LAWRENCEVILLE, GA – The Rochester Red Wings (72-58) sent eight men to the plate in a pivotal three-run sixth inning in a 5-3 win over the Gwinnett Braves (57-72) on Monday night at Coolray Field.
The loss, coupled with Charlotte’s 3-0 win over Buffalo, bumped the G-Braves into second place in the International League South, a half-game behind the Knights (58-72).
Gwinnett had a 2-1 lead through five innings, but Chris Ellis (L, 4-5) ran into trouble in the sixth. Byron Buxton led off with a single and Ellis hit Tommy Field before walking Reynaldo Rodriguez to load the bases.
A walk to Kennys Vargas tied the game and ended Ellis’ night, but reliever Maikel Cleto couldn’t get his teammate out of the jam upon entry.
Adam Brett Walker greeted Cleto with a sacrifice fly to left, putting the Red Wings ahead and moving both runners into scoring position. Logan Schafer ripped an RBI single to cap the rally and put Rochester up 4-2.
Gwinnett jumped on Rochester starter Andrew Albers (W, 10-6) for two runs in the first inning whenSean Kazmar Jr. muscled a broken-bat, two-run single into shallow center field.
Emerson Landoni chased Albers from the game with an RBI double over the first base bag to make it 4-3 in the sixth, but Tommy Field made a running catch in shallow right-center to rob Daniel Castroand bail out reliever Jake Reed to keep Rochester in front.
The Red Wings added a run in the eighth against Wilfredo Boscan to push the lead to 5-3 on an RBI single by John Ryan Murphy.
The G-Braves put the tying runs on in the ninth against Alex Wimmers (S, 11) but the Red Wings’ closer struck out Reid Brignac to end it.
Buxton went 3-for-5 to pace the Rochester attack and Field hit a solo home run in the fourth and scored twice for the Red Wings.
Blake Lalli went 3-for-4 with his 18th double of the season and Bonifacio was 2-for-4 with his IL-leading 37th stolen base of the season for Gwinnett. Ellis allowed four runs on four hits and four walks in 5.0 innings while striking out five.
The G-Braves begin a three-game series against the Buffalo Bisons at 7:05 p.m. on Tuesday night at Coolray Field. Right-hander Aaron Blair (4-4, 4.59) is scheduled to start for Gwinnett against righty Mike Bolsinger (1-2, 5.68) for Buffalo. Tony Schiavone will have the play-by-play call on 97.7 FM at 6:35 p.m.
It’s a Two-for-Tuesday night, as all Dugout seats are two for the price of one. Tickets for Tuesday’s game are on sale now at the Coolray Field Ticket Office, call 678-277-0340 or visit GwinnettBraves.com/tickets to purchase.