Gwinnett defeats Charlotte
CHARLOTTE, NC - Behind the stellar pitching of left-hander Andrew Albers, the Gwinnett Braves (54-57) blanked the Charlotte Knights (46-66) 2-0 on Saturday night in game two of the three-game series at BB&T Ballpark.
Albers (W, 11-3) went 8.0 scoreless innings with five hits, one walk and a season-high 10 strikeouts. The 10 strikeouts also matched his single-game career high, set on July 13, 2013 with Rochester at Pawtucket. Albers has now tossed 15.0 consecutive scoreless innings over his last two starts, lowering his ERA to 2.72.
Evan Phillips (S, 1) finished off Gwinnett's eighth shutout win of the season with a scoreless bottom of the ninth, working around a walk for his first career Triple-A save.
The only runs of the game came in the top of the sixth. Dansby Swanson greeted Charlotte reliever Connor Walsh with a single to left and Rio Ruiz followed with a walk. After a wild pitch moved the runners to second and third, Micah Johnson drilled a double off the wall in right for a 2-0 lead.
The closest Charlotte came to cracking the scoreboard was in the bottom of the sixth, when Jacob May lined a ball to right-center field and attempted to turn a triple into an inside-the-park home run. But a perfect relay from right fielder Ronald Acuna to shortstop Swanson to catcher Kade Scivicque cut down May at the plate.
Charlotte got a fine pitching performance from starter Lucas Giolito. He went 5.0 scoreless innings with four hits, two walks and seven strikeouts. Walsh (L, 0-1) pitched 1.0 inning with two hits, two earned runs, one walk and one strikeout. Matt Purke worked 1.0 inning with one hit. Al Alburquerque tossed 1.0 inning with one strikeout. Danny Farquhar struck out three in a scoreless top of the ninth.
At the plate for Gwinnett, Dustin Peterson was 2-for-4. Acuna, Ruiz and Scivicque were each 1-for-3. The two-run double by Johnson was his only hit in a 1-for-4 effort and the only extra-base hit on the night for the G-Braves.
For the Knights, May was 2-for-4 with a triple.
The G-Braves and Knights meet in the series finale on Sunday at 5:05 p.m. Gwinnett will start right-hander Aaron Blair (6-6, 4.79 ERA), while Charlotte will start right-hander Reynaldo Lopez (6-6, 3.65). Air time is 4:35 p.m. with Tony Schiavone on 97.7 FM "The Other Side of the River."
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