LAWRENCEVILLE, GA - The Gwinnett Braves (47-64) couldn't secure their second straight victory on Wednesday night as a ninth-inning RBI double by Blake Tekotte clinched a 2-1 win for the Charlotte Knights (51-60) at Coolray Field.
With two outs and Travis Ishikawa on first base, Tekotte laced an inside fastball from right-hander Mark Lamm (L, 1-1) into right-center field, scoring Ishikawa. The hit spoiled a dominant night from G-Braves' pitching that included 8.0 innings from right-hander Cody Martin. Martin scattered five hits, allowed one run and struck out seven in a no-decision.
The G-Braves also welcomed Atlanta Braves' outfielder B.J. Upton, who made his first rehab start since suffering a right thigh strain on July 12. Upton went 0-for-3 with a strikeout at the plate and flagged down four fly balls over five full innings in center field.
"I felt good out there," said Upton. "Felt like I could have gone the whole game, at least at the plate but they want me to ease back into it. I could have turned it up a little bit more but I'll stay on the safe side right now and crank it up tomorrow."
Gwinnett turned it on early, scoring in the first inning. Alden Carrithers drew a two-out walk and scored on an RBI double by Ernesto Mejia. Facing Charlotte right-hander Nick McCully, Mejia hit a soft, sinking fly to the right fielder Tekotte, but the outfielder couldn't make a lunging catch, allowing Carrithers to score from first for a 1-0 lead.
Charlotte tied the game in the top of the third inning. Bryan Anderson led off the frame with a single and advanced to third on a one-out double by Dewayne Wise, putting runners on second and third with one out. Carlos Sanchez drove in Anderson with a groundout to second base, making it 1-1.
The Charlotte pitching staff kept the G-Braves at bay all night, as McCully and right-hander Daniel Webb pitched 9.0 innings of one run baseball. McCully went 7.0 innings with three hits and one earned run, while Webb (W, 1-0) picked up the victory, logging 2.0 innings with one hit and two strikeouts.
Lamm suffered the loss, allowing one earned run on two hits over 1.0 inning.
Offensively, the G-Braves were held to four hits on the night. Mejia went 1-for-4 with a double and his team-leading 73rd RBI, while Brandon Boggs also doubled, finishing 1-for-3.
Anderson led Charlotte, as he went 2-for-2 with a walk and a run scored. Ishikawa went 1-for-3 with a run scored, while Tekotte went 1-for-4 with a double and an RBI.
The Gwinnett Braves return to action on Thursday night at 6:05 PM as they play the Charlotte Knights in game two of this three-game series. Right-hander David Hale (5-5, 2.86) will take the ball for Gwinnett and match up against right-hander Zach Stewart (5-11, 4.78) of Charlotte. The radio broadcast will air on WDUN 550 AM and 102.9 FM with Dave Lezotte calling the play-by-play.
Thursday night is "$3 Thursday" featuring $3 food and beverage specials all game long. All Lawn Seats are also just $3. Tickets for all remaining 2013 Gwinnett Braves home games are on sale now by visiting the Coolray Field Box Office, calling (678) 277-0340 or by purchasing online at gwinnettbraves.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.