LAWRENCEVILLE, GA - The Gwinnett bullpen gave up multiple runs for the third consecutive game as the G-Braves (16-21) finished the homestand with a 7-4 loss to the Louisville Bats (17-20) Sunday at Coolray Field. The Bats swept the three-game series.
The Bats scored three runs in the ninth inning to win game one 5-4 Friday, scored once in each of the final two innings Saturday to win 3-1 and flipped a 2-0 G-Braves' lead into a five-run deficit with seven runs against Gwinnett relievers Sunday.
After he struck out two batters in a perfect sixth inning, right-handed reliever John Cornely (L, 2-2) gave up two singles, a double and a walk in the seventh that led to Louisville's three runs. Yorman Rodriguez drove in the first two runs with a one-out double to center field, and Jermaine Curtis drove him in with a single to center.
The G-Braves loaded the bases with one out in the seventh inning against Bats' right-handed reliever Carlos Contreras (H, 3) but couldn't produce the tying run. After Contreras walked two and gave up a single to Daniel Castro, Adonis Garcia hit a grounder to shortstop that Eugenio Suarez threw to home plate to get Joe Benson. Contreras then struck out Cedric Hunter to end the threat.
Louisville added four runs in the ninth inning on three singles, two walks and a hit batsman against G-Braves' righty Mitchell Boggs.
The G-Braves threatened to score in the eighth with two hits against righty Ben Klimesh (H, 1) but came up empty. They managed two runs in the ninth off of righty Drew Hayes, who recorded his only out with a strikeout of Castro. Right-hander Nate Adcock (S, 8) recorded the final two outs of the game on consecutive groundouts to second.
G-Braves' right-handed starter Ryan Weber got through 5.0 innings scoreless with three baserunners allowed on two hits and a walk to go with one strikeout in his Triple-A debut. He recorded 11 of his 15 outs on ground balls, and his 56 pitches (41 strikes) tied his season high with Double-A Mississippi, where he had appeared in nine games and made three starts.
Louisville right-hander Donovan Hand also held the Gwinnett lineup without a run through 5.0 innings, but back-to-back singles by Castro and Garcia set up a sacrifice fly to center by Hunter that gave the G-Braves a 1-0 lead.
Hand was also charged with second G-Braves' run, as Garcia stole second base and came around to score on a single up the middle by Wil Nieves against right-handed reliever Jose De La Torre (W, 1-2). Hand finished 5.2 innings with two runs and five hits allowed against two strikeouts.
The No. 1-3 hitters in the Gwinnett lineup, Eury Perez, Castro and Garcia, combined to go 7-for-13 and scored all four of the G-Braves' runs. Garcia added a stolen base while going 3-for-5 with two runs scored.
Ivan De Jesus led the Louisville offense by going 3-for-3 with a double, an RBI and a run scored. Irving Falu followed with two hits and an RBI in five at-bats.
The G-Braves head out to begin a seven-game road trip with a 6:30 p.m. contest Monday vs. the Toledo Mud Hens, the Triple-A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers, at Fifth Third Field. Left-hander Manny Banuelos (2-0, 2.89 ERA) will get the start for Gwinnett against fellow lefty Kyle Ryan (0-4, 4.17 ERA) for Toledo. Tony Schiavone has the play-by-play call on 97.7 FM and WSBRadio.com beginning at 6:00 p.m.
The team will return to Coolray Field for a seven-game homestand on Monday, May 25 with a 6:35 p.m. game against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies. To purchase tickets, call the Coolray Field Ticket Office at 678-277-0340 or visit GwinnettBraves.com/tickets.
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The Gwinnett Braves are the Triple-A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves. Follow the G-Braves at GwinnettBraves.com, facebook.com/GwinnettBraves1 and twitter.com/GwinnettBraves. Tickets are on sale now at the Coolray Field Ticket Office, call 678-277-0340 or visit GwinnettBraves.com/tickets.