Photo: Karl L. Moore/Gwinnett Braves Gwinnett Braves' Omar Poveda pitched 6 scoreless innings striking out 7 for the win over the Columbus Clippers Tuesday afternoon in Lawrenceville at Coolray Field.
LAWRENCEVILLE -- Though their current homestand has been quite disappointing, the Gwinnett Braves ended it on a solid note Tuesday afternoon.
The G-Braves pounded out 13 hits -- with six different players posting two on the day -- and got a solid start from right-hander Omar Poveda to hit the road with a little momentum after a 9-2 victory over Columbus before 6,676 fans at Coolray Field.
Poveda (5-3) scattered five hits and two walks and struck out seven over six shutout innings as Gwinnett split the four-game series with the Clippers, and won for just the third time on the eight-game homestand.
More importantly according to manager Randy Ready, Poveda allowed the G-Braves' hitters time to gather themselves and get into a rhythm.
"Poveda set the tone," Ready said. "It gave us an opportunity to relax instead of pressing and trying to come from behind. I think that made a big difference for us (Tuesday)."
The G-Braves could've easily been thrown off when the game was delayed for 14 minutes in the bottom of the third due to an unusual set of circumstances, in which Columbus pitcher, and former Boston Red Sox right-hander, Daisuke Matsuzaka and home plate umpire Dave Soucy were injured in a two-pitch span.
Matsuzaka called out the trainer in between pitches to Todd Cunningham to look at a blister on the thumb of his pitching hand, and eventually left the game after throwing one more pitch, having thrown 2 innings and given up two hits and no runs.
On that last pitch, the ball bounced past Clippers catcher Chris Wallace and caught Soucy on the right hand, apparently dislocating a finger and forcing him from the game.
"It's tough. You've got to stay with it," said G-Braves second baseman Tyler Pastornicky, who was 2-for-5 on the day. "You've got to go with the course of the game. We did a good job (Tuesday). We didn't let (the delay) bother us. We went out there and played well."
And an inning later, the G-Braves broke a scoreless tie by taking advantage of walks issued by reliever Paolo Espino to Joey Terdoslavich and Brandon Boggs.
Paul Janish, who finished the day 2-for-4, eventually delivered a two-out, RBI single to left to bring home Terdoslavich and put the G-Braves up 1-0.
Columbus threatened to answer in both the fifth and sixth innings, but Poveda pitched out of trouble both times, though he got a little help from a strange play in the sixth.
With runners and first and second with only one out, Chun Chen sent a high pop up straight out in front of the plate that catcher Jose Yepez failed to handle.
Lonnie Chisenhall, who had four of Columbus' 12 hits on the day, tried to advance from second to third and actually made it safely, but was tagged out by Janish covering at third after he overran the bag.
A brief discussion by the two remaining umpires then resulted in Chen being called out on the infield fly rule, which ended the inning.
With the lead at 2-0 after an unearned run in the fifth, Gwinnett broke the game wide open by sending 10 men to the plate in the bottom of the sixth.
Yepez drove in one run with a sacrifice fly to right, followed by RBI singles from Jose Constanza and Todd Cunningham.
Ernesto Mejia and Terdoslavich then applied the exclamation points by driving in two runs each -- the former on a single and the latter on his 12th homer of the season -- to push the G-Braves' lead to 9-0.