The Gwinnett Braves and Syracuse Chiefs met for the second of a four game set on Tuesday night at NBT Bank Stadium and the G-Braves extended their winning streak to six as they grabbed an early lead over the Chiefs and held on for the 5-4 victory.
Gwinnett (23-30) plated two runs in the top of the first inning, and then added two more in the third off Syracuse (22-29) starting pitcher Mike Torra (L, 0-1, 5.73), and found themselves with a 4-0 advantage heading into the top of the fifth.
Torra tossed what would be the first of four scoreless innings as he bounced back from his early game troubles to hold Gwinnett where they were and finished the night surrendering four runs on 10 hits and striking out two in 7.0 innings of work.
The G-Braves sent Daniel Rodriguez (W, 3-3, 5.76) to the hill, and he kept the Chiefs off the board until the home half of the sixth when they got to him for two runs, both earned, to cut the Gwinnett lead in half. Rodriguez earned a quality start after exiting with Gwinnett holding a 4-2 lead. The 28-year old finished having allowed three hits, two earned runs, four walks, and struck out seven in 6.0 innings of work.
Cole McCurry (0.0 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 1 BB) came on in relief of Rodriguez to pitch the seventh but only saw two batters, both of which reached base. He walked Zach Walters to start the inning, and then Kris Watts singled to right putting runners on first and second with no outs. Gwinnett manager Randy Ready had seen enough and went to the bullpen again, this time bringing in Kameron Loe (H, 2).
Loe (1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 SO) got out of the inning allowing only a run and the G-Braves headed to the eighth clinging to a 4-3 lead.
Gwinnett got the run back when Tyler Pastornicky showed outstanding base running awareness after he singled to start the inning off Syracuse reliever Michael Broadway (2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER). The second baseman stole his sixth base of the season to advance to second, moved to third when Ernesto Mejia fouled out down the right field line, and then scored when Joey Terdoslavich lifted a sac fly to center fielder Eury Perez.
The run Gwinnett manufactured in the top of the inning turned out to be crucial when Syracuse battled back and scored their fourth and final run of the game in the bottom half to keep the game tight as the ninth inning began.
Broadway gave up a one-out single to Paul Janish, but then coaxed Alden Carrithers to hit into an inning-ending double play to keep Syracuse within one going to the bottom of the ninth.
Pat Egan (S, 3) came on in relief of Ryan Butcher (H, 3) after Butcher had loaded the bases with no outs. Egan allowed one of the runs to score on a wild pitch, but then struck out the next three hitters to earn his third save of the season.
Pastornicky went 3-for-4 to lead the Gwinnett offense, scored three runs and drove in three.
Six different players each had one hit for the Chiefs in the loss.
Game three of the series against the Syracuse Chiefs will be Wednesday. Left-hander Yohan Flande (2-4, 4.70) will get the nod for Gwinnett, while left-hander Danny Rosenbaum (5-2, 6.75) will go for the Chiefs. Tony Schiavone will have the call on WDUN 550 AM/102.9 FM.
The G-Braves return to Coolray Field Tuesday, June 4, 6:05 PM against the Rochester Red Wings.
The Gwinnett Braves are the Triple-A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves and play in the South Division of the International League, one of two Triple-A leagues. Coolray Field is home to the G-Braves.
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