Brian Barton scored the game’s winning run on a balk in the 10th inning and the Gwinnett Braves went on to defeat the Columbus Clippers 4-2 at Huntington Park on Sunday.
The G-Braves improve to 61-48 while the Clippers fall to 47-60.
With Durham’s 5-4 loss to Indianapolis, the G-Braves closed the gap to one game in the International League South. Gwinnett still leads the IL-Wild Card race.
Gwinnett reliever Luis Valdez earned his fourth win of the season by shutting out Columbus in the ninth and 10th innings. Greg Aquino picked up the loss for Columbus, allowing two earned runs in the top of the 10th inning. Wes Hodges led off with a homer and Michael Brantly drove in Jason Donald to tie the game in the ninth.
G-Braves catcher Clint Sammons was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer in the fifth. Columbus got both runs back in the bottom of the frame. After Barton, who was pinch running for Alvin Colina, scored the deciding run, J.C. Holt put Gwinnett up 4-2 when he scored on a single by Reid Gorecki.
Columbus plays host to Gwinnett in the third game of the four-game set at 7:05 tonight at Huntington Park. The G-Braves will send John Halama (3-3, 4.29 ERA) to face Chuck Lofgren (5-6, 4.54 ERA).