Gorkys Hernandez Delivers 2-1 Win in Gwinnett
LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. -- Indians left fielder Gorkys Hernandez, formerly a top prospect in the Atlanta Braves system, burned his former organization by driving in the tying and game-winning runs as Indianapolis beat the Triple-A Braves on Tuesday night at Gwinnett's Coolray Field.
After drawing a bases-loaded walk that tied the game at 1-1 in the top of the seventh inning, Hernandez drove in the game-winning run in the top of the ninth. Leading off the frame, 3B Brian Friday lined his second double of the game to left field before advancing to third on a sacrifice bunt by C Tony Sanchez. After a strikeout, Hernandez got ahold of a 2-1 pitch, bouncing it off the warning track and over the left-center-field fence for a ground-rule double, driving in Friday to put the Indians ahead 2-1.
RHP Evan Meek (1.1 IP) worked a perfect inning-plus as he got the last out of the eighth inning and all three outs of the ninth inning to improve to 2-2 on the season. The loss went to RHP Jaye Chapman (2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 K), who pitched well but fell to 2-3 on the year.
Gwinnett had taken an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning. With two outs, LF Stefan Gartrell singled on a groundball to right field before coming all the way around to score the game's first run on an RBI triple by RF Felix Pie. The triple was the fourth of the season for Pie, who had also driven in two runs against the Tribe on Monday night.
The Indians tied the game in the top of the seventh inning when Friday hit his first double of the game with one out to start the rally. After PH Brandon Boggs drew a walk, Indianapolis loaded the bases when Chase d'Arnaud reached on an error. Hernandez then drew the run-scoring walk to reload the bases with just one out, but the Indians were unable to capitalize further at the time.
Left-handed starter Jeff Locke (6.0 IP, 8 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 8 K) was solid in a no decision, allowing eight hits no walks while striking out eight, his most since striking out 11 Bats in Louisville on May 27. Locke is also a former Braves prospect; he and Hernandez came to the Pirates in the trade that sent OF Nate McLouth to Atlanta. Meanwhile, RHPs Daniel McCutchen (1.0 IP, 2 K) and Chris Leroux (0.2 IP, 2 H, 1 BB) -- both on major league rehab assignments from Pittsburgh -- combined for 1.2 innings of scoreless relief.
For Gwinnett, RHP Jair Jurrjens (1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 2 K) did, in fact, take his scheduled turn in the Triple-A Braves rotation, but threw just one inning as a tune-up for Friday night, when the native of Willemstad, Curacao, is expected the make a major league start for Atlanta against the Boston Red Sox. Piggybacking Jurrjens was RHP Buddy Carlyle (4.0 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 7 K), who recorded seven strikeouts, and LHP Dusty Chapman (2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K), who walked in the unearned run that allowed the Indians to tie the game.
The Indians (42-29) and will continue their series with Gwinnett (36-37) on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. RHP Daniel Cabrera (2-3, 4.81) is expected to start on the mound for Indianapolis, while the Braves will likely counter with RHP Eric Junge (4-6, 4.48).
The game will be carried on WNDE 1260 AM-WFBQ-HD2, WNDE.com and via iheartradio, a mobile application for iPhone, Blackberry and Android phones with Howard Kellman and Will Flemming on the call. The pre-game show begins at 6:45 p.m.
Post-game quotes --LF Gorkys Hernandez
(On his game-winning hit) "I tried to take good concentration to the plate, tried to look for my pitch. I tried to look for a fastball, but he threw me a hanging slider over the middle of the plate and I tried to hit the ball toward left field, to the gap, and we won the game."
(On whether it meant more to do it against his former organization) "No, you know, we just try to do it the best we can. We try to pitch [well] and to defend, and if we play like that tomorrow and the rest of the days, we're gonna get a lot of wins."
(On his nonchalant, yet highly effective, style of defense) "That's one of the things I was working on in the big leagues. You have to work hard every day to be able to do that, and you have to be concentrated every day, too."
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