DANVILLE, Va.- The Danville Braves edged the Burlington Royals by the thinnest of margins Monday, winning by a 4-3 score and salvaging a series split with their divisional foes. The Royals outhit the Braves 11 to 5 but they were undone by only managing three of those hits with runners in scoring position.
Burlington got on the board first with an RBI double off the bat of Dennicher Carrasco in the 1st inning off Atlanta's 5th round draft pick this year, Bruce Zimmermann. But the Braves would counter in the second inning when Raysheandall Michel singled and Bradley Keller was waved home from second base, knotting the score at 1-1. But just as quickly as the Braves (10-9) had tied the game, they found themselves behind again. In the 3rd with Danville reliever Jacob Belinda on the mound, Seuly Matias drove in a run on a softly hit ball into leftfield, giving the Royals a 2-1 advantage.
The scoring see-saw continued in the bottom of the 3rd, with the Braves plating a pair of runs. The first came on a bases loaded walk to Drew Lugbauer which scored Griffin Benson, and the second occurred just moments later when Royals' starter Ismael Maldonado uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Luis Mejia to scamper home. By the end of the frame, Danville held a 3-2 lead.
Both the Braves and the Royals (5-13) would trade zeroes through the middle stage of the game, until the top of the 7th when Matias uncorked a long, solo home run to leftfield, tying the game at 3 apiece. In the bottom of the inning, yesterday's hero Isranel Wilson hammered a long fly ball to center that hit near the top of the wall, bounding back towards the infield. The strength of the ricochet gave the speedy Wilson all the time he needed, and he motored around the bases for an inside-the-park home run, sliding safely home just ahead of the throw to give the Braves a 4-3 lead.
Landon Hughes came on in the 9th inning to try for the save. He surrendered base hits to the first two batters he faced, before settling down to retire the final three men striking out Sebastian Rivero looking for the final out. Ryan Schlosser (1-1) earned the win with 1.2 innings of work, while Yerelmy Garcia, who surrendered the Wilson home run, fell to 0-1.
The Braves take a day off tomorrow before hitting the road for a three game set with Princeton. They return home Saturday to take on the Bluefield Blue Jays. Saturday night is Mystery Ball Sale night, where fans can purchase autographed baseballs with proceeds going to charitable organizations. It's also the next installment of the Danville Braves Community Concert Series presented by Danville Toyota, featuring Spencer Key. Saturday is also the date of the first ever Danville Braves 5K presented by Planet Fitness. To register, go to dbraves.com/5K and tickets to the game are available at dbraves.com or call 434-797-3792.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.