Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan Gwinnett Braves lead off batter Jose Constanza (17) beats out the throw caught by Charlotte Knights pitcher Charlie Shirek (39) at Coolray Field in Lawrenceville on Saturday.
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LAWRENCEVILLE -- Teams in long losing streaks often find different ways to allow them to continue.
The Gwinnett Braves found another in Saturday night's 5-3 setback to the Charlotte Knights before 5.072 fans at Coolray Field, extending the franchise record losing streak to 15 straight losses.
This time, a passed ball on a third strike that would've gotten Cory Gearrin (3-1) out of a bases-loaded jam opened the floodgates for a four-run rally in the top of the eighth inning, sending the G-Braves to their 27th loss in their last 32 games.
The third strike to Charlotte's Dallas MacPherson eluded G-Braves catcher J.C. Boscan, allowing Justin Greene to dash home and put the Knights in front 2-1.
Hector Gimenez then blooped a two-run single to right, followed by a seeing-eye RBI single by Josh Phegley into the hole between first and second to cap the four-run rally and leave Charlotte with a 5-1 lead, and making a winner out of Dan Remenowsky (1-0), who threw two scoreless innings out of the bullpen.
The G-Braves had taken a 1-0 lead on a third-inning RBI single by Felix Pie, who extended his hitting streak to 13 games.
But the Knights answered with McPherson's RBI single to tie the game 1-1 in the top of the fourth, and went on to win despite a strong start from the G-Braves' Eric Junge, who gave up just four hits and the one earned run with five strikeouts in eight innings, but not before Gwinnett tried to rally in the bottom of the ninth.
Charlotte left-hander Donnie Veal hit Christian Marrero and Lance Zawaszki around a strikeout of Ruben Gotay, and Boscan made him pay with a two-run double that pulled the G-Braves to within 5-3 with the tying run at the plate.
But Greene ran down Jose Constanza's deep liner to left-center, and Veal struck out Tyler Pastornicky to close out the game.