LAWRENCEVILLE — Chris Resop battled and clawed his way through six scoreless innings.
He fought out of a leadoff walk in the first. His defense helped him eke out of two singles in the second. Then he found his niche. He retired 10 straight batters to get to the seventh inning.
Yankees 2, G-Braves 1
What happened: Gwinnett could only push one run across and starter Chris Resop gave up a two-run home run in the seventh that was enough to beat the G-Braves and even the series with the Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees. Resop took his second loss of the season and the G-Braves stranded 13 runners on base, including six in the final three innings.
Stat of the day: After making the drastic number-switch to 15 to help bust out of a slump, catcher J.C. Boscan turned in a 2-for-4 night with a double that could have been more, but was ruled a ground-rule by the first base umpire.
Return of Freddie: After missing seven games with a twisted right knee, Freddie Freeman returned to the G-Braves lineup Saturday. He went 1-for-2 with a single in his first at-bat and three walks including a bases loaded walk in his second.
Web gem: Gwinnett tried to push a second run across on an infield single in the fourth, but after Brandon Hicks beat a throw out to second, Alex Romero was thrown out trying to score from second.
Pivotal moment: The G-Braves loaded the bases with one out in the seventh, but Scranton reliever Zach Segovia coaxed pop outs from Barbaro Canizares and Mitch Jones to get out of the inning and hold the one-run lead.
Worth noting: Closer Craig Kimbrel was called up to Atlanta to fill Takashi Saito’s spot after the set-up man went on the disabled list. The G-Braves did not immediately fill Kimbrel’s roster spot.
On deck: LHP Jo-Jo Reyes (0-2, 4.97 ERA) will make his fourth start for the G-Braves hoping to turn his starting fortunes against the Yankees RHP Jason Hirsh (4-5, 4.42 ERA).
But then, for two pitches, things went bad. He allowed a leadoff double in the seventh and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre’s David Winfree followed with a blast to deep center field.
The two runs were enough to sink the G-Braves 2-1 in a game Gwinnett left 13 runners on base.
“I made a couple of mistakes on some pitches, but that is part of the game,” Resop said. “We went out and battled tonight.”
Even after the home run, Resop regrouped to retire the next two batters before he hit his pitch count and his day ended.
“That’s one of those situations where ... you can quit or you can say, ‘Here we go,’” Resop said.
The loss is Resop’s second of the season and his first decision since March 15. He struck out five and walked just one. He allowed just four hits in 62⁄3 innings. Jeff Lyman finished the game, allowing one hit in a scoreless 21⁄3.
The start could be Resop’s final home appearance for the G-Braves because of a contract clause that allows him to demand a trade if he is not called up to the big leagues by June 15. That date would be his next home start.
In spite of Saturday’s loss, Resop has been one of the G-Braves’ most consistent pitchers this start and was no exception. Resop has failed to pitch at least five innings only twice in 12 starts.
But two runs sank his undefeated record as four Yankee pitchers combined to allow just one run.
Gwinnett scored its run in the third when Freddie Freeman coaxed a bases-loaded walk to score Brandon Hicks. But 13 other runners were left standing on base, including six over the final three innings.
“The name of the game is getting them home,” manager Dave Brundage said. “We battled, we had some good ABs tonight. We just couldn’t capitalize on our base runners.”
The G-Braves best chance at tying the game came in the seventh when J.C. Boscan led the inning off with a ground-rule double. But it could have been more. Boscan’s line drive to right-center field first appeared to land on the warning track, but the Scranton outfielders raised their hands calling the ball dead. After a long meeting, the crew ruled the hit a double, bringing Brundage out for another lengthy, heated discussion.
“That changed the complexion of the ball game,” Brundage said of the decision.
The inning ended with the bases loaded and two pop-outs.
In the bottom of the ninth, Freeman and Canizares reached base before Mitch Jones got under a fastball from the International League’s save leader Jonathan Albaladejo and flew out to left field.
“This team doesn’t quit,” Brundage said. “Tonight was a game, you can say, we should have won.”