LAWRENCEVILLE, GA – Jason Coats homered and reached base safely all four times in leading the Charlotte Knights (48-64) to a 4-2 victory over the Gwinnett Braves (50-61) on Wednesday night at Coolray Field.
Coats led off the fourth inning with a solo home run to right field off Gwinnett starter Victor Mateo (L, 0-1) to kick-start a three-run rally and give the Knights an advantage they wouldn’t surrender.
After Mateo allowed the homer, hit Kevan Smith and walked Nicky Delmonico, he was lifted for reliever Jason Hursh, who yielded consecutive run-scoring singles to Jerry Sands and Vinny Rottino.
Charlotte would need the insurance runs, as Gwinnett battled back to halve the lead in the seventh.Rio Ruiz and Sean Kazmar Jr. each reached on one-out singles and Michael McKenry doubled into the left field corner to get the G-Braves on the board. Daniel Castro followed with his third single of the game, scoring Kazmar Jr., but reliever Juan Minaya got Emilio Bonifacio to pop up to end the threat.
Coats singled twice and walked in a 3-for-3 night to boost the Charlotte offense in support of starter Terance Marin (W, 5-5). The Knights’ right-hander limited the G-Braves to only three hits over 6.0 innings while walking one and striking out two.
Minaya yielded two runs on four hits over 2.0 innings of relief before Brad Goldberg (S, 8) locked down the victory with a scoreless ninth.
Castro finished 3-for-3 with an RBI and Kazmar Jr. was 2-for-3 with a run scored for Gwinnett. Mateo, making his first start for the G-Braves this season, allowed four runs (three earned) on three hits and two walks in 3.0 innings.
Despite allowing two inherited runners to score, Hursh extended his scoreless innings streak to 24.1 with 3.0 innings of three-hit relief. He, Maikel Cleto and Stephen Janas combined to throw 6.0 scoreless innings, holding the Knights to just four hits over that span.
The G-Braves and Knights conclude the four-game series on Thursday night at 7:05 p.m. Right-hander Kanekoa Texeira (1-5, 4.21) will take the ball for the G-Braves against righty Kameron Loe (0-3, 4.31) for Charlotte. Dave Lezotte will have the play-by-play call on 97.7 FM at 6:35 p.m.
Thursday’s game is another Triple Play Thursday, sponsored by Coolray Heating and Cooling. 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.