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The Gwinnett Braves rallied in the ninth to defeat the Columbus Clippers 2-1 on Monday night at Huntington Park in Columbus, Ohio.
With the win, Gwinnett (62-48) moves into a tie with the Durham Bulls for first place in the International League South Division. Durham dropped a 6-2 decision to the Indianapolis Indians on Monday.
After six innings of scoreless baseball, the Clippers struck first. Columbus used a pair of doubles in the sixth inning to go up 1-0. Jason Donald led-off the frame with a two-bagger to center field and scored on a one-out double from Columbus shortstop Tony Graffanino.
But Gwinnett took advantage of a Columbus miscue in the top of the ninth inning. Graffanino committed a fielding error that allowed lead-off batter Chris Burke to reach and start the ninth-inning rally. The next batter, Barbaro Canizares, tripled home Burke and tied the game at one. It was Canizares’ second triple of the season. J.C. Holt entered as a pinch runner for Canizares and scored on a sacrifice fly from Brooks Conrad to take the late lead.
Mariano Gomez held Columbus at bay in the final two frames to pick up his team-leading seventh win of the season. Gomez is now 7-3 with a 1.98 ERA this season. Gwinnett starter John Halama allowed just the one run in the sixth in seven strong innings. With the no-decision start, Halama remains at 3-3 with a 3.92 ERA.
Gwinnett and Columbus will play for the final time in the regular season today. Gwinnett will send Todd Redmond (6-6, 4.54 ERA) to the mound to face the Clippers’ Kenny Ray (2-6, 8.18 ERA). First pitch in the series finale is scheduled for 12:05 p.m.