ALLENTOWN, PA- The Lehigh Valley IronPigs (64-40) sent the Gwinnett Braves (50-52) to their second straight loss on their current seven-game road trip with an 8-2 win on Wednesday night in game three of the four-game series at Coca-Cola Park.
For the second consecutive day, the G-Braves were held to just three hits in a loss as they fell to 3-7 in their last 10 games.
The IronPigs got the scoring going in the bottom of the first when Rhys Hoskins (24) socked a two-out solo homer to left off Gwinnett starter Kris Medlen for a 1-0 lead.
The G-Braves tied the game in the top of the fifth as Carlos Franco (7) drilled a two-out solo homer to center off Lehigh Valley starting pitcher Mark Leiter. The home run was his 18th this season between Gwinnett and Double-A Mississippi, which leads all Braves minor leaguers.
But the 1-1 tie was quickly broken in the bottom of the fifth as the IronPigs loaded the bases off Medlen with two outs and J.P. Crawford crushed a ball off the wall in center field for a rare inside-the-park grand slam and a 5-1 lead.
With one out in the bottom of the seventh, the IronPigs again loaded the bases off of Medlin, prompting the G-Braves to call in Rhiner Cruz from the bullpen. He gave up a two-run double to left to Hoskins and a sacrifice fly to Jorge Alfaro that pushed the IronPigs' lead to 8-1.
The final run of the game came in the top of the eighth when Gwinnett's Dustin Peterson scored from third on a wild pitch by Lehigh Valley reliever Jesen Therrien.
Medlen (L, 1-3) pitched 6.1 innings with seven hits, eight earned runs, two walks and four strikeouts. Cruz went 1.2 innings with one hit, one walk and one strikeout.
Leiter (W, 2-1) tossed 6.0 innings with two hits, one earned run, one walk and four strikeouts. Therrien worked 2.0 innings with one unearned run, two walks and two strikeouts. Colton Murray pitched 1.0 inning with one hit and two walks.
At the plate, the G-Braves were led by Franco who was 1-for-3 with the solo homer. David Freitas was 0-for-3 and saw his 11-game hitting streak come to an end.
For the IronPigs, Hoskins was 2-for-4 with a double, a homer, a run scored, and three RBIs. Crawford went 1-for-3 with two runs, a home run, and four RBIs.
The G-Braves and IronPigs play the finale of the four-game series Thursday night in Allentown. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. The G-Braves are scheduled to start right-hander Lucas Sims (7-4, 3.75) while the IronPigs have yet to officially name a starter. Air time is 6:35 p.m. with Tony Schiavone on 97.7 FM "The Other Side of the River."
The G-Braves return home for game one of a three-game series against the Norfolk Tides on July 31. 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.