Gartrell's Walk-off Homer Lifts G-Braves in 10thMay 10, 2012 - International League (IL) Gwinnett Braves
Jose Constanza started the 10th-inning rally with a one-out single, then stole second and third base on consecutive pitches from Bisons' right-hander Fernando Cabrera (L, 2-1). Following a Luis Durango strikeout, Gartrell stepped to the plate with a chance to be the hero. The reigning IL Batter of the Week capitalized on Cabrera's 2-2 pitch, lifting a towering shot over the bullpen in left field. His team-leading sixth blast of the season produced two RBI, giving him 12 RBI in his last nine games.
Right-hander Cory Gearrin (W, 2-0) earned the win despite failing to close out a 3-1 lead in the ninth. Gearrin blew his first save of the season as he yielded an RBI double to Omar Quintanilla and game-tying RBI single to pinch-hitter Bobby Scales. He'd recover, however, to keep the Bisons off the board in the 10th inning.
The G-Braves had taken a short-lived 3-1 lead in the eighth on a two-out, two-run double by Durango. Ernesto Mejia scored easily on Durango's ball in the right-center gap, and Constanza scored on a fortunate break. Bisons' right-fielder Valentino Pascucci came home with a well-timed throw, but the ball glanced off Durango's bat - which was in play - enabling Constanza to cross the plate.
Christian Marrero also homered for Gwinnett, lifting a solo shot to dead center off Bisons' starter Jeremy Hefner in the fifth inning. Marrero's second home run of the season gave the G-Braves a 1-0 lead, but Buffalo tied the score an inning later on Pascucci's RBI single scoring Fred Lewis.
Both starting pitchers were strong in no-decisions. Right-hander Todd Redmond tied a career-high with 10 strikeouts over 6.2 innings, limiting the Bisons to a run on six hits. Redmond threw 116 pitches, 79 for strikes. Hefner, meanwhile, yielded two runs on four hits over 7.2 innings and struck out six.
Constanza (2-for-5, 2 runs, 2 SB), Durango (2-for-5, double, 2 RBI) and Gartrell (2-for-4, HR, 2 RBI) all had multi-hit efforts for the International League South Division-leading G-Braves. Pascucci went 3-for-5 with one RBI, while Quintanilla went 2-for-4 with two doubles and one RBI for Buffalo.
The Gwinnett Braves (20-13) begin a five-game series with the Toledo Mud Hens starting with doubleheader action on Friday night at Coolray Field. Both games will be seven innings. Game one begins with the first pitch at 5:05 PM and features right-hander Jair Jurrjens (1-0, 1.80) on the mound for Gwinnett against Toledo left-hander Adam Wilk (2-1, 1.06). Game two's starting pitching match-up has yet to be announced. Both games will air on WDUN 550 AM and 102.9 FM with Tony Schiavone calling the play-by-play.
Friday night's game is sponsored by 12 Stone and features a post-game fireworks display courtesy of WAGA Fox 5 Atlanta. It's also "Seniors vs. Seniors" night at Coolray Field, pitting high school seniors against senior citizens in fun challenges.
Tickets for all Gwinnett Braves home games are on sale now at the Coolray Field Box Office. Call (678) 277-0340 or visit gwinnettbraves.com for more information.
International League Stories from May 10, 2012
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