LAWRENCEVILLE, GA - After giving up a season-high five runs in his last outing, Omar Poveda returned to form on Friday night, tossing seven innings of three-run baseball to collect his 12th quality start of the season. However, it wasn't enough for the Gwinnett Braves (36-47) as the Bufffalo Bisons (41-39) split the series with an 8-2 victory at Coolray Field.
Poveda was outdueled by former G-Brave Todd Redmond (W, 3-1). The right-handed Redmond was brilliant, scattering eight hits and striking out a season-high nine batters while allowing two runs in 5.0 innings for the Bisons.
The G-Braves got off to a great start. In the top of the second, Stefan Gartrell hit his second home run of the series, belting a solo homer over the left field fence for a 1-0 lead.
Buffalo answered in the top of the third, sending eight men to plate and scoring three runs. Anthony Gose reached on an infield single, and after a walk and pitching error, Gose scored on a fielder's choice by Kevin Pillar. With two outs, Ryan Goins, Mauro Gomez and Luis Jimenez hit consecutive singles, opening up a 3-1 lead.
The G-Braves cut the lead down to one run in the bottom of the fourth. Matt Pagnozzi laced a double down the left field line with two outs and scored on an RBI single by Luis Nunez, making it 3-2.
In the ninth inning, the Bisons would put the game out of reach, scoring five runs on three hits and two walks. After throwing a scoreless eighth inning, Wirfin Obispo failed to get an out in the ninth, yielding four runs, three earned on one hit. Left-hander Ryan Buchter allowed two inherited runners to score and another run to his own line before getting out of the inning. Jimenez had the big hit of the frame, lacing a two-run single up the middle to extend the lead to 8-2.
John Stilson and Mickey Storey kept the G-Braves at bay, tossing four scoreless innings of relief to preserve the victory. Storey (S, 1) picked up his first save of the season, tossing two perfect frames.
Poveda (L, 5-5) suffered the loss, despite only having one rocky inning all night. He finished the night with three runs on seven hits over 7.0 innings and four strikeouts.
Offensively, the G-Braves were led by Nunez, who went 2-for-4 with one RBI. Gartrell added the other RBI on his fourth home run of the season, his Gwinnett franchise-leading 49th career blast.
Jimenez paced the Bisons' attack, going 3-for-5 with three RBI. Pillar went 1-for-5, finishing the series 8-for-19.
The Gwinnett Braves will hit the road on Saturday night as they begin a five-game series at Harbor Park in Norfolk, VA against the Norfolk Tides. G-Braves' right-hander Cody Martin (2-0, 0.64) will take the ball against the Tides left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada (1-4, 6.25), first pitch scheduled for 7:05 PM. Listen to the game on WDUN 550 AM and 102.9 FM with Tony Schiavone calling the play-by-play.
The G-Braves return to Coolray Field on Thursday, July 4 for a 7:05 PM game against the Charlotte Knights. To purchase tickets, call the Coolray Field Box Office at (678) 277-0340 or visit gwinnettbraves.com.
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The Gwinnett Braves are the Triple-A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves. The 2013 season marks the fifth year of G-Braves baseball at Coolray Field in Lawrenceville, GA. Single-game tickets are on sale now at the Coolray Field Box Office and by calling 678-277-0340. Follow the Gwinnett Braves at gwinnettbraves.com, facebook.com/GwinnettBraves1 and twitter.com/GwinnettBraves.