INDIANAPOLIS — For the second straight game, the pitching from the Indianapolis Indians was too much for the Gwinnett Braves. Starter Brooks Brown and four relievers combined to hold the G-Braves to five hits in a 5-2 win Sunday afternoon in Game 2 of the four game series at Victory Field.
The Indians (18-7) scored in the bottom of the first against Gwinnett starter Tim Corcoran and never trailed in the game. In that half inning, Corcoran walked lead-off batter, Alex Presley. Josh Harrison bunted Presley to second, and Matt Hague drove Presley in from second with a single to center for a 1-0 lead.
The Indians added two in the bottom of the fourth to go up 3-0. Hague and Brett Carroll greeted Corcoran with back-to-back singles and were each moved into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt by Felix Pie. Both then scored on a single to center by Ivan De Jesus, Jr.
The Indianapolis lead increased to 4-0 in the bottom of the seventh as, with G-Braves’ reliever Dusty Hughes in to pitch in his second inning of work, pinch-hitter Darren Ford reached on a throwing error by catcher Matt Kennelly and moved to second on a walk issued to Presley. Right-hander Roman Colon came into the game replacing Hughes and gave up a single to Harrison, scoring Ford from second.
The G-Braves (12-13) finally got on the board in the bottom of the eighth as Luis Nunez led off with a solo homer — his first with Gwinnett — to left off of reliever Erik Cordier. Matt Pagnozzi was hit by a pitch and Joey Terdoslavich doubled to right, putting runners on second and third. The double by Terdoslavich was his 13th of the season, which leads all of Minor League Baseball. Corey Wimberly drove in Pagnozzi from third with a sacrifice fly to left, cutting the Indians’ lead to 4-2.
But in the bottom of the eighth, Pie singled and moved to second on a throwing error by Colon. He then took off for an attempted steal of third base, and Pagnozzi’s throw in the dirt allowed him to score for a 5-2 lead.
For Gwinnett, Corcoran (1-2) worked five innings, gave up six hits and three earned runs while walking three and striking out four. Hughes went one inning with one unearned run and two walks. Colon pitched the final two innings with two hits, one unearned run and one strikeout.
Although pitching well, Brown did not get credit for the win as he went only four innings in a spot start. He allowed one hit, no runs, one walk and struck out three. Ryan Reid (4-0) pitched three innings of scoreless ball for the win. He allowed only one hit with two walks and three strikeouts. Cordier was credited with no innings pitched, two hits allowed and two earned runs. Mike Zagurski worked one inning with one walk and two strikeouts, and Bryan Morris worked a scoreless top of the ninth for his fifth save, giving up one hit.
At the plate, Sean Kazmar was 2-for-4 to lead the G-Braves. Jose Constanza led off the game with a triple to extend his hitting streak to 11 games, but had to be pulled from the game with an apparent thumb injury while sliding into third on the hit.
De Jesus went 2-for-4 for the Indians with two RBIs. Hague was 2-for-3 and is 5-for-7 in the series.
Gwinnett and Indianapolis will play Game 3 of the four-game series on Monday night at Victory Field, first pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. Right-hander Omar Poveda (2-0, 1.75) will start for the G-Braves, while the Indians will counter with left-hander Andy Oliver (1-1, 3.76).
Gwinnett’s next home game at Coolray Field is Thursday, May 2 vs. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, first pitch scheduled for 6:05 p.m.