NORFOLK, VA – The Gwinnett Braves (3-2) banged out 19 hits, including eight doubles in a 10-5 win over the Norfolk Tides (1-4) in the opener of the three-game series on Tuesday night at Harbor Park.
Atlanta Braves' right-hander Gavin Floyd, making his second injury rehab start with Gwinnett, pitched 4.0 strong innings. He gave up one earned run on three hits, walked none and struck out two. Floyd threw 60 pitches, 37 of which were strikes.
The game also saw Atlanta Braves' left-hander Mike Minor pitch out of the bullpen on a rehab assignment. Minor (W, 1-0) replaced Floyd to begin the fifth inning and worked 2.1 innings with one hit, one earned run, three walks and four strikeouts. He tossed 65 pitches, including 37 strikes in the victory.
Gwinnett never trailed in the game, as they jumped on Norfolk starter Suk-min Yoon in the first inning. Yoon, a Korean star pitching in his first game in the U.S., gave up a one-out single to Joey Terdoslavich and a long two-run homer to reigning International League Batter of the Week, Ernesto Mejia (5). Mejia has five home runs in five games for Gwinnett.
The Tides cut the lead in half in the bottom of the first inning against Floyd. Henry Urrutia reached first on a two-out infield single and scored on a triple to left-center by Chris Marrero to shave Gwinnett's lead to 2-1.
The G-Braves picked up two more runs in the second inning against Yoon. Mark Hamilton led off with a walk and moved to third on a long double to left by Jose Constanza. Both scored on a single to center by Todd Cunningham to raise the lead to 4-1.
Gwinnett unloaded in the top of the third, scoring five runs to chase Yoon from the game. Key hits in the third included an RBI single by Phil Gosselin, an RBI double by Edward Salcedo, an RBI single by Hamilton and a two-run double by Tyler Greene. The G-Braves sent 10 men to the plate in the inning and opened up a 9-1 lead.
The Tides cut the lead to 9-3 in the bottom of the seventh, scoring twice off Minor. One of the two runs was unearned. In the bottom of the eighth, Norfolk catcher Caleb Joseph (1) closed the gap to 9-5 with a two-run homer off Gwinnett reliever Ryan Buchter.
However, in the top of the ninth, Gosselin greeted Norfolk reliever Brad Brach with a single to left, his fourth hit of the game. Salcedo plated Gosselin from first with a double to left to make it 10-5.
Buchter gave up two runs on two hits, walked one and struck out one over 1.2 innings. Right-hander Juan Jaime worked a scoreless ninth inning with one walk and two strikeouts to finish the win.
For Norfolk, Yoon was tagged for 11 hits and nine earned runs in 2.1 innings of work. Eddie Gamboa replaced Yoon with one out in the second inning and was effective, working 5.2 scoreless innings with five hits and five strikeouts. Brach pitched 1.0 inning with three hits, one earned run and two strikeouts.
Every batter in the Gwinnett order produced at least one hit for the second time this season. Gosselin led all hitters, going 4-for-5 with two doubles and an RBI. Mejia and Terdoslavich each went 3-for-5, with Mejia collecting two RBIs. Hamilton was 2-for-4 and both Greene and Salcedo were 2-for-5 with two RBIs each. The G-Braves tallied eight doubles on the night, the club's most in a single game since recording eight on May 2, 2010 vs. Pawtucket.
The Tides were led by Joseph, who was 2-for-4 with the home run.
The G-Braves and Tides continue the series in Norfolk on Wednesday night, first pitch scheduled for 6:35 PM. Right-hander Zach Stewart (6-14, 4.25 ERA with Charlotte in 2013) will make his Gwinnett debut. The Tides will counter with right-hander Mike Wright (0-0, 0.00). Tony Schiavone will have the play-by-play call beginning at 6:20 PM on wdun.com, TuneIn Radio and the MiLB First Pitch app.
The Home Opener at Coolray Field is scheduled for Friday, April 11 at 7:05 PM against the Durham Bulls. Tickets for all 72 home games are available for purchase now by calling the Coolray Field Ticket Office at 678-277-0340 and by visiting GwinnettBraves.com.