LAWRENCEVILLE, GA - Behind an offensive outburst in the game's middle innings and a quality start from Kris Medlen , the Gwinnett Braves (43-41) defeated the Norfolk Tides (35-51) 10-3 on Wednesday night at Coolray Field. The win was Gwinnett's fourth straight.
Over 6.0 solid innings, Medlen (W, 1-2) gave up two earned runs on eight hits while walking none and striking out five to earn his first win with the G-Braves since May 11, 2009 vs. Durham. Offensively, Rio Ruiz led the way by going 3-for-5 with a home run and a season-high five RBIs.
In the third, the G-Braves broke through against Norfolk starter Chris Lee (L, 3-4). A walk to Xavier Avery and singles from David Freitas and Ozzie Albies loaded the bases. Jace Peterson drove in the game's first run with a fielder's choice ground out to extend his RBI streak to six games, the longest streak by a Gwinnett player this season. Peterson then stole second and a wild throw from catcher Chance Sisco allowed Avery to score from third on the error. Ruiz extended the lead to 3-0 by hitting a single to center to score Peterson.
Gwinnett doubled the lead to 6-0 in the fourth as Avery lined an RBI single to center and Ruiz added a two-out, two-run single to left.
Norfolk cut the deficit to 6-1 in the fifth as Drew Dosch scored on a wild pitch. But Medlen limited the damage by striking out Adam Brett Walker and Chris Dickerson before inducing a ground out to end the inning with a runner stranded on third.
The G-Braves got the run back in the bottom of the inning as Avery drew a walk with the bases loaded to plate Dustin Peterson . Albies followed with a sacrifice fly to center that scored Kyle Kubitza to make it 8-1.
After the Tides scored another run in the sixth, Medlen struck out Dosch to end the frame and his start with an 8-2 lead.
Dan Winkler continued his rehab assignment by retiring the Tides in order in the seventh with two strikeouts and a ground out. A.J. Minter made his Triple-A debut for Gwinnett in the eighth and gave up a run before retiring the side with a strikeout.
Ruiz struck the final blow in the bottom of the eighth by launching a two-run home run, his seventh of the season, an estimated 374 feet to right off Norfolk reliever Steve Johnson. The 10-3 lead proved to be the final score as Mauricio Cabrera pitched a scoreless ninth to finish the win.
In addition to the big night for Ruiz, Albies went 3-for-4 and Freitas and Dustin Peterson each recorded a pair of hits. Avery went 1-for-2 with two walks to increase his on-base streak to 20 games. With a walk, Jace Peterson extended his on-base streak to 19 games, as he's reached in every game he's played for Gwinnett this season.
Norfolk was led by two hits each from Chris Johnson and Johnny Giavotella. Lee allowed seven runs on nine hits over 4.1 innings in the loss.
The G-Braves and Tides will meet in a Thursday matinee to conclude the three-game series. Right-hander Lucas Sims (6-3, 4.00 ERA) is scheduled to start for Gwinnett against Norfolk right-hander Alec Asher (0-0, 0.00 ERA). First pitch at Coolray Field is scheduled for 12:05 p.m. Tony Schiavone has the play-by-play call on 97.7 FM The Other Side of the River beginning at 11:35 a.m.
Thursday is Daycare Day at Coolray Field, as well as "Triple Play Thursday," presented by Coolray Heating & Cooling. Fans can purchase four infield box tickets, four hot dogs, and four sodas for just $40. For tickets, call 678-277-0340 or visit GwinnettBraves.com/tickets.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.