LAWRENCEVILLE, GA - Despite a quality start from Kris Medlen and two scoreless innings from the bullpen, the Gwinnett Braves (52-56) fell 3-2 to the Norfolk Tides (50-60) in game two of the three-game series on Tuesday night at Coolray Field.
Former Atlanta Braves infielder Chris Johnson produced all the offense for the Tides, going 3-for-4 with two home runs and a double while driving in all three Norfolk runs.
The Tides jumped on Medlen (L, 1-4) early. Chris Dickerson led off the game with a walk, and Johnson followed with a two-run home run into the Gwinnett bullpen in left field to give Norfolk an early 2-0 lead.
In the third, Johnson extended the Tides' lead to 3-0 with his second home run of the night and sixth of the season, a solo shot to center.
Gwinnett got the run back in the bottom of the third against Norfolk starter Mike Wright. Kade Scivicque led off the inning with a walk and later came home to score on a single to right from Rio Ruiz.
With one out in the fourth, the Tides turned to Chris Lee (W, 4-5) out of the bullpen, and he picked up where Wright left off and held the G-Braves off the board for the next three innings.
In the top of the seventh, Medlen gave up a leadoff single to Luis Sardinas, but rebounded to strike out the next three hitters he faced, ending his start. Over 7.0 quality innings, Medlen gave up three earned runs on seven hits while walking one and tying a season high with nine strikeouts.
The G-Braves got a run closer against Lee in the seventh as Ronald Acuna began the frame with a double to right and advanced to third on a passed ball. Dansby Swanson drove in Acuna with an RBI grounder to third. The throw to first by Johnson was wide for an error, allowing Swanson to reach and advance all the way to third base. But the G-Braves would strand Swanson on third as Lee escaped the jam with two strikeouts and a pop-out.
A.J. Minter retired the Tides in order in the eighth to keep the deficit at one run. In the ninth, Enrique Burgos worked around a pair of singles to pitch a scoreless frame.
Norfolk turned to Jason Wheeler (S, 1) in the eighth, and the left-hander gave up one single over the final two innings to finish off the win.
For Gwinnett, Acuna went 3-for-5 with a double and a run scored out of the lead-off spot. Ruiz went 1-for-4 with an RBI and Swanson went 1-for-5 with an RBI.
While Johnson led the way for the Tides, Sardinas also went 3-for-4 while Drew Dosch went 2-for-4 with a double.
The G-Braves and Tides conclude the three-game series on Wednesday night at Coolray Field, first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. Left-hander Luiz Gohara (0-1, 7.71 ERA), the Braves' No. 8 prospect according to MLB.com, is scheduled to make his home debut for Gwinnett. He will be opposed by Norfolk right-hander Gabriel Ynoa (4-8, 6.56 ERA). Dave Lezotte 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.