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Gorecki finding a home at top

LAWRENCEVILLE - On May 31, Reid Gorecki went 1-for-4 with an RBI, played right field and batted seventh.

His batting average was .207 after the hit.

Gorecki spent the first two months of the season playing intermittently across a full Gwinnett Braves outfield, sharing time with Gregor Blanco, Brian Barton, Brandon Jones and Joe Borchard. But minor league rosters are fluid and after Borchard's release and Blanco's call to Atlanta, Gorecki found an everyday outfield spot and room at the top of the order.

"I definitely played everywhere," Gorecki said. "We had a big league center fielder and with (Jordan) Schafer getting hurt, I am taking advantage of this opportunity."

Gorecki filled the vacuum starting June 1 going 2-for-3 with a walk and has only improved as the month continues. In Wednesday's 7-3 win over Buffalo, Gorecki went 2-for-4 with a triple, a walk and three runs scored.

Since the start of June, Gorecki's batting average has climbed 41 points to .248. As a leadoff hitter, he is batting .284.

"He has done a good job, an outstanding job, not only today but this whole month," manager Dave Brundage said. "He has learned from his struggles and he looks like a different player than he did earlier in the season."

Throughout his career, Gorecki had never filled the leadoff spot in the order. He always found his name somewhere around the middle. But the move to the top didn't take too much adjustment.

"I like being the first guy they have to see everyday," Gorecki said.

And hit or not, Gorecki finds his way on base. Since moving to the top of the lineup, Gorecki has a .329 on-base percentage with four walks.

"In your first at bat you want to see some pitches so the rest of the order has an idea of what (the pitcher) is throwing," Gorecki said. "All I am getting are fastballs. I am trying to be a little more aggressive."

After drawing a walk his first time up, Gorecki turned aggressive Wednesday to lead off the third inning. He blasted the first pitch on a line drive to left-center and when the ball bounced off the outfielder's glove he churned all the way to third.

"Once it hit his glove, I knew I had a shot," Gorecki said of his second triple of the season.

Gorecki turned the triple into his second run of the night as a part of the G-Braves' first of two 3-run innings. But the first one was all they needed.

Starting pitcher Todd Redmond (4-6) allowed just two runs in seven innings for the G-Braves, picking up his first win since June 3 and saving the arms in a weary Gwinnett bullpen. He gave up nine hits over the seven innings, but struck out five and only let two runners reach second base after the first inning.

"It was an outstanding start for him and an outstanding start for our bullpen," Brundage said. "Our team and him personally needed that game."

In Redmond's three starts since his last win, the longest he lasted in a game was six innings and he had given up 14 runs off 24 hits in two losses and a no decision.

"Finally," Redmond said. "It was definitely a relief start because I have been struggling a little bit. I got it back on track."

Redmond helped his own cause by drawing a walk and scoring from third on a wild pitch.

"(Running the bases) is fun, but it's tiring," he said.

For a pitcher, maybe, but not for Gorecki. He's enjoying his opportunity to run the bases as much as he can.

"I have a pretty good routine going with a regular spot and no moving around," he said. "I am growing a little fond of it."

SideBar: INSTANT REPLAY

G-Braves 7, Bison 3

· What happened: Todd Redmond picked up his fourth win of the season, throwing seven innings, allowing two runs off nine hits and striking out five while his offense scored three runs in two separate innings to recover from an early 2-0 deficit. No. 1 and 2 hitters Reid Gorecki and Wes Timmons combined to scored five of the seven runs and Greg Norton, down on a rehab assignment, hit three RBIs in the win. Reliever Vladimir Nunez shut the door in the final two innings, giving up one run off four hits and striking out two, including the game's final batter.

· Stat of the day: When Timmons drew a walk in the third inning it extended his on-base streak to 21 consecutive games. Timmons trails only Louisville's Adam Rosales who is currently on a 28-game run.

· Web gem: A leadoff single in the second turned into an out when CF Gorecki tracked down a gapper in left center. Gorecki gunned the ball to 2B Timmons who tagged out Robinson Cancel.

· Pivotal moment: With one out in the sixth Timmons hit a chopper to Buffalo shortstop Javier Castillo. Castillo threw home trying to throw out Gorecki, but catcher Cancel did not block the plate and Gorecki scored easily. Earlier in Timmons' at-bat, Redmond had scored on a bases-loaded wild pitch and Cancel acted as if it was a force-out at home. With only one out, the G-Braves added another run on a Norton's fielder's choice RBI.

· Good day, good timing: G-Braves infielder J.C. Holt has been away from the team after the birth of his son Devon on Monday. He's the second Gwinnett player whose family grew during the season after Brooks Conrad's daughter, Reese, was born the first week of the season. But the timing worked well for the former LSU player. Holt's Tigers won the deciding game of the College World Series on Wednesday and played the first two games on Monday and Tuesday.

· Rehab watch: Norton continued his rehab stint with the G-Braves on Wednesday playing left field and batting third. Norton, recovering from an injured ankle, went 2-for-4 with three RBIs to keep his .500 Class AAA batting average.

· Worth noting: Outfielder Jordan Schafer, on the DL with a bruised wrist, is expected to start working out this week. Schafer has not played for Gwinnett since June 5 at Rochester.

· On deck: Gwinnett will throw RHP Jeff Lyman (0-1) for the second time this season in a spot start from Class AA Mississippi. Buffalo will counter with LHP Jonathon Niese (2-6, 5.55 ERA).