Bats Split Twin Bill with G-Braves
LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. - The Louisville Bats (22-23) split a doubleheader on Monday night against the Gwinnett Braves (17-29) after just over five hours of play. Louisville came out on top in the first game by a score of 8-5, and the G-Braves took the nightcap in a 5-2 victory.
The Bats' victory in the first game of the evening was powered by three home runs that helped Louisville score in each of the first five innings. Highlighting the offensive output was Denis Phipps, who was 3-4 with a double, two runs, and one of the Louisville homers. The other Bats to go deep were Neftali Soto (4) and Henry Rodriguez (3).
Timely RBIs from Joey Terdoslavich and Sean Kazmar paced the Braves' efforts in the second game. Their RBIs added on after two bases-loaded walks by Louisville's Daniel Corcino gave Gwinnett an early lead. Tim Corcoran pitched around trouble in a solid start to help ensure a Braves victory.
Billy Hamilton led off the first inning of game one with a double to set the table for Soto, who sent a two-run homer to left-center field to make the Bats' lead 2-0. Soto's fourth home run of the season came on his first at-bat back from a brief stint with the Cincinnati Reds.
The G-Braves answered immediately in their half of the first. Terdoslavich initiated the barrage with a two-out double and scored in the following at-bat on an Ernesto Mejia single to cut the Bats' lead in half. Brandon Boggs added two more when he homered for the fourth time this season to make the Gwinnett lead 3-2. Terdoslavich, Mejia, and Boggs combined for six of the Braves' nine hits and accounted for all five RBIs in game one.
Louisville got back to work at the plate in the second. After Phipps singled and later advanced to third on his eighth stolen base of the season, Pedro Villarreal's sacrifice bunt brought the Bats back to even, 3-3. Hamilton notched his 13th RBI of the season in the ensuing at-bat with his second hit in as many innings to help Louisville regain the lead at 4-3.
In the third and fourth innings, the Bats scored three runs that would prove to be the difference. Phipps smacked an RBI double to right-center field in the third and gave the Bats a 5-3 advantage, and Rodriguez continued to widen the gap in the fourth with a two-run home run to left that scored Villarreal and made the Louisville lead 7-3.
Gwinnett starter Sean Gilmartin (L, 2-3) left the game after working four complete innings. He allowed seven earned runs on nine hits and two walks, and only struck out one.
Phipps continued his productive night at the plate with a solo home run in the fifth inning to extend the Bats' lead and make the score 8-3. He finished the game with 2 RBIs.
The G-Braves tried to mount a comeback in the fifth when they scored on a Terdoslavich double that scored Tyler Pastornicky and reduced the Bats' lead to 8-4.
Villarreal (ND, 1-2) left the game with one out in the fifth, giving him 4.1 innings of work in which he struck out three and allowed four earned runs on eight hits and two walks.
Curtis Partch (W, 1-1) was excellent in 2.2 innings of relief for the Bats. He only allowed one run on a hit and a walk while striking out four en route to securing the 8-5 Louisville victory in game one.
Louisville started the second game much like they had the first. Hamilton started the game with a single and wheeled around to score when Soto was caught in a run-down after he singled to right. The Bats led 1-0 after the first frame.
In the second inning, two bases-loaded walks to Jose Constanza and Todd Cunningham from Corcino (L, 2-7) conceded the lead to the G-Braves, who took a 2-1 advantage into the third inning. Constanza would later extend his International League-leading hitting streak to 17 games.
Terdoslavich made the Gwinnett lead 3-1 when he sent a solo shot over the right field wall in the third inning. The home run was his eighth of the season.
The Braves continued to avenge their game one loss in the fifth inning when Kazmar doubled home two more runs, both unearned after a Rodriguez error earlier in the inning, making the Gwinnett lead 5-1.
Kazmar's double ended Corcino's night on the mound after 4.2 innings. He allowed five runs (three earned) on six hits and six walks while striking out two.
Corcoran (W, 2-3) was done after 5.1 innings of work during which he allowed one run while scattering eight hits, walking three, and striking out seven.
The Bats were able to tack one more on with timely two-out hitting in the seventh from Soto and Felix Perez, but could not mount a rally to come all the way back. Perez has now reached base safely in 22 straight games.
Kameron Loe (S, 1) threw 1.2 innings of relief to seal the split of the doubleheader for Gwinnett.
The Bats will wrap up their eight-game road trip tomorrow night at 6:05 p.m. at Coolray Field in their final game of the season against the G-Braves. Gwinnett RHP Omar Poveda (3-2, 2.35) will take the mound against Louisville RHP Chad Reineke (3-3, 4.10).
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