LAWRENCEVILLE — Todd Redmond should be the biggest believer in the Gwinnett Braves’ ability to rally late in a game. For the second consecutive outing, the Gwinnett starter was let off the hook, avoiding his seventh loss of the season.
On Monday, Triple-A Gwinnett (45-40) scored five runs in the sixth inning to wash out the five runs that Redmond gave up in the first two innings at Gwinnett Stadium. Then the G-Braves scored the go-ahead run in the bottom of the eighth to win the series finale against Norfolk 6-5, the first home win for Gwinnett against Norfolk (46-36) in six games this season.
"They don’t quit," G-Braves manager Dave Brundage said. "They could’ve packed it in but stuck with it tonight.
"I’m thrilled with the effort."
Gwinnett designated hitter Greg Norton drove in the eventual game-winning run with an RBI single that scored Reid Gorecki with no outs in the eighth. Vladimir Nunez, Juan Perez, Mariano Gomez and Luis Valdez combined for 6Ã scoreless innings and only allowed three hits out of the bullpen to earn the win in the final game of a four-game home stand, before heading on a pair of road trips with the Triple-A All Star game sandwiched in between.
"Our bullpen was tremendous tonight," Brundage added. "Vladimir did a tremendous job setting the table for the rest of the guys."
In Redmond’s last outing on June 30, Gorecki connected on the first grand slam in franchise history, as well as aiding the team’s biggest rally (seven runs) in an 8-7 Gwinnett win against the Louisville Bats.
In Monday’s outing, Gorecki doubled in the sixth to score Brian Barton, who reached on an RBI single to shortstop. Brandon Jones singled and scored in the sixth and Norton drove in a run to tie the score at 5.
Gwinnett third baseman Wes Timmons reached base on a pair of walks, extending his streak of reaching base safely to 30 games.
Gwinnett rallied despite squandering a scoring opportunity with the bases loaded in the second inning. Jones and Alvin Colina each drew a walk around Chris Burke being hit by a pitch to load the bases. However, that early rally was short-lived. With one out, Brian Barton struck out and Gorecki grounded into a fielder’s choice to end the inning.
"We were dead to rights tonight," Brundage said. "We missed on a couple of opportunities we had.
"This is three games in the last six days where we’ve rallied for the win."
Norfolk got up early in the series finale when third baseman Jolbert Cabrera connected on a two-run home run over the right field wall in the first inning. He added to the lead with a two-run single in the second inning and moved to second on a throw home that got past Colina behind the plate.
With his early inning troubles, Redmond only lasted 2 1/3 innings with five earned runs and allowed four walks. He struggled to find any sense of consistency in the second inning, allowing a lead-off double to Justin Turner, then one-out walks to Robby Hammock and Norfolk’s lead-off hitter Joey Gathright. With the bases loaded, he allowed a walk to Jeff Fiorentino to allow the third run of the game to score.
Norfolk’s Michael Aubrey also drew a walk to load the bases in the second, but the Tides left all three runners on when Brandon Snyder struck out for the final out.
Gwinnett visits Durham at 7 p.m. tonight. The G-Braves’ return home against Norfolk on July 20 at Gwinnett Stadium.