LAWRENCEVILLE — Freddie Freeman left Sunday’s game after five innings with Gwinnett and Charlotte tied and headed to Atlanta for his flight to Colorado.
The G-Braves had won Freeman's other two rehab games. They weren’t as fortunate this time, though.
Reliever Dusty Hughes walked in the tie-breaking run in the seventh inning and Gwinnett lost 5-4 to the Knights before a crowd of 6,629 — the largest of the season at Coolray Field.
Many were excited about seeing Freeman, who had been 5-for-5 with a double and two RBIs the night before at Charlotte. But the Braves first baseman flew out to center field and popped out foul to the third baseman after being hit by a pitch in his first plate appearance.
Then Freeman had to hustle off to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport to catch a 7:15 p.m. flight to Denver, where he is scheduled to be in the Atlanta lineup Monday night against the Rockies.
The Braves, who scored just nine runs while losing four of five games after a 10-game winning streak to cap a 12-1 start, need their cleanup hitter.
“I feel good,” Freeman said. “I’m ready to get going again.”
Freeman spent the required 15 days on the disabled list with a right oblique strain after hitting .412 with a homer and seven RBIs in the first five games of the season for the Braves.
“I had to get my timing back and it took a few days,” Freeman said. “I hope the timing stays there and I can take it into Colorado.”
That could be difficult, though. The weather forecast for Denver isn’t good for the three-game series.
“It’s supposed to snow,” Freeman said. “But I’m feeling fine, so it shouldn’t be an issue (with my oblique).”
Freeman brought good luck to the G-Braves in Charlotte, where they shut out the Knights in back-to-back games. But that streak ended quickly on Sunday.
Charlotte scored four first-inning runs as Sean Gilmartin allowed four hits, walked a batter and hit another. Josh Bell drove in a run with an infield single, Steve Tolleson drew a bases-loaded walk and Brandon Short delivered a two-run double.
Gilmartin, who came in with a 1.69 ERA, needed 33 pitches to get through the first inning. But he regrouped and held the Knights scoreless on five hits over the next five innings as the G-Braves battled back to tie the game.
Joe Leonard’s second-inning sacrifice fly scored Joe Terdoslavich, who had doubled, and the G-Braves tied the game with three runs in the fourth. Terdoslavich delivered his second double to get things started and Leonard followed Todd Cunningham’s single with a RBI double.
Cunningham scored on a ground out and Jose Constanza’s bloop hit drove in Leonard with the tying run.
But Hughes came on for Gilmartin to start the seventh inning and Charlotte went back on top for good. A single, hit batter and walk loaded the bases and the lefty walked Bryan Anderson to force in the run.
The G-Braves loaded the bases in the bottom of the inning, but Terdoslavich bounced into a bases-loaded double play to end the rally.
Gwinnett and Charlotte play again Monday before the G-Braves head out on an eight-game road trip. The G-Braves (8-10) have won seven of nine games against the Knights (6-12).