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G-Braves, Minor crush Indians again

Photo by Ben Beitzel

Photo by Ben Beitzel

LAWRENCEVILLE — It started out rough, but ended with a record-setting night.

In the first two innings, Mike Minor appeared to revert to the struggling pitcher he’d become since he returned from his second stint in the big leagues. He allowed just one run, but gave up four hits and needed 40-plus pitches, hit and walked a batter and faced 11. Then, he retired seven in a row and 13 of the next 16.

When he walked off the field in the sixth, the G-Braves led 3-2, and by the time Cory Gearrin walked to the mound in the seventh, it was 6-2. Gwinnett rolled to a 12-3 win over the Indianapolis Indians.

INSTANT REPLAY

G-Braves 12, Indians 3

What happened: Gwinnett scored double-digit runs for the second straight game in another rout of Indianapolis. Starter Mike Minor got his first win since June 5 and Matt Young tied a career high with four RBIs on a 2-for-3 night. The lead-off hitter walked twice and scored three runs. Gwinnett scored one run in the second, third and fourth innings before exploding for three in the sixth and four in the seventh. Cory Gearrin pitched two perfect innings in relief and walked with two outs in his second at-bat. Steven Shell returned from the disabled list in the ninth, allowing one run off two hits.

All about the O: In the past two games Gwinnett has scored 23 runs off 36 hits against Indianapolis.

Swiping ‘em all: Wilkin Ramirez stole second twice and third once for his first three-steal game since June 2009 while with Toledo.

First on third: Mike Minor’s RBI single in the fourth was his third minor league hit and first RBI.

Pivotal moment: Gwinnett scored three runs with two outs in the sixth, Matt Young singled in a run and Stefan Gartrell knocked in two more.

Streaking seven: With his single in the sixth, Tyler Pastornicky now has a seven-game hitting streak and is batting .421.

Up next: RHP Todd Redmond (7-8, 3.02) looks to even his record against Indianapolis’ LHP Garrett Olson (4-0, 2.48) in the final game of the series against the Indians.

The win was the first for Minor since he threw eight, one-hit innings against Buffalo on June 5, almost a full month ago.

From the start of the season, Minor’s ERA maintained an unwanted upward trend, peaking at 3.21 in early July. After Monday’s performance it dipped to 3.13. His eight strikeouts were one away from matching a season high, but so were his three walks.

But after Minor’s last inning pitched, the offense went from lukewarm to scalding. Wilkin Ramirez led off with a single, stole his second base of the night, and with two outs the parade began. Matt Young, Tyler Pastornicky and Stefan Gartrell all singled, scoring three runs. Ramirez ended the night 5-for-5 with three RBIs and two stolen bases. It was his first multi-steal game since 2009 and the five hits were a career high.

And that wasn’t the only offense mark notched.

Young doubled with the bases loaded for his second two-out RBI hit, giving him four RBIs. The four runs knocked in were the most for Young since 2006 while with Myrtle Beach. After just one hit on Gwinnett’s last road trip, Young is 7-for-14 in the three games against the Indians. All of Young’s RBIs came with two out and eight of the G-Braves runs were knocked in on the final out.

Pastornicky followed the lead of Young and Ramirez in the late inning explosion, extending his hitting streak to seven games with a single in the sixth. He followed that up with an RBI single in the seventh for his sixth multi-hit game in that span.

Over the past two games, the G-Braves have scored 23 runs off 36 hits, the first time this season they scored double-digit runs in back-to-back games.

The pitchers got into the offensive action as well. Before the game devolved into a rout, Minor singled in a run for his third minor league hit and first RBI. Corey Gearrin, who pitched two perfect innings, had two plate appearances walking with two outs the second time. It was the first time he’s reached base in his career and he followed that with his first run scored. He’s now pitched six consecutive scoreless innings.

The three-hour, 25 minute game came one minute short of tying the G-Braves’ season high for a nine-inning game.