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G-Braves hit road with win

LAWRENCEVILLE — A lot changed Monday.

Joe Thurston entered the game with just seven multi-hit games on the season and just one three-hit game. Over the past two games, both losses, the G-Braves had stranded 22 runners on base. They had not won the final game of a series since May 30 and had not ended a homestand with a win yet.

INSTANT REPLAY

G-Braves 4, Yankees 2

What happened: The Gwinnett Braves overcame an early 1-0 deficit to top the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees 4-2 on Monday night. G-Braves second baseman Joe Thurston put Gwinnett on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fifth inning with a two-out, two-run double.

Stat of the day: The win Monday is the G-Braves first in a homestand finale this season and is their first win to end a series since April 30 when they defeated Norfolk 5-1.

Web gem: With his momentum moving toward the left side of the infield, Thurston managed to get a foot on second base and finish his throw to first to complete a 4-3 inning-ending double play in the top of the first.

Pivotal moment: With runners at the corners and two outs, Thurston delivered a two-run double in the bottom of the fifth inning to give the G-Braves a 2-1 lead.

Worth noting: Gwinnett starting pitcher Todd Redmond went six strong innings as he allowed just one run on nine hits while striking out five Yankee batters.

On deck: The G-Braves embark on a six-game road trip which starts tonight at Norfolk. Gwinnett will send left hander Jose Ortegano to the hill in the series opener.

Then, Monday came.

Thurston smacked his third hit of the game to plate two runs and give the G-Braves a lead in the fifth inning and Gwinnett rode the lead to a 4-2 win over the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees to another series split. The win also ended seven consecutive losses to end a series, dating back to April 30, and was the first for the G-Braves to end a homestand.

“I thought it was a big win,” manager Dave Brundage said. “Hopefully you will look back on the season and note this ball game.

“We had a couple of big hits. A couple of much-needed hits, not only for tonight but for our confidence.”

After stranding six runners over the first four innings, the G-Braves left just two on the rest of the game. It started with a two-out single by Mitch Jones that tied the game at 1-1 and Thurston continued it with his go-ahead double.

“I put a good swing on it,” said Thurston, who singled twice leading up to the double. “They had a meeting so I just made sure I went with my game plan to be aggressive.”

He stayed aggressive on the bases, ending the inning when he tried to stretch the double into his second triple of the season, but the throw beat him to the bag.

“It didn’t work out,” he said.

Gwinnett answered a run by former G-Brave Reid Gorecki in the seventh when Freddie Freeman scored on a throwing error after a two-out double. Six of the G-Braves 10 hits and all four runs came with two outs.

“That’s what we need to do to get over the hump,” Brundage said.

The clutch hitting came just in time to give starter Todd Redmond his sixth win. It wasn’t the right-hander’s best outing, but he battled through six innings, only allowing one run despite giving up nine hits. Redmond left eight Yankees on base.

“He’s going to give up his hit,” Brundage said of Redmond. “He’s done of nice job of holding runners, a nice job of minimizing damage.

And it wasn’t all pitching. Gwinnett turned a pair of double plays, one started by Thurston in the first inning to limit the damage to one run. In total, Thurston was a part of eight outs at second base.

“All around, we played a good game,” Thurston said. “We stayed in it the whole game.”

Catcher Clint Sammons helped diffuse a threat in the seventh, throwing out Reegie Corona at second on a double steal.

“That was big for our game,” Brundage said.

The G-Braves now leave home for the first time this season with a win, heading to a three game series with division foe Norfolk.

“When you get games like that, hopefully it propels you into tomorrow,” Brundage said.