The Gwinnett Braves (3-4) won their second game in a row by taking an 8-2 victory over the Norfolk Tides (1-6) Wednesday night in game three of their four-game series at Harbor Park.
The win gave G-Braves pitcher Sean Newcomb (W, 1-0), the No. 5 rated prospect in the Atlanta Braves organization, his first career Triple-A win. The lefty pitched 5.1 innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits while walking three and striking out five.
After two scoreless innings, the G-Braves got Newcomb his first lead by plating two in the top of the third. Xavier Avery led off the inning with a double to right-center off of Norfolk starter Gabriel Ynoa, and then moved to third on a single to center by Blake Lalli. Ozzie Albies plated Avery with the first run of the game with a sacrifice fly to center field. Lalli then advanced to second on a wild pitch and later scored on a single to center by Sean Kazmar Jr.
Norfolk tied the game in the bottom of the fifth off Newcomb. David Washington (1) cracked a one out solo homer to right, cutting the lead to 2-1. Then, after Johnny Giavotella reached on an infield single and advanced to third on a throwing error from Newcomb on a pickoff attempt. Robert Andino singled to left, scoring Giavotella to tie the game at 2-2.
However, the tie did not last long as in the top of the sixth, Lane Adams led off by reaching second on an infield single and throwing error by Norfolk shortstop Paul Janish. Albies broke the 2-2 tie with a double to right, scoring Adams from second. Kazmar Jr. then reached first on an error by Washington, the Tides first baseman. The miscue sent Albies to third. A one out single to left by Matt Tuiasosopo off Norfolk reliever Richard Bleier, scored Albies from third to up the lead to 4-2.
In the top of the ninth, against right-hander Logan Verrett, Kyle Kubitza and Avery came up with one out, back-to-back singles. Lalli then drilled the first pitch he saw over the right field wall for a three-run homer and a 7-2 lead. Adams walked, went to third on a single by Albies, and scored the final run of the game when Kazmar reached on a fielder's choice.
After the G-Braves turned to the bullpen with one out in the sixth, Joel De La Cruz worked 1.2 scoreless relief innings, walking two and striking out one. David Hernandez pitched 1.0 inning with three strikeouts. David Peterson worked a scoreless bottom of the ninth with one hit and one strikeout to finish the win for Gwinnett.
Ynoa (L, 0-2), in his second start of the season for Norfolk, went 5.0 innings with six hits, four runs (three earned) and five strikeouts. Bleier pitched 2.0 innings with two hits and three strikeouts. Verrett worked 2.0 innings with four hits, four earned runs, one walk and one strikeout.
At the plate for the G-Braves, Albies for 2-for-4 with a run, a double and two RBIs, Kubitza was 2-for-4. Adams was 2-for-3 with two runs. Avery extended his hit streak to five games with a 2-for-4 night. Rio Ruiz went 0-for-4 and saw his six game hitting streak come to an end. Lalli was 2-for-4 with a three-run homer and two runs scored. The home run was Lalli's first of the season in just his fourth game of the year, after hitting one in 109 games for the G-Braves last season.
For Norfolk, Washington was 2-for-4 with a solo homer and Andino was 2-for-5 with a double and an RBI.
The G-Braves and Norfolk Tides conclude the four-game series at Harbor Park on Thursday afternoon. Right-hander Matt Wisler (0-1, 7.20) is scheduled to make his second start of the season for Gwinnett. Norfolk will pitch left-hander Chris Lee (0-1, 21.60). First pitch is set 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.
Gwinnett returns home on Tuesday, April 18 with a 7:05 p.m. game vs. Rochester. 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.