The Gwinnett Braves defeated the Pawtucket Red Sox 5-0 on Thursday night at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, R.I. The G-Braves have now won four-straight and improve to 9-12 on the season while the Red Sox dropped their third-straight and are now 9-10.
G-Braves shortstop Diory Hernandez singled home second baseman Brooks Conrad in the top of the first to give Gwinnett an early 1-0 lead.
Gwinnett added four more runs in the fourth inning to take a 5-0 lead. The top three batters in Gwinnett’s lineup each drove in runs. Gregor Blanco singled in Van Pope for the G-Braves second run of the night. Brian Barton followed with a ground-rule double that scored Blanco to make it a 3-0 game. Conrad then bunted for a single and with an errant throw to first by Red Sox second baseman Travis Denker, Barton was able to scamper home. Then Diory Hernandez, the eighth batter in the frame, capped the inning with a single to center that plated Conrad. All four runs in the fourth were scored with two out.
The five runs were all that Gwinnett starter Tommy Hanson needed. The Atlanta Braves’ top prospect pitched six scoreless innings to earn his first win of the season. Hanson, who started the game with a league-best 29 strikeouts, picked up nine more and now has a total of 38 strikeouts in 26 2/3 innings. Hanson is 1-3 with a 1.69 ERA in five starts this season.
Gwinnett reliever Mariano Gomez pitched three scoreless innings to close out the victory. His unconventional save made him the third G-Braves reliever to record a save. Gomez is now 2-0 with a 0.96 ERA in 18 2/3 innings over eight relief appearances this season.
The G-Braves were led by Brian Barton and Diory Hernandez, who each had three hits on the night. Hernandez drove in two of the five Gwinnett runs.
The G-Braves will try for their fifth-straight win tonight in Pawtucket. RHP Kris Medlen (2-0, 2.04 ERA) will pitch for Gwinnett. Medlen will face Red Sox RHP Michael Bowden (1-0, 0.64 ERA). Game two in the four-game set is scheduled for 6:15 p.m.