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LAWRENCEVILLE -- The Gwinnett Braves defeated the Buffalo Bisons 5-4 in the series opener on Tuesday night at Gwinnett Stadium. The G-Braves improve to 40-33 while the Bisons drop to 24-44 on the season.
Gwinnett got two quick runs in the bottom of the first inning. G-Braves’ lead off batter Reid Gorecki reached on a throwing error by Buffalo shortstop Javier Castillo.
Gorecki immediately stole second and Wes Timmons moved him to third with a sacrifice bunt. Brooks Conrad drew a walk and was followed by Barbaro Canizares who smacked a two-run double down the left field line to give Gwinnett a 2-0 lead.
Buffalo got on the scoreboard in the fourth inning. Left fielder Jesus Feliciano drew a leadoff walk and moved to second on a wild pitch.
He then scored on a single by Bisons’ right fielder Emil Brown. Feliciano’s run made it a 2-1 game.
Buffalo scored three times and took a brief lead in the top of the sixth inning. The half inning included a two-run triple from Feliciano that put Buffalo in front 4-2.
However, the G-Braves matched the Bisons’ three runs in the bottom half of the sixth to re-gain the lead. In a rehabilitation outing from the Atlanta Braves, Greg Norton hit a two-run triple to right field that plated Chris Burke and Antonio Perez.
The triple tied the game at 4-all. Gorecki then gave Gwinnett a 5-4 lead with his RBI single to left that plated Norton.
All three of the sixth inning runs were scored with two outs.
With his sixth-inning single, Wes Timmons has now reached base in 20 straight games.
Timmons entered the game leading the International League with a .417 on base percentage.
G-Braves’ starter Jonny Venters pitched five strong innings before allowing the three runs in the sixth. Venters allowed four earned runs in 5 1/3 innings in the no decision start. Gwinnett reliever Boone Logan, who got Gwinnett out of trouble in the sixth with a pair of strikeouts, picked up his fourth win of the season. Logan is now 4-2 with a 3.28 ERA.
G-Braves closer Luis Valdez earned his 13th save of the season with a scoreless ninth.
Buffalo starter Lance Broadway allowed five runs, four earned, in 5 2/3 innings.
Broadway was charged with his fourth loss of the season. He is now 1-4 with a 6.03 ERA.
Gwinnett and Buffalo will play the second game in the four-game series tonight at Gwinnett Stadium.
The G-Braves will send RHP Todd Redmond (3-6, 5.17 ERA) to the mound to face Bisons’ RHP Tobi Stoner (1-0, 4.50 ERA). First pitch on Wednesday is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.