April 21, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Atlanta Braves right fielder Jason Heyward (22) looks on from the dugout against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the fifth inning at PNC Park. The Pittsburgh Pirates won 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
MOOSIC, Pa. — The Gwinnett Braves scored five runs in the top of the second — their largest inning of the season — and held off the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders for a 7-6 win in Game 3 of the four-game series at PNC Field on Sunday.
The win snaps the G-Braves’ 14-game losing streak which began on April 27 at Indianapolis.
The game did not start well for Gwinnett (13-25), as David Adams hit a three-run homer off of G-Braves starter Daniel Rodriguez (2-3) in the first inning to give the RailRiders a 3-0 lead.
But Gwinnett quickly rallied in the top of the second against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre starter Kelvin Perez (L, 0-2). With one out, Alden Carrithers singled to center and moved to second as Sean Kazmar walked. Matt Pagnozzi followed with a single to load the bases, and Luis Nunez singled to left, scoring Carrithers to cut the RailRiders’ lead to 3-1.
Tyler Pastornicky then tied the game at 3-3 with a double to center scoring both Kazmar and Pagnozzi. Jason Heyward, playing in his third rehab game with Gwinnett followed with a line-drive single to right, scoring both Nunez and Pastornicky for a 5-3 lead.
The G-Braves would never trail again, but it wasn’t easy.
In the top of the sixth, Gwinnett would extend the lead against reliever Josh Spence. Pagnozzi walked to lead off the inning, Nunez followed with a single and Pastornicky walked to load the bases with no outs. Heyward hit a long drive to left that was caught on the warning track by Zoilo Almonte. The sacrifice fly scored Pagnozzi to raise the G-Braves’ lead to 6-3. Joey Terdoslavich then plated Nunez from third with a sacrifice fly to right to make it 7-3.
But in the bottom of the sixth, Rodriguez gave up a two run homer to first baseman Dan Johnson, cutting the Gwinnett lead to 7-5.
Gwinnett took the two run lead to the bottom of the ninth, and there the RailRiders made another run. With Ryan Buchter now pitching, Addison Maruszak hit a fly ball to right that was dropped by Terdoslavich. After striking out Reegie Corona for the first out, Buchter gave up a single to left to Curtis Granderson, putting two on with one out. Buchter walked Almonte to load the bases, and after a strikeout of Adams for the second out, he walked Johnson to force in Maruszak. With the lead now just 7-6 and both the tying and winning runs in scoring position, Buchter struck out Thomas Neal to end the game.
Rodriguez went 5.1 innings for the win. He allowed five earned runs on eight hits, walked four and struck out three. Wirfin Obispo turned in a fine performance in relief of Rodriguez, working 2.2 scoreless, hitless innings with one walk and one strikeout. Buchter converted his second save opportunity of the year as he allowed an unearned run on one hit over 1.0 inning.
Perez, making a spot start for the RailRiders (20-15), went 2.0 innings with six hits, five earned runs, one walk and three strikeouts. Mark Montgomery went 3.0 innings with two hits, two walks and four strikeouts. Spence gave up two hits and two earned runs in 2.0 innings of work. Jim Miller pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth with no hits, two walks and three strikeouts.
At the plate, Heyward went 2-for-4 for Gwinnett with three RBIs. Carrithers was 2-for-4 and Nunez was 2-for-3. Pastornicky had the only extra base hit of the for the G-Braves, a two-run double for his only hit on the day (1-for-3).
For the RailRiders, Granderson was 3-for-5 and is now batting .412 in four games on his rehab assignment for the New York Yankees. Neal was 2-for-5. The home runs by Adams and Johnson were each their only hits in the game.
The G-Braves and RailRiders play the final game of the series on Monday night at PNC Field with a first pitch of 6:35 p.m. Left-hander Yohan Flande (1-3, 5.34) will start for the G-Braves, while the RailRiders will pitch right-hander Graham Stoneburner (2-2, 2.86).