LAWRENCEVILLE, GA - In their last matchup of the season, the Gwinnett Braves (49-50) suffered a 10-2 loss to the Indianapolis Indians (55-45) on Sunday afternoon in the final game of their seven-game homestand at Cooray Field.With Gwinnett leading 2-0 in the seventh, the Indians batted around against A.J. Minter
LAWRENCEVILLE, GA - In their last matchup of the season, the Gwinnett Braves (49-50) suffered a 10-2 loss to the Indianapolis Indians (55-45) on Sunday afternoon in the final game of their seven-game homestand at Cooray Field.
With Gwinnett leading 2-0 in the seventh, the Indians batted around against A.J. Minter (BS, 2, L, 0-2) and Caleb Dirks to take a 6-2 lead. Danny Ortiz hit a grand slam off Dirks in the eighth to increase the lead to 10-2, which would prove to be the final.
Aaron Blair made the start for Gwinnett and got out of a bases-loaded jam to pitch a scoreless first inning. Scheduled for a 1.0-inning outing, Blair gave up two hits while recording one strikeout in his only inning of work.
Andres Santiago took over on the mound for the G-Braves in the second and got an unusual double play to end the inning. With runners on the corners and one out, Christopher Bostick struck out with a runner heading toward second. While Gwinnett catcher Joe Odom threw to second, Phil Gosselin tried to score from third but was thrown out at the plate by second baseman Ozzie Albies to end the inning.
In the bottom of the second, Micah Johnson reached with a one-out double against Indianapolis starter Drew Hutchison (W, 6-5). Two batters later, Xavier Avery launched a two-run home run, his ninth of the season, an estimated 418 feet to right-center to put Gwinnett in front 2-0.
Santiago would make that lead stand up for the rest of his outing with the help of some strong Gwinnett defense. In the fifth, Johnson made a diving catch near the left field line to rob Jordan Luplow of an extra-base hit. In the sixth, Santiago retired the side in order to finish his afternoon. Over 5.0 scoreless relief innings, Santiago gave up five hits while walking none and striking out five.
The game unraveled for the Gwinnett bullpen in the seventh as RBI singles from Kevin Newman, Elias Díaz and Phil Gosselin plated five runs while one more scored on an error. After Ortiz's grand slam made it 10-2 in the eighth, Rhiner Cruz came out of the G-Braves' bullpen and pitched 1.2 scoreless innings.
Hutchison gave up two runs over 6.0 innings to earn the win while reliever Dovydas Neverauskas (S, 10) pitched 3.0 scoreless innings to finish the game.
For Gwinnett, Avery led the way by going 1-for-3 with the two-run homer to tie for the team lead while Johnson went 1-for-4 with a double and a run scored.
Offensively, the Indians were led by Ortiz's 3-for-5 afternoon with the grand slam while Newman also went 3-for-5 with two RBIs as the Indians earned a split of the four-game series.
The G-Braves hit the road on Monday to begin a seven-game road trip with game one of a four-game series against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. Left-hander Andrew Albers (9-3, 3.12 ERA) is scheduled to start for Gwinnett against Lehigh Valley right-hander Zach Eflin (1-2, 3.08 ERA). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. Tony Schiavone has the play-by-play call on 97.7 FM The Other Side of the River beginning at 6:35 p.m.
The G-Braves return home for game one of a three-game series against the Norfolk Tides on Monday, July 31. For tickets, call 678-277-0340 or visit GwinnettBraves.com/tickets.