LAWRENCEVILLE, GA – Right-hander Tyrell Jenkins scattered five hits over six scoreless innings, and Gwinnett’s International League-leading offense pounded out 13 hits in a 10-0 rout of the Norfolk Tides on Friday night at Coolray Field.
The G-Braves (7-2), first place in the IL South Division, are off to the best nine-game start in team history thanks to consecutive home shutout wins over the Tides (2-6). Gwinnett has an IL-best three shutouts on the young season, all coming against Norfolk.
For the second straight night, the G-Braves got stellar pitching from a top prospect, with Jenkins (W, 1-0) following fellow righty Aaron Blair’s lead from Thursday’s 6-0 win. As Jenkins put up zeroes, his teammates continued their hot hitting to begin the season.
Facing former G-Brave Todd Redmond (L, 0-2) for the second time already this year, Gwinnett scored six times in the first two innings to chase the Tides’ starter after just 1.2 frames.
The G-Braves scored twice in the first as Blake Lalli and Ryan Lavarnway each knocked in runs. An inning later, Matt Tuiasosopo, Tyler Moore, Lalli and Lavarnway collected consecutive RBI singles, opening a 6-0 lead.
The early offensive outburst was more than enough for Jenkins, who cruised to his first victory of the year. He ran into trouble only once, loading the bases in the fourth before inducing an inning-ending double play. The Atlanta Braves’ No. 8 prospect according to MLB.com, Jenkins walked one and struck out five as he lowered his season ERA to 2.00.
Emilio Bonifacio added a sacrifice fly to make it 7-0 in the fifth, and a three-run seventh capped by Moore’s two-run single extended the lead to 10-0.
Danny Burawa, Madison Younginer and Ryan Weber each tossed scoreless innings in relief to complete the shutout. Gwinnett pitchers haven’t allowed a run over the last 19.1 innings dating back to the eighth inning of Wednesday’s 6-2 win at Durham.
Rio Ruiz extended his hitting streak to seven games with a single to lead off the seventh. He added a single in the eighth and finished 2-for-5, also giving him four straight multi-hit games. Chase d’Arnaudwent 3-for-4 with a double and two runs scored, Moore went 2-for-5 with three RBIs and Lavarnway went 2-for-5 with two RBIs. Lalli and Tuiasosopo also had a hit and two RBIs each.
For Norfolk, Dariel Alvarez went 3-for-4 and Henry Urrutia reached base three times on a single and two walks.
The G-Braves and Tides play game three of the four-game series on Saturday night, first pitch slated for 7:05 p.m. Right-hander Casey Kelly (0-0, 7.20) takes the mound for Gwinnett, while Norfolk counters with former G-Braves right-hander Terry Doyle (0-0, 6.00). Dave Lezotte, filling in for Tony Schiavone, will have the call of the action beginning at 6:35 p.m. on 97.7 FM and WSBRadio.com.
The first 2,500 fans at Saturday’s game will receive a Coolray Field Fleece Blanket, compliments of Coolray Heating and Cooling. It’s also Princess and Pirates Night, with Anna, Elsa, Olaf and Pirate Jack greeting fans on the concourse. Tickets are on sale now at the Coolray Field Ticket Office, call 678-277-0340 or visit GwinnettBraves.com/tickets.