LAWRENCEVILLE, GA - In a night that saw 17 hits, five errors and 16 runs cross the plate, the Gwinnett Braves (39-42) fell to the Charlotte Knights (31-51) 10-6 in a rain-shortened contest on Saturday night at Coolray Field.
Atlanta Braves' reliever David Carpenter made the start for the G-Braves as he began his minor league rehab assignment. In his first start since the age of 16, the right-hander went one inning, facing four batters and striking out one. He threw 22 pitches, 16 for strikes.
"I felt good. I was happy to be back out there," said Carpenter. "I was happy to go out there and compete. It seems like forever for me even though it was just a few days. I was just happy to be back out there and throw the ball."
Carpenter was backed early as Gwinnett started strong, scoring four runs in the bottom of the first inning. Three straight one-out singles by Todd Cunningham, Phil Gosselin and Mark Hamilton scored the first run of the game, with Hamilton picking up the RBI. Brandon Boggs (6) then tagged the first pitch from Erik Johnson over the right field fence for a three-run home run, pushing the lead to 4-0.
Charlotte answered with three runs in the second inning against reliever Kameron Loe. Back-to-back singles by Matt Davidson and Andy Wilkins and a walk to Michael Taylor loaded the bases for Micah Johnson. The designated hitter delivered a bases-clearing triple, trimming the Gwinnett lead to 4-3.
The G-Braves scored another run in the second inning to extend the lead to 5-3, but Charlotte scored five runs in the top of the fourth to take the lead. Taylor (1) delivered the first blow, smacking a two-run homer to left off Loe. Johnson then singled and scored on a triple by Carlos Sanchez, giving the Knights a 6-5 lead. Marcus Semien (4) capped the scoring with a two-run homer off Loe, pushing the lead to 8-5.
Gwinnett cut into the lead in the bottom of the fourth. Ozzie Martinez walked, moved to second on a bunt and scored on an RBI single by Gosselin, making it 8-6.
Charlotte would answer with two more runs in the sixth inning against Terry Doyle, making it 10-6. Rain forced the game's early conclusion with two outs in the top of the seventh inning.
Loe (L, 1-2) took the loss, allowing eight runs on eight hits in 2.2 innings. Doyle allowed two runs on one hit in 3.0 innings.
Erik Johnson (W, 2-5) recorded the win, tossing 5.0 innings and allowing six runs on eight hits. He walked two and struck out one.
Cunningham (2-for-3, R) and Gosselin (2-for-4, R) each had multi-hit games for the G-Braves, while Boggs finished 1-for-3 with the homer and three RBIs.
Micah Johnson paced the nights, going 2-for-4 with a triple and four RBIs. Taylor and Semien each homered and drove in two for the Knights.
The Gwinnett Braves conclude the homestand with game two against the Charlotte Knights on Sunday afternoon at Coolray Field. First pitch is scheduled for 2:05 PM. Right-hander Aaron Northcraft (0-0, 0.00) will start for the G-Braves, while the Knights will counter with right-hander Dylan Axelrod (4-6, 4.25). Tony Schiavone will have the play-by-play call beginning at 1:50 PM on WDUN.com, GwinnettBraves.com, Tune-In Radio and the MiLB First Pitch app. The game will also be televised on the MeTV network, WSB-TV Channel 2.2 with broadcasters Mike Morgan, Dave Lezotte and Van Earl Wright.
Sunday is "World Cup Day" at Coolray Field, as the first 2,000 fans in attendance will receive a G-Braves soccer ball courtesy of Coolray Heating & Cooling. It's also "Sunday Family FunDay" featuring Pre-Game Catch in the Outfield (starting when gates open at 1 PM and lasting approximately 20 minutes) and Post-Game Kids Base Run (kids 12 and under) sponsored by Kid-to-Kid Buford. Tickets are on sale now at the Coolray Field Ticket Office, call 678-277-0340 or visit GwinnettBraves.com to purchase.
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The Gwinnett Braves are the Triple-A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves. Follow the G-Braves at GwinnettBraves.com, facebook.com/GwinnettBraves1 and twitter.com/GwinnettBraves. Tickets for all 2014 home games are on sale now by calling the Coolray Field Ticket Office at 678-277-0340 or visiting GwinnettBraves.com.