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Gilmartin grabs 1st win for G-Braves, 8-2 over Louisville

POSTED: August 12, 2012 12:16 a.m.

LAWRENCEVILLE – 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 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.

Cole McCurry (H, 3) stranded two inherited runners for Gilmartin in the seventh, then added a scoreless eighth inning. Andy Russell worked a scoreless non-save ninth.

Kroeger increased the lead to 8-2 in the eighth with a pinch-hit three-run homer to right, his 10th clout overall this season and first with Gwinnett. His blast was just the second by a G-Braves’ pinch hitter this season.

Gustafson (L, 4-4) took the loss with four runs, three earned over six innings for Louisville. Carlos Fisher surrendered an additional three earned runs over one inning of work for the Bats.

The Gwinnett Braves (53-68) take on the Louisville Bats (48-73) in game three of the four-game series at 5:05 Sunday night at Coolray Field. 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.


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