LAWRENCEVILLE, GA – Anthony Recker homered twice and the Gwinnett Braves (30-34) matched a season high with three home runs in a 10-3 victory over the Norfolk Tides (21-43) on Sunday afternoon at Coolray Field.
Daniel Castro also homered as Gwinnett swept the three-game weekend series and earned its fifth straight victory overall. The G-Braves are now 7-0 vs. Norfolk at Coolray Field this season.
Recker took Norfolk starter Ariel Miranda (L, 1-7) deep to right field in the first inning to put Gwinnett up 1-0, and hammered another solo homer to left off Miranda in the fifth for a 5-1 lead. It’s the 11th career two-homer game for Recker, who has five blasts in the International League this season (three with the G-Braves). He last homered twice on May 14, 2015 for the New York Mets at the Chicago Cubs.
Recker finished 2-for-3 with a pair of walks and three RBIs and became the first G-Brave to score four times in a game this season.
Norfolk tied the game at 1-1 in the third, but Gwinnett jumped back in front with a three-run rally in the bottom half thanks in part to two errors by the Tides. Emerson Landoni led off the frame with an infield single and raced all the way to third on a two-base throwing error by Norfolk third baseman Michael Almanzar.
Ozzie Albies drove Landoni in with a sacrifice fly before Emilio Bonifacio and Recker worked consecutive walks against Miranda. Two batters later, Reid Brignac singled to left scoring Bonifacio, and left fielder Mike Yastrzemski overran the ball, allowing Recker to score from first to make it 4-1.
After Recker’s homer made it 5-1 in the fifth, Castro made it 7-1 in the sixth. In his first game back with Gwinnett after being optioned from Atlanta earlier in the day, Castro lifted a two-run shot down the left field line off Richard Rodriguez. It’s Castro’s first homer since October 2, 2015 for the Braves vs. St. Louis. He finished 1-for-4 with two RBIs.
Landoni and Ronnier Mustelier each went 3-for-4 for the G-Braves, who pounded out 13 hits on the day. Brignac was 2-for-3 with a run and an RBI.
Starter Manny Banuelos lasted only 3.0 innings for Gwinnett, allowing one run on two hits and four walks while striking out three. Stephen Janas (W, 1-0) and Rob Wooten each allowed a run in 5.0 combined innings of relief before Jose Ramirez retired in the Tides in the ninth. Janas earned his first Triple-A win by yielding just one run over 2.1 innings.
Almanzar went 2-for-4 with an RBI, and Miranda gave up five runs (four earned) on five hits over 5.0 innings for the Tides.
Following an off day on Monday, the G-Braves start a six-game road trip with the first of three games at Lehigh Valley on Tuesday night. Right-hander Joel De La Cruz (1-1, 5.73) is scheduled to start for Gwinnett against right-hander David Buchanan (3-4, 4.76) for the IronPigs. Tony Schiavone will have the play-by-play call from Coca-Cola Park on 97.7 FM at 6:35 p.m.