LAWRENCEVILLE, GA – Ozzie Albies laced a walk-off RBI single to center field in the bottom of the 12th inning, lifting the Gwinnett Braves (14-14) to a 2-1 victory over the Toledo Mud Hens (11-13) on Wednesday afternoon at Coolray Field.
Sean Kazmar Jr. led off the 12th with a single to left and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Blake Lalli. Albies followed, driving a pitch from Jeff Ferrell (L, 1-1) into center to end the game and the G-Braves’ five-game losing streak. It’s the first walk-off win for Gwinnett this season.
The game had been scoreless into the 11th, when Tyler Collins broke the deadlock with an RBI single off Joel De La Cruz to stake Toledo to a 1-0 lead.
But Gwinnett answered in the bottom of the frame. After replacing rehabbing Atlanta Braves’ center fielder Ender Inciarte to start the eighth inning, Emerson Landoni led off the bottom of the 11th with a single to right against Bruce Rondon (BS, 1). An Emilio Bonifacio sacrifice bunt put Landoni in scoring position for Jace Peterson, who lined a single to right to tie the game at 1-1. The hit was Peterson’s first since joining the G-Braves on May 2.
Gwinnett starter Casey Kelly and Toledo left-hander Matt Boyd matched zeroes for 8.0 innings apiece, allowing a total of nine hits. Kelly, who established a new single-game career-high for innings pitched, saw just two Mud Hens reach scoring position while walking two and striking out four. He threw 61 of his 102 pitches for strikes and lowered his ERA to 1.65.
Boyd scattered five hits and didn’t walk a batter while striking out three.
Chris Withrow and Sean Burnett each tossed scoreless innings of relief between Kelly and De La Cruz, before Ian Krol (W, 1-2) held Toledo off the scoreboard in the 12th to pick up his first victory of the season.
Kazmar Jr. and Landoni each had two of the G-Braves’ 10 hits. Inciarte went 0-for-3 in his first rehab game with Gwinnett since injuring his hamstring with Atlanta on April 9.
Collins’ RBI single was his only hit of the day for Toledo, which managed only six hits against Gwinnett pitching. The Mud Hens were 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position.
Gwinnett has an off-day Thursday before beginning a three-game series against the Charlotte Knights on Friday night at Coolray Field. Right-hander Williams Perez (0-2, 6.10) is scheduled to pitch for the G-Braves, while the Knights will counter with right-hander Terance Marin (1-2, 8.20). Tony Schiavone and Nick Green will have the play-by-play call on 97.7 FM beginning at 6:35 p.m.
Friday is another “Fireworks Friday” at Coolray Field, with a spectacular post-game display courtesy of Fox 5 Atlanta. Tickets for Friday’s game are on sale now at the Coolray Field Ticket Office, call 678-277-0340 or visit GwinnettBraves.com/tickets to purchase.