LAWRENCEVILLE, GA - In a matchup of two former Atlanta Braves' teammates, Norfolk starter Jair Jurrjens worked 6.1 innings of one-run baseball to lead the Tides (49-43) to a 4-3 victory over rehabbing right-hander Brandon Beachy and the Gwinnett Braves (39-54) on Tuesday night at Coolray Field.
Jurrjens (W, 6-6) was on his game, allowing a run on nine hits, walking none and striking out two to pick up his first career win against the G-Braves, a club he last pitched for in 2012.
On the other side, Beachy (L, 0-2) got off to a rocky start, walking Xavier Avery on four-straight pitches to start the game. After Avery stole second base, the right-hander gave up back-to-back doubles to Henry Urrutia and Danny Valencia as the Tides took a 2-0 lead.
"I felt a little too good out of the pen," said Beachy about the first inning. "First batter, you get a little too amped up. You can't really simulate that in the pen. After the first batter, I gave up a couple of doubles, but both of those were on pitches I was happy with. They were in decent spots and they did pretty much what I wanted them to do, but they were hit hard."
After a shaky first inning, Beachy would go on to toss two scoreless innings to end his first rehab start since June 13. He worked 3.0 innings total, yielding two runs on three hits, walking one and striking out one. Beachy threw 45 pitches, 29 strikes.
Offensively, the G-Braves missed out on several opportunities against Jurrjens. The right-hander gave up nine hits, but wiggled out of trouble numerous times, stranding seven runners. Gwinnett's lone run against their former starter came in the second inning as Alden Carrithers doubled and scored on an RBI single by Phil Gosselin. That tally cut the Tides' lead to 2-1.
Norfolk extended the lead to 4-1 before the G-Braves mounted a comeback against reliever Manny Delcarmen in the eighth inning. Ernesto Mejia belted his team-leading 22nd homer of the season over the left field fence, making it 4-2. After back-to-back singles by Stefan Gartrell and Carrithers, Gosselin bunted the two over into scoring position. Luis Nunez drove in a run with a sacrifice fly, but that would be as close as Gwinnett would get.
Another former G-Brave, right-hander Jairo Ascencio (S, 22) shut down a comeback in the ninth. Todd Cunningham reached on a leadoff bunt single and advanced to third with two outs, but was left stranded as Gartrell struck out swinging.
Right-hander Omar Poveda threw well in relief of Beachy, scattering six hits and allowing two earned runs over 6.0 innings. Poveda's first relief outing of the year is also the longest by a Gwinnett reliever this season.
Offensively, the G-Braves collected 14 hits, but went 2-for-14 with runners in scoring position. Carrithers and Gartrell each went 3-for-5.
Urrutia and Valencia paced the Tides, as they each went 2-for-4 with two RBIs.
The Gwinnett Braves return to action in game three of this four game series against the Norfolk Tides on Wednesday night at 6:05 PM. Right-hander Cody Martin (2-1, 1.38) will take the ball for Gwinnett. Norfolk has yet to officially announce a starting pitcher for the game. The radio broadcast will air on WDUN 550 AM and 102.9 FM with Tony Schiavone calling the play-by-play.
Wednesday night is "Winning Wednesday" at Coolray Field. Play along with Baseball Bingo for a chance to win great prizes. A fully-cleared card will get you something extra-special from the Gwinnett Braves. Also, if a G-Braves' player hits a grand slam in the fifth inning, one lucky fan will win $5,000. Tickets are on sale now by calling the Coolray Field Box Office at (678) 277-0340 or by purchasing online at gwinnettbraves.com.