LAWRENCEVILLE, GA - The Charlotte Knights (32-51) finished a two-game sweep of the Gwinnett Braves (39-43) on Sunday afternoon with a 9-6 win at Coolray Field. With the loss, the G-Braves finished their season-long 10-game homestand at 4-6.
Charlotte jumped out to an early lead in the top of the second inning, as they batted around and scored three runs on four hits against Aaron Northcraft. With the bases loaded, Micah Johnson delivered a two-run single and Carlos Sanchez added an RBI single to make it 3-0.
The Knights added three more runs by way of the long ball in the third inning. Andy Wilkins (14) belted a leadoff homer to start the inning, while Blake Tekotte (9) hit a 2-2 pitch over the right field fence with a runner on base to make it 6-0.
Gwinnett cut into the lead in the bottom of the sixth inning on a two-run homer by Todd Cunningham (4) off Dylan Axelrod. With two outs, Jose Constanza singled to set the stage for Cunningham's fourth homer of the season, making it 6-2.
The G-Braves made it a two-run game in the sixth inning, scoring twice. Mark Hamilton and Joey Terdoslavich singled to start the inning, and Edward Salcedo drove both runners in with a double to left-center.
Charlotte added two runs in the seventh inning, extending the lead to 8-4, but Gwinnett answered in the eighth inning against reliever Nelvin Fuentes. Terdoslavich singled and Steve Lerud reached base on a hit-by-pitch. With two men on, Elmer Reyes laced a bases clearing double, cutting the Knights' lead to 8-6.
However, the G-Braves would get no closer. The Knights added a run in the ninth to seal a two-game sweep of Gwinnett.
Axelrod (W, 5-6) recorded the victory, allowing four runs on nine hits over 6.0 innings. He walked one and struck out six. Taylor Thompson (S, 4) picked up the save with 1.2 scoreless innings of relief.
Northcraft (L, 0-1), in his second start since being promoted from Double-A Mississippi, gave up six runs on eight hits in 2.2 innings. He walked three and struck out three. Carlos Fisher turned in 3.1 scoreless innings before Jorge Reyes and Ryan Buchter combined to allow three runs.
Offensively for Gwinnett, Terdoslavich went 2-for-2 with a pair of runs scored, while Reyes and Salcedo each went 1-for-2 with a double and two RBIs. Cunningham went 1-for-5 with the home run and two RBIs as well.
Tekotte led the Knights, going 3-for-5 with a homer, three runs scored and two RBIs. Tyler Saladino, Johnson and Taylor each had two hits on the day.
The Gwinnett Braves open a four-game road trip with a day/night doubleheader at Charlotte on Monday. Gwinnett will battle the Knights at BB&T Ballpark with a pair of nine-inning games, the first starting at 12:05 PM. Right-hander Cody Martin (5-6, 3.02) will start for the G-Braves in game one, while the Knights will counter with right-hander Shawn Hill (2-2, 4.24). Tony Schiavone will have the play-by-play call beginning at 11:50 PM on WDUN.com, GwinnettBraves.com, Tune-In Radio and the MiLB First Pitch app
The G-Braves return home to Coolray Field on Friday, July 4 for a 7:05 PM game against Durham. 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.