Gomez home run lifts Braves in 10th

Photo by Brandon Brigman

Photo by Brandon Brigman

ATLANTA — Nick Blackburn shut down Atlanta’s projected opening-day lineup during four scoreless innings but a future Gwinnett Brave in Mauro Gomez hit a two-run homer in the 10th inning to give the Braves a 4-2 win over the Minnesota Twins in an exhibition on Tuesday night.

Blackburn surrendered one hit and walked one. Helped by two double plays, the right-hander faced the minimum 12 batters.

Blackburn won his third straight start while lowering his spring ERA to 1.73. He was 10-12 in 2010 with a 5.42 ERA, the worst of his three full seasons in the Twins’ rotation.

Trailing 2-0, the Braves scored two unearned runs off Matt Capps in the ninth before winning the game on Gomez’s homer off former Atlanta pitcher Chuck James.

Leading the charge were a host of potential G-Braves, including Joe Mather, Ed Lucas and catcher J.C. Boscan all against the big league closer Capps.

With one out, Mather singled to left field with two men on to load the bases. Lucas knocked in the first run with a single. Then, Shawn Bowman struck out to bring up Boscan who’s infield single scored the pinch runner Gomez and tied the game.

Then in the bottom of the 10th, it was Gomez again, with two outs and a runner on base hitting his bomb to left field off former Braves pitcher Chuck James. It was his first home run of the spring and he was greeted at home plate with a mini-celebration for his home run.