G-Braves falter in 9th inning

Photo by Ben Beitzel

Photo by Ben Beitzel

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Hopefully, Jaye Chapman has selective memory.

The right handed reliever pitched a perfect, two strikeout eighth inning for the Gwinnett Braves in his first action since he allowed the winning run to score Tuesday at Pawtucket on a wild pitch. Those command issues showed up in the ninth.

Pawtucket scored three runs in a two-out rally off of Chapman and Dustin Richardson as Gwinnett went from a 3-2 lead to a 5-3 loss to open the four-game set with the Red Sox Class AAA affiliate.

The hiccup was not only atypical for Chapman, but for the G-Braves entire bullpen. Until Friday's loss, Gwinnett was 50-0 when leading after eight innings.

"It never makes it easy," manager Dave Brundage said. "They've done their job all year,"

Chapman allowed a lead-off walk before center fielder Matt Young tracked down two long fly balls on either side of center. Chapman loaded the bases with a single and a walk before PawSox lead-off hitter Che-Hsuan Lin ended his 0-for-4 night with a two-RBI single off of Chapman. The PawSox added their final run on a passed ball.

The loss was the second consecutive and third of the season for Chapman. His other loss came on June 19 and it was the first time since June 17 he allowed more than one run in an outing.

Until the ninth-inning rally it looked like the G-Braves were going to escape with a one-run win. Wilkin Ramirez homered to lead off the eighth to give Gwinnett a 3-2 lead.

"It all came down to that ninth inning," Brundage said.

The homer was the left fielder's only hit of the game, but he he walked and legged out a fielder's choice he turned into a run in the sixth.

The sixth-inning run took some work. After Ramirez legged out the base, he stole his 12th base of the season. And then Ruben Gotay went to work.

The switch hitter, who joined the G-Braves as a free agent in June, fouled off five two-strike pitches in an 11-pitch at-bat against Pawtucket releiver Hideki Okajima. He slapped the 11th pitch up the middle for an RBI single, his only hit of the game.

"You start getting into a groove when you see that many pitched," Gotay said. "He threw everything he had in his arsenal. I was lucky."

The loss spoiled a solid outing from Julio Teheran who allowed just two runs off eight hits and five strikeouts in seven innings. The seven innings were the most for the right hander since June 25. The start also showed character for the 20-year-old starter coming off a three-inning loss against Charlotte on Sunday. Teheran retired the first eight batters of the game, striking out a pair and not allowing a ball out of the infield.

"He was very good," Brundage said. "I was anxious to see how he would respond. He answered all my questions in that first inning."

Rehabbing All-Star Brian McCann went 1-for-3 with an RBI and three well-hit balls. His night ended in the sixth when Jeff Fiorentino entered as a pinch-hitter.

Gwinnett left 13 runners on base, including the bases loaded in the fifth and sixth innings, and went 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position.