LAWRENCEVILLE, GA - In a game that featured 18 runs on 25 hits, the Gwinnett Braves (40-54) held off the Norfolk Tides (49-44), 10-8 on Wednesday night at Cooray Field. Alden Carrithers doubled and drove in three runs and Brandon Boggs added two RBIs to lead the G-Braves in a back-and-forth battle.
In his last start against the Tides on June 29, right-hander Cody Martin tossed a season-high seven innings, scattering three hits and allowing two earned runs while striking out a season-high 11. His previous success against Norfolk did not carry over to Wednesday night, as he was roughed up for five runs on eight hits in 3.2 innings. Martin tied a career high with six walks in the no-decision.
He got a big lift early from the Gwinnett offense, as they scored five runs to establish a 5-0 lead.
In the top of the first inning, Norfolk starter Eddie Gamboa walked two and hit a batter to load the bases with two outs. Carrithers punched a 1-0 knuckleball down the left-field line for a two-run double, giving Gwinnett a 2-0 advantage.
Gwinnett added three more runs on three hits in the bottom of the second inning. Luis Nunez doubled and advanced to third on a single by Matt Pagnozzi. With runners on the corners, Jose Constanza drove in Nunez with an RBI groundout and Todd Cunningham singled home Pagnozzi. Boggs extended the lead to 5-0, grounding out to score Cunningham.
The Tides answered, however, scoring two in the third and three in the fourth against Martin. In the third, Norfolk connected on four-straight hits, Danny Valencia delivered an RBI double and Zelous Wheeler drew a bases loaded walk, cutting the lead to 5-2. The Tides would draw even in the fourth. Jason Pridie walked and Henry Urrutia singled before Alex Liddi smacked a three-run homer to left off of Martin.
Each team would score three runs over the next two innings, heading to the bottom of the seventh tied at 8-8. The G-Braves broke the tie in the eighth inning against reliever Andy Loomis (L, 2-3). Nunez and Pagnozzi hit back-to-back singles, putting runners on first and second with no outs. Constanza reached on a bunt single and Nunez scored on a throwing error by reliever Mike Belfiore. Cunningham moved both runners into scoring position with a bunt, and Boggs delivered an RBI sacrifice fly, making it 10-8.
Loomis took the loss with four runs on four hits over 1.1 innings. Gwinnett reliever Mark Lamm (W, 1-0) recorded his first Triple-A win, hurling 1.1 scoreless innings. Cory Rasmus (S, 10) tossed a scoreless ninth inning to pick up his team-leading 10th save of the season.
Eight of the nine Gwinnett hitters had at least one hit on the night, with Pagnozzi recording a team-high three hits (3-for-4). Nunez went 2-for-5. Carrithers and Boggs had the only multi-RBI efforts.
Urrutia led all players with a 5-for-5 night, scoring three runs and picking up one RBI. Liddi added two hits and a game-high five RBIs for Norfolk.
The Gwinnett Braves and Norfolk Tides conclude their four-game series on Thursday at 12:05 PM. Right-hander Kameron Loe (3-2, 2.97) will start for the G-Braves, while left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada (2-4, 5.14) will start for the Tides. The radio broadcast will air on 1240 ESPN Radio in Gainesville, GA with Tony Schiavone calling the play-by-play. The game will also be televised on CSS with Mike Morgan and Dave Lezotte calling the action.
Thursday is "Belk Day Care Day" at Coolray Field as the Gwinnett Braves welcome day care groups from around the area for a special 12:05 PM game. The contest is sponsored by Belk. Tickets are on sale now by calling the Coolray Field Box Office at (678) 277-0340 or by purchasing online at gwinnettbraves.com.