BUFFALO, NY-The Gwinnett Braves (63-62) rode the pitching of starter Manny Barreda and a 10-hit offensive attack to a 7-1 win over the Buffalo Bisons (57-70) on Sunday afternoon in the finale of the three-game series at Coca-Cola Park.
The G-Braves never trailed in the game and are now 4-2 on their current season-long 10-game road trip after winning two of three games in both Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and Buffalo.
With one out in the top of the second, Buffalo starting pitcher Luis Santos hit Dustin Peterson in the helmet. Peterson walked off under his own power with the trainer, and was replaced by pinch runner Sean Kazmar Jr. Kyle Kubitza then shot a line drive to right that fell off the glove of Bisons right fielder Michael Saunders, allowing Kazmar to move to third on the error. A single to left by David Freitas scored Kazmar from third with the first run of the game and with two outs, Ronald Acuna pushed his hitting streak to eight games with a single to right, scoring Kubitza for a 2-0 lead.
The Gwinnett lead grew one inning later as Santos walked Rio Ruiz to lead off the third and gave up a single to left to Matt Tuiasosopo. Carlos Franco followed with a three-run homer to right, his eighth with Gwinnett, to increase the lead to 5-0.
The only run for the Bisons came in the bottom of the fifth off Barreda. With two outs, Jon Berti doubled to right, stole third, and scored on a single through the middle by Roemon Fields.
Gwinnett got that run back in the top of the seventh as Acuna led off with a double to right against reliever Justin Shafer. Xavier Avery walked to put two on and Ruiz then singled to right. Acuna stopped at third on the hit, but Avery ran past second and headed to third. Acuna broke for home and beat the relay from third baseman Christian Lopes to push the lead to 6-1.
The final run of the game came in the top of the eighth inning off reliever Jeff Beliveau. Luis Valenzuela drew a one out walk and took third when a pickoff attempt by Beliveau got past first baseman Rowdy Tellez. Acuna then singled home Valenzuela from third for a 7-1 lead, which proved to be the final.
Barreda (W, 1-0) delivered a quality start of 7.0 innings with three hits, one earned run, two walks and four strikeouts to earn his first Gwinnett win. Evan Phillips tossed a scoreless bottom of the eighth with one walk and one strikeout. Enrique Burgos worked a scoreless bottom of the ninth with one strikeout.
For Buffalo, Santos (L, 3-12) pitched 5.0 innings with five hits, five runs (three earned) two walks and five strikeouts. Shafer went 2.0 innings with three hits, one earned run, one walk and two strikeouts. Beliveau worked 1.0 inning with one hit, one unearned run and one walk. Mike Bolsinger closed out the game with a scoreless top of the ninth with one hit.
Once again, Acuna paced the G-Braves offensively by going 3-for-5 with a run, a double and two RBIs. Ruiz was 2-for-3 with a run and Franco was 1-for-5 with the three-run homer.
Buffalo was led by Fields, who was 1-for-2 with an RBI.
The Gwinnett road trip continues Monday night at 7:05 p.m. with game one of a four-game series against the Durham Bulls. Right-hander Josh Collmenter (0-0, 2.25) will pitch for Gwinnett while Durham has not announced a starting pitcher. Air time is 6:35 p.m. with Dave Lezotte on 97.7 FM "The Other Side of the River."
The G-Braves are back home on Friday, August 25 for a doubleheader to begin a four-game series against the Charlotte Knights. 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.