LAWRENCEVILLE, GA - The Columbus Clippers (28-31) flexed their muscle on Wednesday night, connecting for three home runs in a 9-4 victory over the Gwinnett Braves (30-28) at Coolray Field.
Adam Abraham (1), Giovanny Urshela (4) and Carlos Moncrief (4) all homered off G-Braves' right-hander Cody Martin, leading the Clippers to their second straight win.
Columbus got on the board first, scoring a run in the top of the first inning. Jose Ramirez singled, stole second and scored on an RBI single by Abraham.
Gwinnett took the lead in the bottom of the first, scoring three runs on three hits. With one out, Tyler Pastornicky and Phil Gosselin hit back-to-back singles, putting two on against Clippers starter Duke von Schamann. Mark Hamilton (5) put the G-Braves on top with a long three-run homer to right-center, making it 3-1.
Both teams exchanged runs in the second inning, and Gwinnett took a 4-2 lead into the third inning. However, the lead wouldn't last as Columbus knotted it up at 4-4 in the fourth on solo homers by Abraham and Urshela.
The Clippers took a 6-4 lead in the top of the fifth as Moncrief blasted a two-run homer deep to right off Martin.
Columbus continued to pour it on, scoring twice in the top of the sixth and once in the seventh, all against left-hander Ian Thomas. Sacrifice flies by Abraham and Elliot Johnson opened up an 8-4 lead in the sixth, and Justin Sellers added an RBI single to make it 9-4 in the seventh.
Martin (L, 3-5) took the loss, allowing six runs on nine hits over 4.2 innings. The right-hander walked two and struck out two, dropping his third straight game.
Von Schamann (W, 1-0) recorded his first career Triple-A victory, hurling 5.0 innings of four-run baseball. He allowed six hits and walked one. The Clippers bullpen dominated the rest of the way, as Frank Herrmann, Scott Barnes, Mark Lowe and Vinnie Pestano each tossed a scoreless frame to preserve the victory.
Hamilton paced the G-Braves, going 1-for-4 with a homer and three RBIs. Steve Lerud went 2-for-3 with a run scored.
Ramirez led the Clippers, going 3-for-5 with two runs scored and two stolen bases. Sellers finished the contest 3-for-5 with an RBI, while Abraham went 2-for-4 with a homer and three RBIs.
The Gwinnett Braves and Columbus Clippers play game three of the four-game series on Thursday night at Coolray Field, first pitch scheduled for 6:35 PM. Atlanta Braves' right-hander Jordan Waldenis expected to throw an inning in a minor league rehab start for the G-Braves. The Clippers will counter with right-hander Tyler Cloyd (2-3, 4.91).