MOOSIC, Pa. – After losing 14 straight, the Gwinnett Braves battled back win their second in a row on Monday night against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, 3-2.
With the score tied at 2-2 in the ninth inning, Ernesto Mejia drilled a solo homer to lift the G-Braves over the RailRiders in the finale of the four-game series at PNC Field.
Mejia’s blast against Sam Demel (1-1) ended a cold, wet night for both squads, as the both sides played through unpleasant conditions that hampered the offensive attacks all evening.
Despite the frigid weather, the Braves struck first. Jose Yepez drew a one out walk off of Scranton/Wilkes-Barre starter Nik Turley and moved to second on a wild pitch. Jason Heyward, in his fourth rehab game with Gwinnett (14-25), followed with a long double to center field, scoring Yepez for a 1-0 lead.
The RailRiders tied it in the bottom of the fifth. Melky Mesa hammered the first pitch from Braves’ starter Yohan Flande over the left field wall making it 1-1.
Mesa then gave the RailRiders the 2-1 lead, poking a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the sixth off of Flande.
The lead did not last long, as the Braves tied it up in the seventh against reliever Graham Stoneburner. Brandon Boggs leadoff with a double to right, moved to third on a sac bunt by Todd Cunningham and scored on single to right by Joe Leonard, knotting it up at 2-2.
After a scoreless eighth and Mejia’s tie breaking homer in the ninth, Corey Rasmus pitched a perfect bottom of the ninth for his fifth save.
Kameron Loe (1-0) in his first game as a G-Brave picked up the victory. He went 1.1 scoreless innings for his new team club. Flande turned in a quality start, hurling 6.0 innings, allowing five hits and two earned runs. He walked four and struck out four. Rasmus converted his team-leading fifth save. He is five-for-five in save opportunities in 2013.
Turley, in his first ever Triple-A start was sharp in his 6.0 innings of work. He allowed only two hits and one earned run while walking three and striking out four. Stoneburner went 2.0 innings with two hits and one earned run. Demel suffered his first loss of the season after giving up the late-inning homer.
At the plate, each team was held to five hits. Mejia lead the Braves, going 2-for-3 with the solo homer. Heyward in his second straight start went 1-for-2 with the RBI double and played five innings in right field.
Mesa was 2-for-4 for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and drove in both runs.
The G-Braves continue the eight game road trip with the first of a four game series in Pawtucket, RI against the Pawtucket Red Sox. First pitch from McCoy Stadium set for 7:05 p.m. Tuesday night. Sean Gilmartin (2-1, 2.70) will start for the Braves. The Red Sox will pitch Allen Webster (1-0, 2.70).