The Gwinnett Braves closed out the regular season with a 7-4 win over the Charlotte Knights Monday at Gwinnett Stadium. The G-Braves play host to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre at 7 p.m. Wednesday to open the first round of the Governor’s Cup playoffs at Gwinnett Stadium.
In the regular season finale, Matt Young, promoted from Double-A Mississippi just four days ago, belted his first home run for the G-Braves in the first inning. Gwinnett added another pair of runs in the first on RBI singles from Diory Hernandez and Alvin Colina to make the lead 3-0.
Each time Charlotte cut into the lead, Gwinnett answered.
In the fourth, Wilson Betemit hit his first of two solo home runs for Charlotte. But then Jason Heyward plated Matt Young for the G-Braves in the bottom of the inning to put the G-Braves up by three again. Brian Barton scored on a sacrifice fly by Van Pope to extend the Gwinnett lead to 5-1 in the third.
Charlotte cut the lead to one in the fifth as Betemit again hit a home run, Justin Knoedler scored for the Knights on a bases-loaded groundout and Brady Shoemaker scored on a pass ball.
But once more Gwinnett had an answer. Barton led off with a single in the bottom of the fifth, advanced to third on a pickoff attempt error and scored on a wild pitch. Barton added an RBI-double in the sixth that drove in Heyward.
Barton was 3-for-4 with two runs to lead the G-Braves’ offense. Heyward was 2-for-4 with two runs and an RBI.
Jonny Venters earned his fourth win of the season, holding the Knights to two earned runs on five hits in six innings. Mariano Gomez earned his eighth save in as many opportunities by pitching a hitless ninth. Francisley Bueno and Jeff Lyman both held Charlotte hitless in the seventh and eighth innings, as well.