LAWRENCEVILLE, GA – The Norfolk Tides (60-79) sent 10 men to the plate and scored four times in the eighth inning to earn a 5-2 win over the Gwinnett Braves (62-75) on Tuesday night at Coolray Field.
Despite the loss, Gwinnett remains in first place in the International League South Division, a half-game ahead of Charlotte (62-76), which lost 5-3 at Louisville on Tuesday night.
The G-Braves held a 2-1 lead entering the eighth and handed the ball to Atlanta Braves’ reliever Chris Withrow, who was making his third appearance on a Major League rehab assignment. The right-hander allowed a one-out single to Dariel Alvarez before getting Christian Walker to fly out. But Michael Almanzar singled and pinch-hitter Corban Joseph walked to load the bases.
Mike Yastrzemski laced a two-run single to right field and Ronnier Mustelier booted the ball, allowing Joseph to race around from first to put the Tides ahead 4-2. Madison Younginer replaced Withrow and uncorked a wild pitch to Paul Janish, allowing Yastrzemski to trot home to cap the rally. All four runs were charged to Withrow (BS, 1; L, 0-1).
The G-Braves scored twice in the third inning against Norfolk starter Joe Gunkel to take a 2-0 lead, which Jed Bradley and Stephen Janas made stand up until the eighth.
Sean Kazmar Jr. and Daniel Castro collected back-to-back singles putting runners on the corners, and Braeden Schlehuber got Gwinnett on the board with a sacrifice fly. Mustelier picked up an RBI single to double the G-Braves’ lead.
Bradley allowed the leadoff batter to reach in four of his five innings, escaping unscathed until the fifth. Janish worked a walk to open the inning and moved to third on a single by Caleb Joseph before scoring on a single by Alvarez. But the Gwinnett lefty struck out Christian Walker with two runners on to end the inning and keep the G-Braves ahead.
In his third start for the G-Braves, Bradley allowed just one run on four hits over 5.0 innings, but walked six and threw 56 of his 97 pitches for strikes. Janas yielded only one hit over 2.0 scoreless innings of relief.
Gunkel scattered seven hits over 5.2 innings, allowing two runs while walking none and striking out five. Parker Bridwell (W, 1-0) worked 2.1 innings out of the Tides’ bullpen and Pedro Beato (S, 4) finished it up with a scoreless ninth.
Bonifacio, Mustelier and Rio Ruiz registered two hits apiece for Gwinnett. Reid Brignac went 0-for-4, ending a 17-game on-base streak.
Almanzar and Alvarez each had two hits, while Yastrzemski finished 1-for-3 with two RBIs for Norfolk.
The G-Braves and Tides conclude the three-game series on Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m. at Coolray Field. Right-hander Tyrell Jenkins (7-3, 2.70) is scheduled to pitch for the G-Braves against righty Mike Wright (3-3, 3.17) for Norfolk. Tony Schiavone will have the play-by-play call on 97.7 FM at 6:35 p.m.
Tickets for Wednesday’s game are on sale now at the Coolray Field Ticket Office, call 678-277-0340 or visit GwinnettBraves.com/tickets to purchase.