Gwinnett Braves snap skid, earn first home victory of 2014

LAWRENCEVILLE — The Gwinnett Braves finally got their first home victory and avoided a dubious distinction.

The G-Braves took advantage of three Norfolk errors and edged the Tides 5-4 on Monday night at Coolray Field.

The victory kept Gwinnett (5-6) from an 0-4 home start, which would have been the worst in the franchise’s six-year history. The first G-Braves team dropped its first three in 2009 before going on to make the International League playoffs as a wild card.

Gwinnett’s tie-breaking run in the sixth inning was unearned — the third allowed by Norfolk. The G-Braves had just one RBI in the game.

Sean Kazmar tripled with two outs in the sixth and scored the decisive run when Norfolk first baseman Chris Marrero fumbled Jose Constanza’s drag bunt.

Ernesto Mejia had two hits for the G-Braves, who had eight hits to 10 for Norfolk (3-8). Brett Wallace had three hits for the Tides.

Left-hander Ryan Buchter walked the leadoff batter in the ninth inning, but then picked off Julio Borbon Jr. en route to his first save of the season.

The G-Braves bullpen allowed just one hit in four scoreless innings. Wirfin Obispo worked two innings and got the victory.

Wallace made a bid for a fourth hit and game-tying RBI in the seventh inning, but G-Braves right fielder Joey Terdoslavich tracked down his long drive on the warning track.

Braves starter Zach Stewart allowed nine hits and four runs (three earned) over five innings. The right-hander struck out three, walked one and hit a batter.

Mike Wright worked five innings for the Tides and also got a no-decision. He allowed six hits and two of the four runs against him were unearned. The right-hander struck out four, walked two and hit a batter.

The unearned run in the sixth inning cost lefty reliever Chris Jones the loss.

Notes: The series and homestand concludes Tuesday at 6:35 p.m. with Cody Martin (0-1, 6.43 ERA) starting for Gwinnett against Kevin Gausman (0-0, 2.08 ERA). Gausman is one of Baltimore’s top prospects. … Stewart and second baseman Tommy La Stella kept Norfolk from scoring more than two runs in the fourth inning with highlight plays, the pitcher’s on a bunt. … Tides left fielder Quinton Berry made a diving catch to rob Todd Cunningham of a hit in the second inning. …The G-Braves took two of three games at Norfolk, with one postponed because of rain. … After the Norfolk series, Gwinnett plays six straight games against Charlotte, the first three at the Knights’ new ballpark.