Featherston Leads IronPigs Past G-Braves

LAWRENCEVILLE, GA – Taylor Featherston homered and drove in three runs while finishing a double short of the cycle to lead the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (32-26) to an 11-6 victory over the Gwinnett Braves (25-34) on Tuesday night at Coolray Field. The G-Braves have now lost a season-high seven straight games and 10 of their last 11 games.

Featherston went 3-for-4 with a triple, two-run home run, two walks and three runs scored. His homer in the third against G-Braves’ starter Manny Banuelos (L, 0-1) gave Lehigh Valley the lead for good.

The IronPigs pounded out 15 hits against G-Braves’ pitching, scoring in six of the nine innings. After Lehigh Valley knocked Banuelos out after 4.0 innings, the IronPigs pounced on reliever Tyrell Jenkinsfor four runs (two earned) on five hits in 2.0 innings, seizing control of the game in the middle frames.

Nick Williams (3-for-4, two RBIs), Andrew Knapp (3-for-5, RBI) and Cameron Perkins (3-for-5, two RBIs) each came up with RBIs in a three-run fifth and Featherston singled in Emmanuel Burriss in the sixth against Jenkins.

Matt Tuiasosopo blasted a two-run home run to center field in the sixth off Michael Mariot (W, 1-1) to bring Gwinnett within 8-5, but the IronPigs got two runs in the seventh and another in the eighth to put the game away. It was Tuiasosopo’s seventh home run of the season and he added a double to go 2-for-4 on the night.

Ozzie Albies finished a homer shy of the cycle, going 3-for-4 with his first Triple-A triple and also a walk, improving his batting average to .241, the highest it’s been since May 22.

The G-Braves scored twice in the first inning, using three extra-base hits to jump on IronPigs’ starter James Russell. Albies led off the frame with a triple and scored on an Erick Aybar groundout. With two outs, Ronnier Mustelier and Rio Ruiz hit consecutive doubles to put Gwinnett on top.

Mustelier added an RBI double in the third for a 2-for-4 night and Ruiz registered his first multi-hit game since May 2, also going 2-for-4. Sean Kazmar Jr. singled and scored to extend his hitting streak to nine games for the G-Braves.

Russell yielded seven hits and three runs in 4.1 innings for Lehigh Valley while striking out six. Mariot allowed two runs on two hits in 1.2 innings to pick up his first victory of the season for the IronPigs.

The G-Braves and IronPigs continue the four-game series Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m. at Coolray Field. Right-hander Joel De La Cruz (0-1, 6.61) for the G-Braves against righty Zach Eflin (5-1, 3.14) for the IronPigs. Dave Lezotte, filling in for Tony Schiavone, will have the play-by-play on 97.7 FM at 6:35 p.m.

Tickets for Wednesday’s game are on sale now at the Coolray Field Ticket Office, call 678-277-0340 or visit GwinnettBraves.com/tickets to purchase.