Scranton scores in bottom of 8th to send Gwinnett to 14th straight loss

MOOSIC, Pa. -- Melky Mesa's double in the bottom of the eighth inning scored Thomas Neal from first and propelled the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders to a 4-3 win over the Gwinnett Braves at PNC Field on Saturday night. The loss was the 14th in a row for Gwinnett.

Mesa's hit came off G-Braves reliever Cory Rasmus (L, 1-1), who had entered in the bottom of the eighth in place of starter Omar Poveda. In that half inning, Rasmus issued a one-out walk to Neal, followed by the eventual game-winning hit.

The RailRiders had taken an early lead against Poveda with a run in the bottom of the first and two in the bottom of the second. Trailing 3-0, Poveda settled down and did not give up a run the rest of the way while giving the G-Braves his sixth quality start.

Meanwhile, Gwinett's bats came to life. In the top of the fourth facing RailRiders starting pitcher Chien-Ming Wang, Ernesto Mejia pounded a double to left center and moved to third on a single by Brandon Boggs.

Todd Cunningham followed with an RBI single to left, scoring Mejia and moving Boggs to third. Paul Janish grounded out to short, scoring Boggs to cut the Scranton lead to 3-2.

In the top of the sixth, Mejia continued his hot hitting in the series with a lead-off solo homer to left-center off of Wang. The blast, Mejia's International League-leading ninth of the year, tied the game 3-3.

Poveda worked seven innings, gave up 10 hits and three earned runs. He had no walks and struck out two.

Rasmus worked the eighth for his first loss of the season. He gave up one hit, one earned run, walked two and struck out three.

Wang went 7 innings with six hits, three earned runs, one walk and three strikeouts.

Mejia continued his comeback from a lengthy slump as he went 2-for-4 with the home run, two runs scored and an RBI. Tyler Pastornicky went 2-for-5 and Jason Heyward, in his second rehab start for Gwinnett, went 0-for-3 and was hit by a pitch.

Mesa was 2-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI to lead the RailRiders.

The Gwinnett Braves and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre play Game 3 of the series this afternoon at PNC Field with the first pitch at 1:05 p.m.

Left-hander Daniel Rodriguez (1-3, 6.51) will start for the G-Braves, while the RailRiders will pitch right-hander Brett Marshall (2-2, 2.63).