LAWRENCEVILLE, GA - The Buffalo Bisons (18-10) scored four runs in the top of the ninth inning to defeat the Gwinnett Braves (15-15) on Monday night at Coolray Field. Kevin Pillar went 3-for-3 with two runs and an RBI for the Bisons, helping send the G-Braves to their fifth-straight loss.
Gwinnett jumped out to an early lead with a run in the bottom of the first inning. Jose Constanzadoubled to start the frame against Buffalo starter Austin Bibens-Dirkx. He came around to score on an RBI single by Tommy La Stella, making it 1-0.
Buffalo tied the game in the top of the second inning with two outs. Ryan Schimpf drew a walk from Gwinnett starter Yunesky Maya, moved to second on a single by Mike Nickeas and scored on a fielding error by third baseman Edward Salcedo.
The G-Braves retook the lead in the fourth. Phil Gosselin reached base with an infield single, stole second base and scored on a single by Christian Bethancourt, giving Gwinnett a 2-1 lead.
Again, that lead wouldn't last as the Bisons tied the game against reliever Mark Lamm in the top of the fifth. With two outs, Darin Mastroianni singled, advanced to second on a walk to Pillar and scored on an RBI single by Dan Johnson.
In the sixth inning, Gosselin laced a triple to left field off Ryan Rowland-Smith. He scored on a sacrifice fly by Mark Hamilton, putting the G-Braves back in front, 3-2.
But Pillar would tie the game again in the top of the seventh as he laced a triple off Lamm to score Anthony Gose from second base. His third hit of the night tied the game at 3-3.
In the ninth inning, Atahualpa Severino struck out the first two batters before allowing a two-out single to Gose. The lefty then walked the next three batters to force in the go-ahead run. Matt Tuiasosopo followed with a bases-clearing double to give the Bisons a sudden 7-3 lead.
Severino (L, 0-1) suffered the loss, giving up four runs on two hits. He walked three and struck out five. Maya tossed 4.0 innings in the start, allowing one unearned run with two walks and three strikeouts. Lamm hurled 2.2 innings, allowing four hits and two earned runs while striking out three.
Gregory Infante (W, 1-0) recorded the win for Buffalo with 2.0 scoreless innings and two strikeouts.
Offensively for Gwinnett, La Stella led the way with a 2-for-4 night, including a double and an RBI. Gosselin went 2-for-4 with a triple and two runs scored. Joey Terdoslavich failed to connect for a hit, snapping his hitting streak at 14 games.
Pillar continued his hot hitting against the G-Braves with the three hits on Monday. In his career against Gwinnett, he's batting .500 (11-for-22) with six doubles, one triple, five runs and three RBIs. Gose also went 2-for-5 with two runs scored, and Tuiasosopo drove in three RBIs on 1-for-5 hitting.
The Gwinnett Braves and the Buffalo Bisons continue their four-game series on Tuesday night at 6:35 PM. Left-hander Ian Thomas (0-0, 0.00) will make his Triple-A debut for Gwinnett and will go against right-hander Liam Hendriks (4-0, 1.26) of the Bisons. Tony Schiavone will have the play-by-play call on wdun.com, GwinnettBraves.com, TuneIn Radio and the MiLB First Pitch app.
Tuesday's game is another "Two-for-Tuesday," as all Field and Infield Box seats are 50% off. Hot dogs are also half price on Tuesdays. Tickets are on sale now at the Coolray Field Ticket Office, call 678-277-0340 or visit GwinnettBraves.com for more information.