The Gwinnett Braves (16-14) kept the game close early, but a late barrage by the Toledo Mud Hens (16-13) proved too much in an 8-4 loss on Tuesday night at Coolray Field.
Toledo scored five runs between the fifth and seventh innings to turn a 3-2 lead into a 8-3 lead as they led from start to finish. Offensively, JaCoby Jones led the way with three hits and three RBIs for the Mud Hens.
For the second straight game, the Mud Hens got on the board first, this time against Gwinnett starter Matt Wisler (L, 0-2). Alex Presley led off the game with a double, advanced to third on a wild pitch, and then scored on a sacrifice fly from J.D. Martinez.
The Mud Hens extended the lead in the second frame as Bryan Holaday walked and Argenis Diaz singled to put a pair of runners on base. Three batters later, Jones doubled to left, scoring both Holaday and Diaz to put Toledo up 3-0.
Gwinnett got one back in the bottom of the second against Toledo starter Anthony Vasquez (W, 1-0). Leading off the frame, Mel Rojas Jr. hit a solo home run an estimated 409 feet to center field to put the G-Braves on the board.
In the fourth, the G-Braves cut the deficit to one run as Lane Adams cranked a solo home run to left, his team-leading fifth of the year, to make the score 3-2 Toledo after four innings.
Toledo got the run back in the fifth off Wisler as Jones reached on an error then scored on a ground out from Navarro. In the sixth, the Mud Hens put the game out of reach with a three-run rally as Presley doubled to score a pair, ending Wisler's night. Against relief pitcher Akeel Morris, Jones followed with a single to plate Presley and make the score 7-2 Mud Hens.
In 5.2 innings pitched, Wisler allowed seven runs, six earned, on nine hits while walking three and striking out four.
Rojas Jr. continued his solid night at the plate in the bottom of the sixth with a double off Vasquez, scoring Sean Kazmar Jr. from third to cut the Toledo lead to 7-3. Toledo plated another run in the seventh on a double from Moya off Morris to increase the lead to six before Rhiner Cruz came out of the Gwinnett bullpen and got out of the inning.
Jason Hursh worked around a two-out double to pitch a clean eighth. After Ozzie Albies led off the bottom of the eighth with a walk, Johan Camargo doubled to right-center to score Albies, trimming the Toledo lead to 8-4.
David Peterson pitched a scoreless ninth for Gwinnett. Mike Zagurski came on and did the same for Toledo to finish off the win.
Rojas Jr. led the way for Gwinnett with a pair of extra-base hits, including his fourth home run of the season, and two RBIs.
The Gwinnett Braves and Toledo Mud Hens play game three of the four-game series on Wednesday night at Coolray Field, first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m. The G-Braves are scheduled to start right-hander Aaron Blair (1-2, 7.17), while the Mud Hens will counter with right-hander Buck Farmer (0-1, 2.78). Tony Schiavone has the play-by-play call on 97.7 FM The Other Side of the River beginning at 6:35 p.m. 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.