LAWRENCEVILLE, GA – Rio Ruiz tripled and homered twice to power the Gwinnett Braves (57-70) to a rain-shortened 5-1 victory over the Rochester Red Wings (70-58) on Saturday night at Coolray Field.
The game was called after the top of the seventh inning following a 1-hour, 15-minute rain delay. With the win, Gwinnett now leads the International League South Division by 1.5 games over both Charlotte and Norfolk (T-2nd, 56-72).
Ruiz took Red Wings’ starter Omar Bencomo deep into the Rochester bullpen down the right field line for a solo shot leading off the fourth and added three-run blast to right off Bencomo in the fifth. It was the first career multi-homer game for Ruiz, who now has nine home runs with the G-Braves this season.
With two out in the fifth, Reid Brignac and Brandon Snyder singled to set up Ruiz’s three-run blast and give him a season-high four RBIs.
Gwinnett also jumped on Bencomo for a run in the bottom of the first inning when Emilio Bonifacio led off with a triple and scored two batters later on a sacrifice fly to center by Snyder.
In his G-Braves’ debut, lefty Jed Bradley (W, 1-0) cruised through the Rochester lineup in his first outing at the Triple-A level since June 12, 2015 with Colorado Springs in the Milwaukee Brewers’ organization.
Bradley yielded just one run, on a fielder’s choice in the sixth inning, on five hits over 6.0 innings. He walked one and struck out nine while throwing 63 of his 96 pitches for strikes.
Bonifacio also tripled to begin the third, becoming the first G-Brave to collect two triples in a game sinceMallex Smith did so on August 17, 2015 at Toledo. He was the only other Gwinnett hitter with multiple hits on the night.
Bencomo (L, 1-1) yielded five runs on nine hits over 5.1 innings for Rochester and Adam Brett Walker collected his 67th RBI of the season, third-most in the IL.
The G-Braves and Red Wings continue the three-game series at 2:05 p.m. on Sunday afternoon at Coolray Field. Right-hander John Gant (3-3, 4.30) will start for the G-Braves against lefty Nick Greenwood (4-3, 3.30) for Rochester. Tony Schiavone will have the play-by-play call on 97.7 FM at 1:35 p.m.
It’s the final “Sunday Funday” of the season, presented by Georgia United Credit Union. Fans are welcome to play catch on the field before the game from 1:10-1:30 and fans 12-and-under can run the bases following the game.
After fans have finished running the bases, the pilot episode of the upcoming Fox show “Pitch” will be played on the video board. Tickets for Sunday’s game are on sale now at the Coolray Field Ticket Office, call 678-277-0340 or visit GwinnettBraves.com/tickets to purchase.