LAWRENCEVILLE — After losing their last five games, the Gwinnett Braves (16-15) rallied from a one-run deficit and slipped by the Buffalo Bisons (18-11) 3-2 on Tuesday night at Coolray Field.
In the eighth inning, the G-Braves sent eight to the plate and scored two runs on three hits to win their first game of the homestand. Todd Cunningham reached on a one-out single off Buffalo reliever Rob Rasmussen, moved to second on a walk to Tommy La Stella and scored on an RBI single by Joey Terdoslavich. After an infield single by Phil Gosselin loaded the bases, reliever Ryan Tepera uncorked a wild pitch, scoring La Stella for the game-winner.
Zach Stewart was the beneficiary of the rally as he recorded the victory. Stewart (2-2) tossed six innings of two-run relief, scattering eight hits and striking out three.
The G-Braves rally spoiled another stellar performance by Bisons starter Liam Hendriks. The right-hander entered the contest with a perfect 4-0 record and the third-best ERA in the International League. He continued his dominant ways on Tuesday, working a season-best seven innings, allowing one unearned run on seven hits and striking out three. He retired the last seven batters he faced to lower his ERA to 1.01.
Hendriks was matched early by left-hander Ian Thomas, who made his Class AAA debut for Gwinnett. The southpaw, optioned by Atlanta on Sunday, became the 13th player to make his Triple-A debut with the G-Braves after having already made his Major League debut. Under a limited pitch count, Thomas hurled three hitless innings with five strikeouts.
Thomas left with a 1-0 lead as Gwinnett scored the first run of the game in the bottom of the third inning against Hendriks. Jose Constanza reached on a throwing error by third baseman Jared Goedert and moved to second on a single by Cunningham. After La Stella grounded into a double play, Terdoslavich drove in Constanza with an RBI single.
Buffalo tied the game with a run in the fifth as Matt Tuiasosopo laced a leadoff double off Stewart and scored on an RBI single by Goedert, making it 1-1. The Bisons had a chance to blow the game open with the bases loaded and two outs as Darin Mastroianni laced a ball down the third base line. Gosselin, however, made a diving stop to keep the game tied.
The Bisons took their lone lead of the game with a run off Stewart in the sixth. Dan Johnson singled with one out, advanced to second on a two-out single by Goedert and scored on an RBI single by Ryan Goins to make it 2-1.
Offensively for the G-Braves, Cunningham went 3-for-4 with one run, while Terdoslavich went 2-for-4 with two RBIs. The win was Gwinnett’s first in its last at-bat this season.
Goedert and Goins each went 2-for-4 with an RBI for the Bisons, who saw their seven-game winning streak snapped.