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Rivero Rivers Braves Saturday
06/28/2014 9:32 PM ET
Jorge Rivero scorched the ball to left field to bring in the game running run during the Gnats 4-3 ninth-inning comeback Saturday. (Photo by Gordon Donovan)

Savannah, Ga.- The Braves had many opportunities Saturday, but scored on few of them. The Sand Gnats had few, but made the most of theirs, on their way to a 4-3 win in the bottom of the ninth to take the first two games of the four-game series from Rome.

With one out and the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning, second baseman Jorge Rivero stroked a line drive into the left-centerfield gap to chase home centerfielder Champ Stuart with the game-winning run. Stuart began the Gnats' ninth inning rally with a walk.

The Braves (2-8/26-54) tied the game in the top of the ninth inning with two outs. With runners at the corners, Savannah reliever Hunter Carnevale struck out Edison Sanchez on a breaking ball in the dirt. The ball kicked away from catcher Jeff Glenn, allowing Sanchez to sprint safely to first and Johan Camargo to score the tying run.

Before that point, the Gnats had thrown out a Braves' base runner at the plate in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings to preserve their 3-2 lead. The most impressive was Stuart's throw from centerfield to cut down Gerald Chin to keep the Braves off the board in the seventh. 

The Gnats (6-4/50-26) finished 4-for-7 with runners in scoring position, while the Braves were just 1-for-13. Rome left 11 runners on base while the Gnats stranded only four and only one in the first eight innings.   

The Gnats erased a 2-0 Rome lead with three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Shortstop Yeixon Ruiz put Savannah in front with a two-run single into left field. 

Savannah starter Chris Flexen held Rome to two runs, earned in his 6.1 innings. He struck out three and walked three in an outing that was tied for his second-longest of the year.

The Gnats send RHP Ricky Knapp (2-5, 3.82) to the mound Sunday against RHP Tyler Brosius (2-4, 3.67). Children 12 and under will get a free hot dog, chips, and soda as part of Kia Country Kids Eat Free Sunday. Fans are also encouraged to bring their dogs to the park thanks to TailsSpin Bark in the Park. Please bring proof of up-to-date vaccination records along with your dog.

First pitch is scheduled for 2:05 pm. Gates to Historic Grayson Stadium open at 1 pm. The radio pregame show on News/Talk 630 WBMQ, and the TuneIn radio app begins at 1:45 pm

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs. Comments