LAWRENCEVILLE — The Syracuse Chiefs gave the Gwinnett Braves plenty of opportunities in the opener of their eight-game homestand.
And the G-Braves took advantage of pretty much all of them.
They cashed in on five Syracuse errors, while Joey Terdoslavich and Ernesto Mejia each had a big night at the plate in Gwinnett’s 8-4 win Friday night before a 5,837 fans at Coolray Field.
Terdoslavich went 4-for-4 with an RBI, while Mejia blasted a home run and drove in two runs as the G-Braves pounded out 12 hits en route to their fourth straight win.
“I think we’re starting to get on a roll,” said Terdoslavich, who raised his team-best batting average to .315 on the season. “We’re starting to throw the ball well (on the mound), playing good defense and starting to swing the bats like we can. That’s usually a recipe for success.
“Everybody’s starting to swing the bats well and coming through in big situations. … And (Syracuse) made some mistakes, and we capitalized on them.”
Joe Bisenuius (1-0) was a beneficiary of his teammates’ opportunism in his Gwinnett debut after being signed by Atlanta out of the independent American Association earlier in the day.
The right-hander scattered eight hits and three earned runs with six strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.
And the G-Braves gave him an early lead in the bottom of the first by taking advantage of the first of many Syracuse defensive miscues.
Terdoslavich singled to right, and Chiefs right fielder Chris Rahl overran the ball, allowing Todd Cunningham to scamper all the way around to score from first base to give the G-Braves a 1-0 lead.
They then cashed in again on another Syracuse error two innings later.
This time, with Terdoslavich on second following a two-out double down the left-field line, Mejia sent a smash towards the left side that third baseman Will Rhymes couldn’t come up with, which extended the G-Braves’ lead to 2-0.
Rahl got one of those runs back for Syracuse with his solo home run in the top of the fourth, and Cory Brown’s two-out, RBI ground-rule double in the fifth pulled the Chiefs even at 2-2.
But the G-Braves regained the lead in the bottom of the fifth with some power and some more opportunism.
After the first two hitters were retired, Mejia followed Terdoslavich’s third hit of the game with a two-run homer to left to put Gwinnett back in front 4-2.
After an Alden Carrither’s single, a pair of errors by Zack Walters on Sean Kazmar’s grounder to short extended the inning, which allowed Matt Pagnozzi to drive in two more runs with a single to push the G-Braves’ lead to 6-2.
But some shaky outfield defense helped Syracuse get two of those runs back in the sixth.
A fly ball to right by Rahl that was lost in the lights by Terdoslavich and fell for a double, plus an error by leftfielder Jose Constanza, opened the door for the Chiefs to cut the G-Braves’ lead to 6-4.