PAWTUCKET, RI - The Gwinnett Braves (14-8) swept a doubleheader with the Pawtucket Red Sox (9-12) on Saturday night at McCoy Stadium, winning 2-1 in seven innings and 3-1 in nine innings.
Gwinnett third baseman Rio Ruiz was the hero of both games, blasting a solo home run to snap a 1-1 tie in game one and hitting a walk-off two-run homer to end game two.
In the first game, the G-Braves took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning as Sean Kazmar Jr. singled with one out and scored from first base on a double in the right-center gap by Mel Rojas Jr.
The lead lasted until the bottom of the third, when Pawtucket's Deven Marrero plated Ryan Court with a sacrifice fly to left. Court had led off the inning with a double to right off Gwinnett starter Andrew Albers and moved to third on a ground out.
Game one stayed tied at 1-1 only briefly, as Ruiz (2) crushed a Shawn Haviland pitch over the wall in right field for a 2-1 lead in the fourth inning.
Albers (W, 2-0) was the game one winner for Gwinnett. He pitched 5.2 innings with six hits, one earned run, one walk and two strikeouts. David Peterson (S, 2) went 1.1 innings for the save by allowing no hits, no runs and striking out two.
Haviland (L, 2-2) got the loss for Pawtucket in game one. He pitched the entire 7.0 innings with four hits, two earned runs, three walks and seven strikeouts.
Game two was a make-up for the game postponed by rain at Coolray Field on April 23, and thus the Gwinnett Braves were designated the "home team." The contest remained scoreless until the bottom of the sixth inning when a two-out double to right field by Matt Tuiasosopo off Red Sox reliever Noe Ramirez scored Rojas from first base for a 1-0 lead.
The G-Braves were one out from winning the game in the top of the seventh, but Dan Butler's two-out single to center scoring Jantzen Witte from second tied the game at 1-1.
The game remained tied until the bottom of the ninth when Tuiasosopo drew a one-out walk from Pawtucket reliever Chandler Shepard, and Ruiz (3) followed with a two-run homer to right field for the win.
In game two, Enderson Franco , making his second career Triple-A start, worked 5.0 scoreless innings with three hits, one walk and seven strikeouts. Rhiner Cruz pitched 1.0 inning with three strikeouts. Jason Hursh (BS, 1) went 2.0 innings with two hits, one earned run and three strikeouts. Sam Freeman (W, 3-1) earned the win by working a scoreless top of the ninth with a walk and a strikeout.
Marcus Walden started game two for Pawtucket. He went 5.0 scoreless innings with three hits and eight strikeouts. Ramirez worked 2.0 innings with two hits, one earned run and three strikeouts. Shepard (L, 0-1) went 1.1 innings with two earned runs, one walk and two strikeouts.
Ruiz paced Gwinnett with a combined 3-for-7 night including the two homers and three RBIs. Rojas was a combined 3-for-6 with two doubles and an RBI. Kazmar also finished 3-for-7.
For the Red Sox, Sam Travis was 3-for-7 in the two games and Marrero was 2-for-7 with an RBI.
The Gwinnett Braves and Pawtucket Red Sox wrap up the four-game series on Sunday afternoon at McCoy Stadium, first pitch set for 1:35 p.m. The G-Braves will send left-hander Sean Newcomb (1-1, 4.19 ERA) to the mound, and the Red Sox will counter with right-hander Hector Velazquez (1-0, 2.79 ERA). Tony Schiavone has the play-by-play call on 97.7 FM "The Other Side of the River" beginning at 1:05 p.m.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.