Road trip finishes well with Gwinnett Braves sweep

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Gwinnett Braves took two from the Buffalo Bisons (21-17) Friday night by scores of 4-1 and 9-3 at Coca-Cola Field.

The doubleheader sweep also gave the G-Braves (23-17) the series sweep, as they finished their road trip with a 5-2 record.

In the first game, Buffalo starter Ricky Romero could not find the strike zone and it helped the G-Braves take an early lead that they would never relinquish. In the top of the second, with two outs and the bases empty, Romero walked five straight batters, allowing the G-Braves to push two runs across without swinging the bat. Todd Cunningham and Tommy La Stella were beneficiaries of Romero’s wildness, as they picked up an RBI each, making it 2-0.

Gwinnett added to the lead in the top of the sixth off of reliever Chad Jenkins as Jose Yepez led off with a single to left and was replaced by pinch runner Brandon Boggs. Derrick Mitchell followed with a single, and a ground out to first by Cunningham moved the runners to second and third. La Stella then drilled a triple to right, scoring both for a 4-0 lead.

The Bisons (21-17) would score an unearned run in the bottom of the seventh inning to make it 4-1, but Pedro Beato (S, 1) would shut it down and preserve the victory for the G-Braves.

In the second game, Boggs opened up the scoring with a two-run double to right in his first at bat back in a G-Braves uniform. The top of the second RBI double off of Buffalo starter Kyle Drabek, scored Sean Kazmar and Steve Lerud to make it 2-0.

Dan Johnson (8) cut the lead to 2-1, as he homered off of G-Braves starter Yunesky Maya to start the bottom of the second inning, but that would be as close as the Bisons would get.

In the top of the third, Gwinnett scored three times. Phil Gosselin led off with a double, moved to third on a ground out and scored on an infield single by Mark Hamilton to up the lead to 3-1. Kazmar doubled to left moving Hamilton to third, and Mitchell plated both with a single to left for a 5-1 lead.

The lead ran to 9-1 when the G-Braves scored four in the top of the sixth, one on an RBI single by Mitchell, two more on a two-run double by Lerud and the final run on an RBI double Cunningham.

The Bisons would pick up two runs in the bottom of the seventh, but Mitch Atkins would spell Maya and close the door the rest of the way.

In Game 1, Gus Schlosser (W, 1-1) picked up his first ever AAA win. He worked 5.0 scoreless innings with one hit, three walks and five strikeouts. Ryan Buchter went 1.0 inning with one walk and two strikeouts. Obispo worked 0.2 of an inning with one hit, one unearned run, one walk and one strikeout. Pedro Beato (S, 1) worked 0.1 of an inning for his first save of 2014.

Romero (L, 0-2) was tagged with the loss by walking nine in 2.2 innings of work. He allowed no hits, but gave up two earned runs and struck out two. Austin Bibens-Dirks went 2.1 innings with two strikeouts. Jenkins pitched 1.0 inning with three hits and two earned runs. Ryan Rowland-Smith worked 1.0 inning with one strikeouts.

In the second game, Maya (W, 1-0) worked 5.1 innings for the win with eight hits, three earned runs, two walks and two strikeouts. Atkins went 1.2 innings with one walk and one strikeout.

Drabek took the second game loss for Buffalo. He went 5.0 innings with 12 hits, eight earned runs and three strikeouts. Ryan Tepera worked 1.0 inning with two hits and one earned run. He also struck out one. Bobby Korecky pitched a scoreless top of the seventh with one strikeout.

At the plate in Game 1, Gwinnett was led by La Stella, who went 1-for-2 with his first ever G-Braves’ triple. He drove in two. Yepez and Mitchell had the other two hits. However, Gosselin went 0-for-4 to see his six-game hitting streak come to an end.

For Buffalo, Jared Goedert and LaRoche went 1-for-3 each.

In Game 2, Cunningham, Gosselin and Hamilton went 2-for-4 each for Gwinnett. Mitchell and Lerud went 2-for-3, while Mitchell added three RBIs. Lerud finished with two RBIs and Kazmar went 2-for-2 with two runs scored.

For Buffalo in the second game, LaRoche was 2-for-3. Johnson’s eight homer of the season was his only hit of the game.

The G-Braves return home for an eight games at Coolray Field beginning Saturday night with Game 1 of a four-game series against the Indianapolis Indians at 7:05. RHP Zach Stewart (2-2, 4.65) will start for Gwinnett.