BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Gwinnett Braves (31-44) finished their eight-game road trip to the International League North with another victory as they held on for a 3-2 win Thursday afternoon over the Buffalo Bisons (36-36) in the final game of the four game series.
The victory also marked the first win for Gwinnett starting pitcher David Hale (2-3) since the opening day weekend series on April 6. Hale pitched six scoreless innings, allowed seven hits and struck out three.
Todd Cunningham singled to left off of Bisons starter Justin Germano (4-6) to lead off the fourth inning and moved to second on a ground out by Joey Terdoslavich and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Brandon Boggs followed with a two-out single to left, scoring Cunningham for a 1-0 lead.
The Braves added to the lead in the top of the eighth inning as Cunningham led off with a double to right and Ernesto Mejia belted his team-leading 17th home run of the season over the left-center field fence. The two-run shot gave the Braves a 3-0 lead.
They would need all they could get, as Buffalo made it interesting in the bottom of the ninth. With Ryan Buchter pitching, Luis Jimenez drilled a one out single to center, and then with two outs, Buchter walked both Ricardo Nanita and Sean Ochinko to load the bases. Cole McCurry entered the game from the bullpen and gave up a two-run single to Ryan Goins, cutting the Gwinnett lead to 3-2. McCurry then walked Eugenio Velez to reload the bases but got Mike McCoy to fly out to center to end the game.
Germano pitched well, tossing eight innings. He gave up seven hits, three earned runs, while walking one and striking out three.
Offensively, Cunningham and Boggs were both 2-for-4. Cunningham extended his hitting streak to seven games with the two-hit day. Mejia’s two-run homer in the eighth inning gave him 57 RBI on the season.