LAWRENCEVILLE, GA – Jason Coats hit a tie-breaking solo home run in the fourth inning and the Charlotte Knights (13-16) piled on late to beat the Gwinnett Braves (15-15) 12-2 on Saturday night at Coolray Field.
Two batters after Matt Davidson tied the game with a solo home run of his own off G-Braves’ starterTyrell Jenkins (L, 2-2), Coats blasted his third homer of the season down the left field line to put Charlotte ahead 3-2.
The Knights added two more runs in the fifth, a run in the sixth, five in the eighth and one in the ninth to hand the G-Braves their most lopsided loss of 2016.
Jenkins saw his streak of four straight quality starts end as he allowed six runs (five earned) over 5.2 innings. The right-hander yielded seven hits, walked two and struck out three as his ERA rose from 1.67 to 2.76.
Five Gwinnett relievers combined to yield six runs on 10 hits the rest of the way. Brandon Cunniff was tagged for five runs on four hits over a third of an inning, and Ryan Weber gave up a run on a hit and two walks over 1.0 inning.
Gwinnett got on the board first in the game’s opening inning, when Gordon Beckham doubled into the right field corner and scored two batters later on Ryan Lavarnway‘s RBI single. After Charlotte tied the game in the top of the third, Emilio Bonifacio led off the bottom of the frame with a single and raced home on Beckham’s second double of the night.
In his second MLB rehab game for Gwinnett, Beckham finished 3-for-4 with two doubles, a run scored and an RBI. He collected three of the G-Braves’ six hits on the night.
J.B. Shuck (3-for-5, 2 doubles, 4 RBIs), Davidson (3-for-4, homer, run, RBI) and Jacob May (3-for-5, 3 runs, RBI) each had three-hit nights for Charlotte.
Commerce, GA native Chris Beck (W, 2-2) allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits over 7.0 innings to get the win for the Knights. Brad Goldberg and Will Lamb each turned in a scoreless inning in relief.
The G-Braves and Knights conclude the three-game series on Sunday afternoon at Coolray Field, first pitch set for 2:05 p.m. Right-hander John Gant (1-0, 3.57) will pitch for Gwinnett against right-hander Jacob Turner (2-0, 3.04) for Charlotte. Tony Schiavone will have the play-by-play call on 97.7 FM at 1:35 p.m.
Sunday is Mother’s Day at Coolray Field, and Gildan will host a special “Pampering in the Park” station for mom featuring massages and manicures. Gildan will also be giving out free t-shirts. It’s also “Sunday Funday” presented by Georgia United Credit Union, as fans are invited to play catch on the field from 1:10-1:25 p.m. and kids ages 12 and under can run the bases following the game. Tickets for Sunday’s game are on sale now at the Coolray Field Ticket Office, call 678-277-0340 or visit GwinnettBraves.com/tickets to purchase.