The Gwinnett Braves scored double-digit runs for the second night in a row as they racked up 16 hits and 12 runs against Indianapolis Indian pitching en route to a 12-3 victory Monday at Coolray Field. Gwinnett has outscored Indianapolis 23-8 in the last two games while amassing 36 hits. The win moves the G-Braves (61-48) into a first place tie with the Durham Bulls (60-47) atop the International League South. Indianapolis (57-54) remains third in the IL West 11.5 games back of the Columbus Clippers (68-42).
The Indians took their only lead in the game when leadoff man Jody Mercer singled and came around to score three hitters later to put the Indians up 1-0 after the 1st inning. The G-Braves scored single runs in 2nd, 3rd and 4th innings and carried a 3-1 advantage into the top of the 5th. Jody Mercer led off the inning for the Indians by reaching base on a walk and coming around to score his second run of the game cutting the G-Braves lead to 3-2 heading to the 6th. Gwinnett blew the game open over the next three innings scoring 3 in the 6th inning, 4 runs in the 7th and two more in the 8th to hold a 12-2 lead. The Indians came to bat in the top of the last inning and plated a single run to end the scoring for the night.
Final Score: Gwinnett Braves 12 Indianapolis Indians 3
RHP Mike Minor (W, 4-5, 3.13 ERA) started and earned the win. He had a couple of rough innings but worked his way out of them while limiting the damage to a pair of runs. Minor worked 6.0 innings and allowed 5 hits and 2 runs (both earned) while walking 3, hitting a batter and striking out 8. Minor allowed the fewest runs he has given up since July 16 and the 8 K’s are the most he has recorded in almost two months; Cory Gearrin (ND, 3-1, 1.99 ERA) pitched 2.0 innings of hitless, scoreless ball while striking out 2; Steven Shell (ND, 2-2, 2.97 ERA) worked the 9th inning giving up 2 hits and a run (earned).
Gwinnett batters feasted on Indians pitching for the second consecutive game. After pounding out 20 hits and 11 runs Sunday, the G-Braves totaled 16 hits and 12 more runs Monday. Gwinnet had six batters with a multi-hit game matching Sunday’s number.
LF Wilkin Ramirez (.269, 7 HRs/27 RBI) had a monster night going 5-for-5 with 3 runs driven in, scored three times and stole 3 bases. His hit total and three stolen bases are both single-game career highs; CF Matt Young (.273, 0 HRs/20 RBI) was 2-for-4 with his 11th double of the year and matched his career high of 4 RBI, walked twice and scored three times; RF Stefan Gartrell (.273, 23 HRs/76 RBI) added a pair of RBI to his league leading total while going 2-for-5 on the night. He also leads the league in slugging percentage by .043 with a .557; 3B Brandon Hicks (.270, 14 HRs/37 RBI) was 2-for-4 with his 10th double this season and a RBI; Tyler Pastornicky (.421, 0 HRs/4 RBI) went 2-for-5 and has now hit safely in 12 of 13 games he has played with Gwinnett. He also drove in a run; C Wil Nieves (.333, 0 HR/0 RBI with Gwinnett) went 2-for-5 and scored a run. P Mike Minor went 1-for-2 and knocked in the first run of his pro career.
Team RISP: 8-for-18 (The G-Braves have scored 23 runs in the last two games but have also stranded 22 runners in scoring position)
Team LOB: 10
Gwinnett and Indianapolis face-off in the final game of this short four game home-stand Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. Gwinnett will start RHP Todd Redmond (7-8, 3.02 ERA) and the Indians will counter with LHP Garrett Olson (4-0, 2.48 ERA). Olson will be the third straight southpaw to start for the Indians.
International League News:
The IL announced Monday that 1B Jorge Vazquez and Columbus P Justin Germano have been named the League’s Batter and Pitcher of the week for W/E July 31. Columbus now has had six PoTW winners this season matching the G-Braves for most in the IL.
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