LAWRENCEVILLE, GA – Anthony Recker blasted a walk-off home run leading off the 10th inning, giving the Gwinnett Braves (33-40) a come-from-behind 4-3 victory over the Indianapolis Indians (39-33) on Wednesday night at Coolray Field.
Recker lifted a 2-0 pitch from Jhondaniel Medina (BS, 1, L, 0-1) just over the wall in left-center, giving the G-Braves their second straight walk-off win over the Indians. It was Recker’s fifth home run since June 12th and eighth of the season (sixth with Gwinnett).
The G-Braves were held without a hit through eight innings and trailed 3-0, but Recker led off the ninth with a clean single off reliever Trey Haley. Rio Ruiz followed with a ground-rule to left field before Mel Rojas Jr. got Gwinnett on the board with a sacrifice fly.
After Blake Lalli flew out to deep center, Haley hit Matt Lipka with a pitch to put runners on first and second. Medina was summoned out of the Indianapolis bullpen and promptly walked pinch-hitter Matt Tuiasosopo to load the bases. Medina then issued eight straight balls to Ozzie Albies and Ronnier Mustelier, bringing in the tying runs. Reid Brignac struck out swinging to end the inning and force extras.
The G-Braves had been held down by Indians’ starter Tyler Glasnow, who didn’t allow a hit over 7.0 innings. The Pittsburgh Pirates’ No. 1 prospect according to MLB.com, Glasnow walked five and struck out eight while throwing 59 of his 102 pitches for strikes. Haley walked two in the eighth but escaped without surrendering a base hit.
Gwinnett threatened against Glasnow in the fifth and sixth innings, getting a pair of baserunners in both frames, but the right-hander got inning-ending grounders each time.
Indianapolis had taken the lead against G-Braves’ starter Manny Banuelos in the second, when Gift Ngoepe picked up a two-run single with the bases loaded. Banuelos worked himself into and out of trouble throughout his outing, walking five and allowing four hits in 4.2 innings. It was the longest outing of the season for the lefty.
Reliever Stephen Janas worked 3.1 innings out of the Gwinnett bullpen, retiring the first seven batters he faced before running into trouble in the eighth. Indianapolis raised its lead to 3-0 when Max Moroff led off the eighth with a triple and scored on Willy Garcia’s sacrifice fly.
Rob Wooten and Jose Ramirez (W, 2-2) each worked clean innings of relief as the G-Braves mounted their late rally.
Recker had two of the G-Braves’ three hits and scored twice, extending his hitting streak to 10 games. Gwinnett worked a season-high 10 walks against Indianapolis pitching and won despite going 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position.
Moroff and Ngoepe each collected two hits for Indianapolis, which went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position and left 13 men on base.
The G-Braves and Indians conclude the four-game series at Coolray Field on Thursday night at 7:05 p.m. Right-hander Chris Ellis (0-1, 67.50) will make his second start for Gwinnett against right-hander Trevor Williams (1-3, 4.73) for Indianapolis. Tony Schiavone will have the play-by-play call on 97.7 FM at 6:35 p.m.
Thursday’s game is another Triple Play Thursday. For $40, fans can purchase four (4) infield box tickets, four (4) hot dogs and four (4) sodas. Tickets for Thursday’s game are on sale now at the Coolray Field Ticket Office, call 678-277-0340 or visit GwinnettBraves.com/tickets to purchase.