LAWRENCEVILLE, GA - Pitching was showcased on Sunday afternoon at Coolray Field as four Gwinnett Braves (34-45) pitchers combined to allow two runs in 14.0 innings. Despite solid pitching performances in both ends of the doubleheader, the G-Braves settled for a split with the Syracuse Chiefs (29-46), taking game one by a 5-1 score and losing game two, 1-0.
In game one, right-hander Cody Martin (W, 2-0) dazzled in his second start for Gwinnett, hurling 7.0 innings, scattering six hits, allowing one run and striking out six to pick up his second victory of the season. His complete-game effort was the first by a G-Braves pitcher this season and the second of his career.
The G-Braves got on the board early, scoring in the top of the first. After three consecutive singles by Todd Cunningham, Alden Carrithers and Joey Terdoslavich, Stefan Gartrell was plunked by a pitch from Syracuse starter Danny Rosenbaum, forcing in a run for a 1-0 lead.
Gwinnett manufactured a run in the bottom of the second. Luis Nunez led off with a single, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Martin and scored two batters later on a groundout by Carrithers, extending the lead to 2-0.
The G-Braves put it away in the bottom of the fifth inning. Terdoslavich smacked a lead-off double and Ernesto Mejia singled, putting runners on the corners with no outs. Gartrell followed with a towering three-run homer to left, his third of the season and franchise-record 48th career homer with Gwinnett. The blast extended the advantage to 5-0.
Five runs would be plenty of support for Martin, who extended his scoreless streak to 13.2 innings to start his Triple-A career. That streak was broken in the top of the seventh inning as Carlos Rivero lifted a sacrifice fly to right scoring Zach Walters. Martin retired Will Rhymes on a game-ending groundout to complete the 5-1 win.
Rosenbaum (L, 5-4) yielded two runs, one earned over 4.0 innings in the game one loss for Syracuse. Right-hander Jeremy Accardo gave up three more runs over the final 2.0 innings.
In the second game, the G-Braves were shut out for the fourth time this season.
In his fourth start of the year, Chiefs' right-hander Tanner Roark (W, 4-3) was impressive, hurling 5.0 innings of scoreless baseball. He stifled the Gwinnett offense, allowing just four hits and a walk while striking out one.
Syracuse scored the game's lone run in the top of the first inning. With two outs, Chris Rahl singled, stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error by catcher Jose Yepez. Corey Brown drove in Rahl with an RBI single, giving the Chiefs a 1-0 lead.
Mike Crotta and Erik Davis finished off the shutout, each throwing a scoreless inning in relief of Roark. Davis (S, 8) picked up the save as he worked out of a two-on, one-out jam. With the tying and winning runs aboard, he induced Carrithers into a game-ending double play.
The lack of offense spoiled a great spot start from Kameron Loe (L, 2-2), who scattered three hits and allowed one unearned run over 4.0 innings to take the loss.
Offensively, Terdoslavich and Cunningham each recorded three hits on the afternoon, while Gartrell added a 2-for-2 day with a home run and four RBI.
Rahl went a perfect 3-for-3 in the second game and scored the Chiefs' lone run in the nightcap.
The Gwinnett Braves have off on Monday and return to play on Tuesday, June 25 with the opener of a four-game series against the Buffalo Bisons. Left-hander Yohan Flande (3-6, 5.79) will start for the G-Braves, while the Bisons counter with right-hander Justin Germano (4-6, 5.92). Listen to the game on WDUN 550 AM and 102.9 FM with Tony Schiavone calling the play-by-play. First pitch is 6:05 PM.
Tuesday night is "Team Tuesday" as all kids (ages 12 and under) wearing their Youth Athletics jerseys will receive a free ticket with purchase of an Adult ticket (limit one ticket per adult). The first 500 fans will receive a poster of G-Braves' pitcher Cory Rasmus, who will be autographing posters from 5:05 to 5:20 PM. To purchase tickets, call the Coolray Field Box Office at (678) 277-0340 or visit gwinnettbraves.com.