NORFOLK, VA-The Gwinnett Braves (68-68) and Norfolk Tides (64-73) split a doubleheader on Wednesday night at Harbor Park with Gwinnett winning game one, 8-2, and Norfolk coming back to win game two, 4-3.
The home run ball propelled the G-Braves to the win in game one as Rio Ruiz cracked a two-run homer in the top of the first off Norfolk starter Alec Asher for a quick 2-0 lead.
An inning later, the Gwinnett lead grew as with runners on the corners and one out, Kade Scivicque reached on an infield single, pushing across a run for a 3-0 lead. Two batters later, Xavier Avery crushed a three-run homer to right off Asher to make it 6-0. Sean Kazmar Jr. then went back-to-back with Avery with a solo homer to left for a 7-0 lead.
The final G-Braves run of game one also came on the long ball as Scivicque drilled a leadoff homer in the top of the fourth off reliever Jason Wheeler to push the lead to 8-0.
The only runs for the Tides in game one also came on a homer as Mike Yastrzemski (9) belted a two-run homer in the bottom of the fifth off Gwinnett reliever David Peterson .
Lefty Max Fried started game one for Gwinnett and went 2.0 scoreless innings with two hits. Atlanta Braves reliever Ian Krol, (W, 1-0) in his first rehab game with Gwinnett, got the win by going 1.0 inning with two walks. Peterson worked 2.0 innings with two hits, two earned runs and one walk. Luke Jackson , in his second rehab outing with Gwinnett, tossed 1.0 inning with one hit and one walk. Josh Collmenter closed out the game with a scoreless bottom of the seventh with one walk and two strikeouts.
For Norfolk in the opening game, Asher (L, 3-3) pitched 1.2 innings with five hits, seven earned runs, two walks and two strikeouts. Wheeler went 4.1 innings of relief with four hits, one earned run and five strikeouts. Stefan Crichton worked 1.0 inning with one hit and one strikeout.
In game two, the G-Braves had taken an early lead as back-to back RBI singles by Sal Giardina and Luis Valenzuela in the top of the second off Norfolk starter Gabriel Ynoa made it 2-0. But in the bottom of the second, after a throwing error by first baseman Matt Tuiasosopo allowed the Tides to load the bases, Joey Rickard made Gwinnett pay for the miscue with a grand slam to left off Gwinnett starter Manny Barreda for a 4-2 lead.
Gwinnett made a run in the top of the seventh as Tuiasosopo and Valenzuela each singled off Tides reliever Richard Rodriguez. With two on and two outs, Avery bounced a single to center, scoring Tuiasosopo and cutting the lead to 4-3. But Rodriguez struck out Micah Johnson with runners on the corners to end the game.
Barreda (L, 2-1) went the distance in game two with 6.0 innings pitched, four hits, four unearned runs, four walks and eight strikeouts. The complete game was just the second in Barreda's minor league career.
For Norfolk in game two, Ynoa (W, 6-9) pitched 6.0 innings with six hits, two earned runs, one walk and five strikeouts. Rodriguez (S, 10) tossed 1.0 inning with three hits, one earned run and two strikeouts.
Offensively for Gwinnett, Kyle Kubitza and Scivicque were each 2-for-4 in game one with Scivicque adding his second homer in as many games to increase his hitting streak to six games. Ruiz was 2-for-4 with a two-run homer, Kazmar was 1-for-3 with a solo homer and Avery was 1-for-4 with a three-run homer. In game two, Tuiasosopo and Valenzuela were each 2-for-3.
For Norfolk, Yastrzemski was 1-for-2 with a two-run homer in game one and Rickard was 1-for-3 with a homer and four RBIs in game two.
The G-Braves and Tides concluded the four-game series on Thursday night at Harbor Park. In a battle of left-handers, Luiz Gohara (1-2, 3.86) will start for Gwinnett against Norfolk's Jayson Aquino (3-9, 4.09). First pitch at 7:05 p.m. Air time is 6:35 p.m. with Tony Schiavone on 97.7 FM "The Other Side of the River."
The G-Braves return to Coolray Field on Friday, September 1 for game one of a five-game series vs. the Durham Bulls. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. For tickets, call the Coolray Field Ticket Office at 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.