G-Braves vs. Louisville
When: 2 p.m. today
Where: Gwinnett Stadium, Lawrenceville
TV, radio: CSS, 1240-AM
LAWRENCEVILLE — Gwinnett Braves manager Dave Brundage knew better than to relax with two outs against the Louisville Bats on Monday. That’s when things took a turn for the worse at Gwinnett Stadium.
"We gave them six runs tonight," Brundage said. "You can’t give a good team like that too many extra opportunities, because they’ll take advantage of it."
The Bats (42-35) scored both of their sixth-inning runs and all four runs in the eighth inning with two outs in an 8-2 win against Gwinnett (42-37).
Triple-A Louisville tagged G-Braves reliever Jon Huber for all four runs with two outs in the eighth with RBI singles from Chris Valaika, Corky Miller and a two-run home run from pinch hitter Danny Dorn.
That’s definitely a step back for the G-Braves bullpen after not allowing a run in the past nine innings of work, dating back to last Friday in the eighth inning against the Buffalo Bisons.
"They came up clutch offensively in big situations tonight," Gwinnett second baseman Brooks Conrad said. "You have to tip you’re hat to them because they got it done tonight."
The only run that Louisville scored before two outs were recorded was a ground out by Chris Heisey in the first inning, scoring leadoff hitter Luis Bolivar from third.
Gwinnett’s final run came as a result of an RBI single from Brandon Jones (3-for-4), which scored Greg Norton in the eighth inning.
Conrad scored in the seventh from second on a throw that pulled the Bats’ first baseman off the bag. He’s now scored in four consecutive games, and 13 of Gwinnett’s last 20 outings.
"Brooks really plays the game hard, the way it’s supposed to be played," Brundage said.
"On that play I was going home because I saw their guy bobble the ball when he fielded it," Conrad said. "I was thinking maybe the throw would get away, and it pulled him off the bag on the throw."
Gwinnett’s Wes Timmons reached base when he was hit by a pitch in the third inning, extending his streak of reaching base to an International League season-leading total of 25 games. He also singled in the ninth inning.
The only player with a longer streak is Louisville’s Adam Rosales (1-for-4) who now sits at 29 games, but that streak dates back to last season with trips up to the Cincinnati Reds mixed in.
Louisville scored in the sixth inning a two-out single from Rosales, then a two-run double from Valaika. Darnell McDonald had a pair of doubles for the Bats with an RBI and scored a run.
After falling behind 2-0 in the first, Gwinnett starter Jonny Venters settled down to only give up three hits and allow six runners to reach base during the next 4 2/3 innings of work. This was only the fourth outing for Venters since a June 13 callup from Double-A Mississippi.
"I thought tonight was a very positive outing for him," Brundage said. "He threw the ball well, except for a couple of mental lapses."
Edwin Encarnacion started Louisville’s rally in the sixth when he reached on a one-out walk, and then McDonald reached on a fielder’s choice. Rosales followed that up with his RBI single.
Gwinnett’s troubles with leaving runners on base continued. Conrad and Jones reached on one-out singles in the second, but were left stranded after the next two hitters grounded out.
Reid Gorecki kept the seventh inning alive with a perfectly placed bloop hit to short left field that ended up as a double.
However, Gwinnett stranded a pair of runners in scoring position in the seventh when Jordan Schafer flew out to end the inning.
He finished the game 0-5, after putting together two hits on Sunday in his first full game back from the disabled list.
Gwinnett and Louisville wrap up the four-game series at 2 p.m. today at Gwinnett Stadium. Today’s game will be broadcast regionally on CSS, as well as becoming the first Triple-A game shown live and in its entirety on the MLB Network.