ALLENTOWN, Penn. — The Gwinnett Braves scored eight runs over a two-inning span to beat the Lehigh Valley IronPigs by an 11-7 score on Sunday afternoon at Coca-Cola Park. The win ended Gwinnett’s three-game losing streak.
The G-Braves (25-33) scored a season-high 11 runs in the win, and had the bats working from the very start. Tyler Pastornicky led off the game with a single to right, and one out later, Joey Terdoslavich drilled a two-run home run to right. Terdoslavich’s ninth homer of the year gave Gwinnett a 2-0 lead after a half inning.
Lehigh Valley (26-30) tied the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the second inning, scoring twice against Gwinnett starter Daniel Rodriguez. John Suomi drove a one-out single to center and was forced out at second on a fielders’ choice off the bat of Troy Hanzawa. Miguel Abreu singled to left moving Hanzawa to second. IronPigs’ starting pitcher B. J. Rosenberg blooped a single to left, scoring Hanzawa from second to cut the lead to 2-1. Leandro Castro then doubled to left scoring Abreu from second to tie it up.
In the top of the fourth, Rodriguez had to be pulled from the game with an apparent injury to his pitching arm and was replaced by right-hander David Hale, who worked a scoreless inning.
Gwinnett scored a run on an RBI groundout by Paul Janish to take a 3-2 lead in the top of the fifth, but Lehigh Valley answered with two runs in the bottom of the fifth against newest G-Braves’ reliever, Joe Beimel. Cody Asche led off the inning with a solo home run to right, tying the game at 3-3. With two outs, Cody Overbeck doubled to left and scored from second on a double to right-center by Suomi. The IronPigs led 4-3 heading into the top of the sixth, but that’s where the game drastically changed.
Ernesto Mejia led off the top of the sixth with a walk and Brandon Boggs followed with a single. Stefan Gartrell then hit his first homer since returning to Gwinnett, a towering three-run shot to left off Rosenberg. The clout gave the G-Braves a 6-4 lead. After one out, Jose Yepez was hit by a pitch and moved on to third on single by pinch hitter Todd Cunningham. The IronPigs brought in Phillippe Aumont from the bullpen to replace Rosenberg. Pastornicky then grounded out to second scoring Yepez from third to make it 7-4. Cunningham moved to second on an Aumont wild pitch and later scored on a passed ball to raise the lead to 8-4.
The IronPigs would score a run in the bottom of the sixth off of Gwinnett’s Kameron Loe on a two-out RBI single to right by Josh Fields, but the G-Braves added three more in the top of the seventh.
Aumont walked Boggs, Joe Leonard and Gartrell consecutively to begin the seventh. Then, after Boggs was forced out at home on a ground ball hit by Yepez, Gartrell scored on a Aumont wild pitch to give Gwinnett a 9-5 lead. Pinch hitter Sean Kazmar plated Leonard with a groundout to the first base side of the mound making it 10-5, and Janish pounded a ground rule double to left scoring Yepez for an 11-5 Gwinnett lead. The G-Braves scored eight runs over the sixth and seventh innings on five hits.
Lehigh Valley added two runs late, both off reliever Ryan Buchter. Fields singled home a run in the bottom of the seventh and Suomo belted a solo home run in the bottom of the ninth.
Buchter earned the save despite two runs allowed over the final 3.0 innings. Beimel (W, 1-0) earned the win with two runs on three hits over 1.0 inning in his first professional outing since August 22, 2011. Rodriguez, before the apparent injury, went 3.0 innings with two runs allowed on five hits. Hale worked a scoreless inning with two strikeouts and Loe yielded a run on three hits over 1.0 inning of work.
Rosenberg (1-5) went 5.1 innings with eight hits and eight earned runs. He walked three and struck out three. Aumont lasted only two-thirds of an inning, giving up three earned runs on one hit. Mauricio Robles pitched 2.0 scoreless innings with one hit, one walk and one strikeout. Greg Smith completed a scoreless top of the ninth with one walk.
Offensively for Gwinnett, Terdoslavich was 3-for-5 with a homer and two RBIs. Gartrell also homered, finishing 1-for-4 with three RBIs. Boggs went 2-for-4 and Leonard added a 1-for-4 game to extend his hitting streak to 10 games.
Lehigh Valley was led by Suomi, who went 3-for-5 with a homer and two RBIs. Fields and Darin Ruf each had two hits.
Gwinnett and Lehigh Valley will meet Monday night in the finale of the four game series at Coca-Cola Park. Left-hander Yohan Flande (3-4, 4.25) will start for Gwinnett, while left-hander Raul Valdes (0-1 5.54) will start for Lehigh Valley. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.
The G-Braves’ next home game is Tuesday at 6:05 p.m. against the Rochester Red Wings.