despite a team batting average of .244 that is tied for the second-lowest in the league. First baseman J. P. Arencibia has helped the team home run total with a league-high 20. The Bulls do not lay down many sacrifice bunts (14, second-fewest in the IL compared to Gwinnett’s second-highest total of 52), but they draw the third-most walks of any team in the league with 359. The G-Braves have a league-low 241 walks but also the fewest strikeouts with 503. Durham has whiffed a league-leading 863 times.

Jose Peraza’s team-high 13-game hitting streak came to an end when he went 0-for-4 on Sunday, but he is still tied for second in the league in hits with 110. He is also tied for the league-lead in sacrifice bunts (12) and sacrifice flies (seven) to go with the fourth-highest strikeouts-per-plate-appearance ratio of 12.18. Durham outfielder Taylor Motter won the IL Player of the Week award for June 29 to July 6 and has a .303 batting average for the season that ranks seventh in the league among qualified hitters. His 104 hits on the season are the fifth-most in the IL, and he leads the league in extra-base hits with 42.

G-Bites: Infielders Daniel Castro and Adonis Garcia got recalled by Atlanta on Friday. They both left the Gwinnett game in the second inning to join the Braves in St. Louis. Garcia hit his first career Major League home run in the sixth inning on Sunday, a solo shot that provided the deciding run in their 3-2 win over the Cardinals…Atlanta optioned first baseman Joey Terdoslavich on Friday to make room for first baseman Freddie Freeman’s return from the disabled list…Outfielder Cedric Hunter went 5-for-9 two RBIs and four runs scored in the series vs. Charlotte. He has batted .292 with 14 RBIs and 13 runs scored in 22 games in July to raise his season batting average to .272…With a 6.0-inning start on Saturday during which he allowed two runs (one earned), right-hander Kanekoa Texeira completed his fourth consecutive quality start, which is the longest such streak for a G-Braves’ pitcher this season…After the upcoming weekend series at Durham, the G-Braves will return to Coolray Field for a seven-game homestand from August 3-9 that includes four games against the Rochester Red Wings, the Triple-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins, and three vs. the Buffalo Bisons, the Triple-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays.

-JM

Series Preview: Gwinnett Braves (48-50) vs. Charlotte Knights (57-43)

Pitching probables

Fri: TBA vs. TBA, 7:05 p.m.

Sat: RHP Kanekoa Texeira (1-3, 3.64 ERA) vs. RHP Erik Johnson (8-5, 2.59 ERA), 7:05 p.m.

Sun: RHP Williams Perez (2-1, 1.36 ERA) vs. RHP Brad Penny (5-3, 4.09 ERA), 2:05 p.m.

Williams Perez (Taylor Botta)

Williams Perez (Taylor Botta)

The Gwinnett Braves welcome the Charlotte Knights, the Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox, to Coolray Field for the final time this season still in search of their first victory over Charlotte on their home field. The Knights have won each of the first five games the teams have played in Gwinnett and have outscored the G-Braves 24-15 in those contests, although only one of the games was decided by more than a two-run margin. The G-Braves have gone 2-3 against the Knights in Charlotte, including two wins in a three-game series at BB&T Ballpark from July 2-3 that preceded a six-game losing streak.

Gwinnett remains last in the four-team International League South Division, while the Knights sit in second place, 0.5 of a game behind the Norfolk Tides. The G-Braves face their largest deficit in the standings of the season, as they are 8.5 games behind the Tides and 8.0 games back of Charlotte for the Wild Card playoff spot. This is the first time the teams have not played a home-and-home series this season, as the Durham Bulls, the Triple-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays, will come in for a three-game series from July 27-29.

This will also be the first time Gwinnett has been home since the All-Star break. The G-Braves went 3-5 on a road trip that took them to Syracuse, where they lost three of four games to the Chiefs, and Rochester in a four-game series they split with the IL North-leading Red Wings. Charlotte has won five of its eight games since the break and eight of their last 11, overall, to put them a season-high 14 games above the .500 mark.

Pitching: The G-Braves’ pitching staff has allowed five or more runs four times in its last 15 games and has the fourth-lowest team ERA in the IL at 3.21. The 49 home runs G-Braves’ pitchers have allowed are also tied for the fourth-fewest in the league. Charlotte has a team ERA of 3.53 that ranks seventh in the league and the 70 home runs it has allowed are the fourth-most in the IL. However, the Knights hold an advantage in strikeout-to-walk ratio. They are tied for the third-fewest walks issued with 295 and lead the league with 789 strikeouts, which are 52 more than second-place Durham in that department. Gwinnett pitchers have walked the fourth-most batters in the league with 331 free passes, and their 704 strikeouts rank fifth.

Gwinnett has also used 14 different starting pitchers this season. Perez and right-hander Mike Foltynewicz (1-6, 3.49 ERA) are the only pitchers currently in the rotation that also began the season in Gwinnett, although Perez is on a Major League rehab assignment from the Atlanta Braves. He has made two rehab starts since the All-Star break and gone 0-1 with one run allowed in a combined 6.0 innings, including 10 strikeouts and one walk, in those appearances. Saturday’s starter, Texeira, notched his first victory of the season in his last start, his sixth of the season among 11 relief appearances, on Monday, July 20 when he held the Red Wings to three runs on two hits and three walks with two strikeouts in a 6-3 victory.

For Charlotte, Johnson holds the third-lowest ERA in the league among qualified starters with his 2.59 mark. He trails only former Gwinnett left-handed starter Manny Banuelos, who was promoted to Atlanta on July 2, and his Charlotte teammate right-hander Kyle Drabek. Johnson leads the league in strikeouts with 105, but Charlotte left-hander Casey Jarrett holds the top spot on the club in wins with 9, which ties him for the league lead along with Durham lefty Scott Diamond. Johnson also holds the tops spot in the league with a 1.09 WHIP, while Drabek is tied for third with a 1.14 mark.

Hitting: Charlotte holds the fourth-highest team batting average at .260, while the G-Braves come in 10th with a .252 mark. Both teams have plenty of speed, as Gwinnett is second in the league with 107, one more than the Knights, but Charlotte has much more power in its lineup. The Knights have slugged a league-best 94 home runs, and the G-Braves have managed an IL-low 31. That puts Gwinnett on pace for 46 on the season, which would be the lowest of any IL team since the Tidewater Tides, who were a New York Mets’ affiliate at the time, hit 43 in 1980.

The G-Braves also have the fewest walks and strikeouts of any team in the league. They would be the first club since the 2012 Lehigh Valley IronPigs to finish at the bottom of both categories in the same season. Additionally, their league-low .304 on-base percentage would be the lowest in the IL since the Syracuse Chiefs, who were an affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays at the time, had a .302 mark in 1988.

Individually, second baseman Jose Peraza, the top-ranked prospect in the Braves’ system, is second in the league with 107 hits and fourth with six triples. He enters the series on a season-high 11-game hitting streak during which he has batted .362 (17-for-47) with two doubles, a triple, three RBIs and seven runs scored. He is batting .292 (107-for-367) for the season with eight doubles, six triples, three home runs, 37 RBIs, 44 runs scored and 25 stolen bases, which ties him for fifth in the IL in that category.

Charlotte second baseman Micah Johnson holds the second-highest batting average among qualified batters in the IL with a .328 mark and has the fifth-highest on-base percentage at .379 to go with the third-highest slugging percentage at .486 in 60 games. Third baseman Matt Davidson is tied for fourth in the league with 15 home runs, outfielder Trayce Thompson has the the fourth-most doubles with 23 and fellow outfielder Jason Coats’ 61 RBIs rank third in the league.

G-Bites: Right-handed reliever Brandon Cunniff rejoined the G-Braves during their most recent road trip but is on the disabled list, and righty reliever David Carpenter is back with the club after his first stint of the season with Atlanta. The Gwinnett bullpen also got back right-hander Jake Brigham from a stint with Atlanta…Righty David Peterson received a promotion to Gwinnett from Double-A Mississippi on July 17 and has yet to allow a run in his first two relief outings while picking up his first Triple-A save in his first appearance on July 18 at Syracuse…Right-handed reliever Vin Mazzaro also joined the team after Atlanta signed him as a minor-league free agent on July 10…Righty reliever Carlos Fisher threw 1.0 scoreless inning in the Triple-A All-Star Game on July 15 in Omaha, NE…Outfielder Todd Cunningham broke free of a 1-for-13 skid to bat .500 (6-for-12) with a home run, three RBIs and four runs scored during the four-game set at Rochester.

-JM

From Gwinnett to the Show: Todd Cunningham

Atlanta Braves' outfielder Todd Cunningham had two consecutive three-hit games to begin his tenure in the Major Leagues this season. He batted .286 in 30 games with the Gwinnett Braves to begin the year. (Taylor Botta)

Atlanta Braves’ outfielder Todd Cunningham had two consecutive three-hit games to begin his tenure in the Major Leagues this season. He batted .286 in 30 games with the Gwinnett Braves to begin the year. (Taylor Botta)

After he began the season with the Gwinnett Braves, Atlanta Braves’ outfielder Todd Cunningham got his call to the Major Leagues on May 14 and quickly took advantage of the opportunity to play in the big leagues.

He started each of his first five games as the Braves’ left fielder after he had played 30 games in Gwinnett to begin the 2015 season.

“I just kind of walked into a very fortunate situation where I was playing every day in Triple-A, get called up and have a chance to play for the most part,” Cunningham said. “That’s about as smooth of a transition as you can ask for.”

The 26-year-old switch hitter began the 2015 season with a .286 batting average, five doubles, a triple, 11 RBIs and six stolen bases for Gwinnett, but he caught fire once he joined Atlanta.

He had three hits in both of his first two games and batted .600 (9-for-15) during his first four, with three road games against the Miami Marlins before a home contest May 19 vs. the Tampa Bay Rays. He posted a .357 batting average through his first 10 games, which included three doubles, five runs scored, two RBIs and a stolen base.

“It’s not like it was a complete fluke, I’ve done that in the past. I had a feeling a couple days before I got called up where I felt like I was about to start clicking,” he said. “It happened at a really good time, getting to step in and play right away and ran into a couple early and just kind of fed off of it through the whole series.”

Cunningham spent the majority of April and early May as either the G-Braves’ No. 3 hitter or leadoff batter so he found pitchers attacked him differently as he batted fifth, sixth or seventh in his first four games with the Braves.

“When I was in Miami, they were going right at me throwing balls over the plate,” he said. “Now I’m starting to see the adjustments start to happen so I’ll have to kind of adjust with the pitchers.”

He also changed defensive positions from the minors to the majors. Cunningham was primarily a center fielder in Gwinnett, but he played left field exclusively during his first 10 games in the majors.

“In Spring Training, I got a chance to kind of bounce around and play a lot so it’s not the first time I’ve taken balls over there, but it definitely is different,” he said. “Center is probably my favorite just because balls stay truer and you can open it up and run for a couple, but as long as I’m on the field I can’t really complain, especially when we’re putting together some wins.”

Cunningham had played eight games with Atlanta in 2013, going 2-for-8, but otherwise spent the past two seasons in Gwinnett. He hit a combined .276 with 41 doubles, seven triples, 10 home runs, 96 RBIs and 39 stolen bases with the G-Braves in 2013-14.

He said he spent his time at Triple-A with the mentality that he was already in the big leagues to help him prepare for his eventual promotion. That has also helped him transition to a new level of competition in the big leagues, he said.

“It’s been fun,” Cunningham said of his time as a big leaguer this season. “I definitely can’t complain.”

-JM

From Gwinnett to the Show: Mike Foltynewicz

Right-handed starter Mike Foltynewicz went 0-03 with a 2.08 ERA, 10 walks and 30 strikeouts in four starts to begin the 2015 season with the Gwinnett Braves before he was called up May 1 to the Atlanta Braves, where he is 2-1 with a 5.32 ERA through four starts.

Right-handed starter Mike Foltynewicz went 0-3 with a 2.08 ERA, 10 walks and 30 strikeouts in four starts to begin the 2015 season with the Gwinnett Braves before he was called up May 1 to the Atlanta Braves, where he is 2-1 with a 5.32 ERA through four starts.

After making his Major League debut in 2014 as a reliever with the Houston Astros, right-hander Mike Foltynewicz has established himself as a key member of the Atlanta Braves’ starting rotation after he began the year as a Gwinnett Brave.

The 23-year-old Foltynewicz came to the Braves’ organization via a five-player trade January 14 in a deal that sent Evan Gattis to the Astros. Foltynewicz did not get a win in his four starts to open the season with the G-Braves (0-3), but he still posted 2.08 ERA (5 ER in 21.2 IP) with an International League-leading 30 strikeouts at the time of his promotion to Atlanta on May 1.

He won both of his first two starts for Atlanta and has gone 2-1 with a 5.32 ERA (13 ER in 22.0 IP) and 23 strikeouts in four starts in his first opportunity to be part of a Major League starting rotation.

“It’s been really fun so far,” Foltynewicz said.

Foltynewicz and G-Braves’ pitching coach Marty Reed had worked on his mechanics during his month in Gwinnett to try to help his timing, and thereby his control. He walked 10 batters in his four starts in Gwinnett and has walked 11 during his time with Atlanta, although he walked one batter and posted his third consecutive start with seven strikeouts in his most recent outing May 19 in a 5-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays.

“The first couple of games weren’t as good as I’d have liked them to be, but the last two I’ve really been pounding the zone,” Foltynewicz said. “In the later innings I kind of get a little amped up and try to throw a little to hard, and that’s when the walks tend to happen.”

Although he pitched in 16 games for Houston in the second half of last season, Foltynewicz said he has still had to make adjustments to find success in the big leagues compared to what had become a dominating routine at Gwinnett.

“Both mentally and out there playing, I’m getting settled in,” he said. “‘Every day it’s getting better. You get the learn the guys and just making friends and getting to work with (pitching coach) Roger (McDowell) every day, too, has been pretty fun.”

-JM

Evan Longoria at Coolray Field Thursday, Friday

Photo courtesy of Frank Mitman – Digital Photographic Imaging

One of the best players in Major League Baseball, Evan Longoria will be stopping by Coolray Field tonight and Friday for as part of the Tampa Bay Rays rehab assignment with the Durham Bulls. Thursday night, one of MLB’s best fielders and hitters will be opposing the Braves man of the hour, Randall Delgado. The G-Braves right-hander has been rumored in trade talks the last 48 hours, but will start amidst the rumors tonight for Gwinnett at 7:05 p.m. from Coolray Field.

For the season, prior to tearing his hamstring, the Gold Glove third baseman was batting .329 with four home runs, 19 RBI, 15 walks and 15 runs scored in 82 at-bats with the Rays. He was on pace to have another fantastic, all-star worthy season, as his three-year averages would suggest; .274 batting average, 29 home runs, 107 RBI, 75 walks, 10 stolen bases and 91 runs scored.

“Rays third baseman Evan Longoria was told Wednesday that, at this point, he likely cannot make his hamstring injury any worse at this point, so he will head to Durham to begin a minor-leaguie rehab assignment Thursday, according to the Tampa Bay Times. Manager Joe Maddon told reporters that Longoria would work as strictly as a designated hitter and will likely need just three to four games to get back in shape, though his return will depend on when Longoria feels ready,” CBS sports reports.

Photo courtesy of Frank Mitman – Digital Photographic Imaging

The Gwinnett Braves (47-59) and Durham Bulls (50-56) will play the third game of their four-game series at Coolray Field on Thursday night. The G-Braves will have right-hander Randall Delgado (0-1, 10.80) on the mound, while the Bulls counter with left-hander Cesar Ramos (3-2, 2.36) for a 7:05 PM scheduled first pitch. Listen to the broadcast on WDUN 550 AM and 102.9 FM in Gainesville, GA with Tony Schiavone calling the play-by-play.

Kick off the weekend right with $3 food and drink specials, including special $3 berm seating all game long on $3 Thursday presented by Dave FM. 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

Drew Sutton Catching Some Rays With Tampa Bay

 

Former Gwinnett Brave second baseman Drew Sutton is now living it up in the big leagues after being traded by the Braves organization four days ago. Originally, Sutton was dealt to the Pittsburgh Pirates for cash. However, the Pirates didn’t hold onto him for very long, as the Buccos then shipped the switch hitter to Tampa Bay that same night. For the season, Sutton had the fourth highest batting average (.270) and was fourth on the G-Braves in hits (37) before parting ways from the Atlanta organization.

Rays manager Joe Maddon didn’t waiste anytime with Sutton’s skill-set. Tampa Bay not only sent Sutton straight to the big league club, but in his second game suiting up for the Rays Maddon started Drew Sutton at second base. The former G-Brave did not disappoint, going 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored in his 2012 Major League debut. The following night against the Toronto Blue Jays, Sutton repeated his performance with another 2-for-4 game, alongside two RBI. On the season, Sutton is batting .500 with three RBI and a run scored for the Rays.

The switch hitter has done a great deal of traveling in the last five days, however it has been well worth it. After Cory Gearrin’s call-up to the big leagues with the Atlanta Braves, Sutton is just the second Gwinnett Brave this season to make an appearance in the Major League’s and he certainly won’t be the last. The first place G-Braves are boasting a wealth of talent and it’s only a matter of time before more Gwinnett players are ready for their ascension.

By: Tony Piraro

G-Braves Look To Keep Momentum Going Saturday

4.14.12 G-Braves Game Notes

(Photo courtesy of Kyle Hess)

Christian Marrero (pictured above) and the G-Braves are seeking their sixth straight win tonight, as they play host to the Durham Bulls. Marrero reached base four times last night and is presently second on the G-Braves in batting average (.360), hits (9), total bases (14), slugging percentage (.560), on-base percentage (.429) and OPS (1.691).

Currently, your G-Braves reside alone in first place of the IL South Division with a 6-3 record this season. The Bulls are right behind Gwinnett with a 5-4 mark, after losing two straight to the G-Braves at Coolray Field.

If you woke up late today, then you missed the American Cancer Society 5K/Family Fun Run that was being hosted here, at Coolray Field. If you missed the early morning festivities, be sure you’re at the park when the gates open at 6:00 p.m. tonight because there is a fleece blanket giveaway upon your entrance.

Gwinnett’s offense is really starting to heat up as of late. After a rousing 7-run comeback win in the ninth inning of Wednesday’s game at Norfolk to complete their sweep of the Tides, the G-Braves have begun the season unbeaten (2-0) at home.

Since joining the team on Wednesday, Jose Constanza has been setting the International League on fire. He had the game-tying hit on Wednesday, alongside his three triples in three games thus far. Constanza is leading the team in most offensive categories, including his .455 batting average.

Luis Durango already has six stolen bases this season, as he leads his team with twice as many as the next player. Durango is also leading the team in total bases (16) and hits (13), alongside his stellar defense in centerfield.  

Starting Line-up for Durham (5-4, 2nd) vs Gwinnett (6-3, 1st) on Saturday, April 14 @ 7:05 p.m. from Coolray Field

Southpaw Yohan Flande (0-0, 0.00) will make his second start for the G-Braves this season, as he will oppose the Bulls righty Matt Torra (1-0, 4.76).

Durham Bulls Batting Order:

1) Will Rhymes, 2B

2) Tim Beckham, SS

3) Brandon Guyer, LF

4) Matt Mangini, 1B

5) Leslie Anderson, DH

6) Jeff Salazar, RF

7) Shawn O’Malley, 3B

8) Craig Alberanz, C

9) Kyle Hudson, CF

G-Braves Batting Order

1) Luis Durango, CF

2) Jose Constanza, LF

3) Drew Sutton, 2B

4) Ernesto Mejia, 1B

5) Joey Terdoslavich, 3B

6) Christian Marrero, DH 

7) Jordan Parraz, RF

8) Josh Wilson, SS

9) Jose Yepez, C

-Tony Piraro

First Place G-Braves Seeking Fifth Straight Win

4.13.12 GBraves Game Notes

(Photo courtesy of Karl Moore)

Last night, the Gwinnett Braves opened their 2012 home schedule with a 7-1 win over the Durham Bulls in front of 4,699 fans at Coolray Field. Jose Constanza and J.C. Boscan each drove in two RBI apiece, while right-hander Julio Teheran logged five scoreless, three-hit innings to pick up his first victory as the G-Braves moved to 5-3 on the season.

The reigning IL Pitcher of the Year and 2011 Rookie of the Year, Teheran (1-0) lived up to the billing, working five innings of scoreless baseball. In addition to four strikeouts over five scoreless innings, the right-hander also picked off two base-runners from first. With his first win of the season, Teheran lowered his ERA from 16.20 to 4.05.

Gwinnett scored a run in the bottom of the first and never trailed in the contest. Luis Durango walked to lead-off the bottom half of the first, then advanced to second after stealing his fifth base of the young season. Following a perfectly executed sacrifice bunt by Jose Constanza to advance Durango to third base, Drew Sutton laced a single into right field to give Gwinnett an early 1-0 lead.

The G-Braves took full advantage of another lead-off walk that was issued by Bulls starting pitcher Jhonny Nunez in the fourth inning. After Ernesto Mejia reached base, Gwinnett followed with back-to-back singles by Joey Terdoslavich and Jordan Parraz to load the bases. Following a lineout by Josh Wilson, Boscan ripped a two-run single to give the G-Braves a 3-0 lead. The next batter, Durango, grounded into a fielder’s choice, adding another run to the G-Braves lead, 4-0, as they headed to the fifth inning.

Parraz led off the sixth inning with his second hit of the night, and Wilson followed with a base hit of his own. Following back-to-back strikeouts, Constanza drilled a ball into right-center for his second triple in two games, giving the G-Braves a 6-0 lead.

Starting Line-up for Durham (5-3, T-1st) vs Gwinnett (5-3, T-1st) on April 13 @ 7:05 p.m. from Coolray Field

Right-hander Eric Junge (0-1, 10.80) is scheduled to start for the G-Braves, while the Bulls counter with right-handed ace Chris Archer (1-0, 1.50). Friday the 13th’s game features a special appearance by Veggie Tales and Fox 5 Friday Fireworks following the action. Listen to the game on WDUN 550 AM and 102.9 FM with Tony Schiavone calling the play-by-play.

Durham Bulls Batting Order:

1) Will Rhymes, 3B

2) Tim Beckham, SS

3) Brandon Guyer, RF

4) Matt Mangini, DH

5) Leslie Anderson, LF

6) Juan Miranda, 1B

7) Jesus Feliciano, CF

8) Nevin Ashley, C

9) Shawn O’Malley, 2B

G-Braves Batting Order

1) Luis Durango, CF

2) Jose Constanza, LF

3) Drew Sutton, 2B

4) Stefan Gartrell, DH

5) Joey Terdoslavich, 3B

6) Christian Marrero, 1B

7) Jordan Parraz, RF

8) Josh Wilson, SS

9) J.C. Boscan, C

-Tony Piraro

Opening Night, Tommie Aaron Tribute and Starting Line-up’s

4.12.12 GBraves Game Notes

(Photo courtesy of Karl Moore)

What a beautiful day for baseball? The weather may be a little chilly, but the second place G-Braves are sure to keep you warm. Prior to the first pitch of tonight’s game, which is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. local time, be sure to be inside Coolray Field to witness the re-retirement ceremony of Tommie Aaron.

The older brother of Hank Aaron had his No. 23 retired by the Richmond Braves when they were still stationed in Virginia. Tommie is actually the only Triple-A Brave to have his number retired in organizational history. However, once the Braves left Richmond in 2008, Aaron’s No. 23 was no longer honored.

Therefore, tonight from Coolray Field in Lawrenceville, the Gwinnett Braves will honor the former legend by re-retiring the No. 23 before the G-Braves play host to the Durham Bulls.

Currently, the G-Braves are coming off a huge win in Norfolk on Wednesday afternoon to complete their sweep of the Orioles Triple-A affiliate. The Tides were actually leading Gwinnett by seven runs heading to the ninth inning when the G-Braves bats exploded. Gwinnett scored seven runs in their last at-bats to tie the game, then added a few more runs in extra innings to grab the victory, 14-12. With the win, the G-Braves move their record to 4-3 on the season, placing them in second place behind Durham.

Home Opener Starting Line-up for Thursday, April 12 from Coolray Field in Lawrenceville, Georgia

Durham Bulls RHP: Jhonny Nunez (0-0, 2.75) vs G-Braves RHP: Julio Teheran (0-0, 16.20)

Durham Bulls Batting Order:

1. 2B, Will Rhymes

2. SS, Tim Beckham

3. RF, Jeff Salazar

4. 3B, Matt Mangini

5. DH, Leslie Anderson

6. 1B, Juan Miranda

7. CF, Jesus Feliciano

8. C, Nevin Ashley

9. LF, Kyle Hudson

G-Braves Batting Order:

1. CF, Luis Durango

2. LF, Jose Constanza

3. 2B, Drew Sutton

4. DH, Stefan Gartrell

5. 1B, Ernesto Mejia

6. 3B, Joey Terdoslavich

7. RF, Jordan Parraz

8. SS, Josh Wilson

9. C, J.C. Boscan

-Tony Piraro

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