LAWRENCEVILLE, GA – Ronnier Mustelier lined a three-run triple in the first inning and John Gant pitched effectively into the seventh inning as the Gwinnett Braves (16-15) beat the Charlotte Knights (13-17) 4-2 on Sunday at Coolray Field.
Gwinnett won the series 2-1 and finished 3-6 on their longest homestand of the season.
Mustelier’s triple came with the bases loaded and two outs. Knights’ right fielder Daniel Fields tried to dive and make the catch, but the ball rolled by him and into the corner. It was Mustelier’s second triple of the season and staked the G-Braves to a 3-0 lead.
Sean Kazmar Jr. and Adonis Garcia singled around a Gordon Beckham walk in the first before Mustelier’s triple. Ozzie Albies led off the second with a double before scoring on a sacrifice fly byEmilio Bonifacio.
The 4-0 lead was more than enough for Gant (W, 2-0), who allowed two runs (one earned) on six hits, walked one and struck out seven over 6.2 innings. He threw 66 of his 98 pitches for strikes.
Gant worked into and out of trouble in each of the first four innings, allowing the leadoff batter to reach in each of the frames, but kept Charlotte off the board until the sixth. An Albies throwing error put Tim Anderson on first base to lead off the inning, and two batters later, Matt Davidson lined a double down the right field line to plate Anderson.
Andy Parrino hit a solo home run in the seventh off Gant to cut the lead to 4-2. After a Jacob May single, Gant was lifted for reliever Chris Withrow (H, 2). The hard-throwing righty struck out Anderson to end the seventh and proceeded to punch out two more in a scoreless eighth.
Ian Krol (S, 1) earned his first save of the season as he worked a perfect ninth, collecting a pair of strikeouts. Gwinnett pitchers combined for 12 strikeouts in the game.
Knights’ starter Jacob Turner (L, 2-1) gave up four runs on 10 hits over 5.0 innings, walked two and struck out three.
Albies went 3-for-4 with two doubles and a run scored – his first three-hit game in Triple-A – to raise his average from .143 to .219. Kazmar Jr. went 3-for-5 with a run scored, and Mustelier went 2-for-3 with the triple and three RBIs.
Davidson went 2-for-4 with an RBI for Charlotte before being ejected in the eighth inning.
Gwinnett begins a seven-game road trip on Monday night with the opener of a four-game series against the Rochester Red Wings. First pitch at Frontier Field in Rochester, NY is set for 7:05 p.m. Right-hander Lucas Sims (0-2, 5.06) is scheduled to start for the G-Braves against left-hander Taylor Rogers (0-1, 4.91) for the Red Wings. Tony Schiavone will have the play-by-play on 97.7 FM at 6:35 p.m.
The G-Braves return to Coolray Field on Monday, May 16 with a 7:05 p.m. game vs. the Durham Bulls. Tickets are on sale now at the Coolray Field Ticket Office, call 678-277-0340 or visit GwinnettBraves.com/tickets to purchase.