Stefan Gartrell and Josh Kroeger each homered for Gwinnett Saturday, powering an 8-2 win over the Louisville Bats. 7,747 were in attendance at Coolray Field as Braves starter Sean Gilmartin (1-1) earned his first career Triple-A win.
Gartrell’s two-run shot in the fourth broke a 1-1 tie and turned out to be the game winning hit of the night. Later, Kroeger sent a three-run blast out to cap the scoring, making it 8-2.
Louisville starter Tim Gustafson (4-4) was charged with four runs over six innings of work and was pinned with the loss.
For the second straight game, Gwinnett was on the board first. Luis Durango walked to start the first and later stole second—his 41st stolen base of the season. Later, Ernesto Mejia struck out on a dropped third strike. Corky Miller quickly threw to Neftali Soto at first but Soto dropped the ball, allowing Durango to score.
Louisville (48-73) came back to tie the game at a run apiece in the third. Their run was also aided by an error. Corky Miller walked to start the inning and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from Tim Gustafson. With Denis Phipps at the plate, Braves catcher Jose Yepez made an errant throw to second in an attempt to pick Miller off at second. Miller advanced to third on the play. Two pitches later, Phipps ripped a single to left, scoring Miller and tying the game.
After Gartrell homered to give the Braves the lead, he extended their lead to 4-1 with an RBI double in the sixth.
Miller’s one-out solo home run in the seventh gave the Bats their final run of the night.
The Bats dropped back to 5-5 in the month of August. Louisville is shooting for the first winning month of baseball for the team since April of last season.
Game three of the four game series is set for 5:05 p.m. Sunday night. Todd Redmond (8-8, 3.36 ERA) will be on the mound for the Bats facing his former team. Major Leaguer Tommy Hanson is expected to make the start for Gwinnett. Hanson is currently on Atlanta’s disabled list with a strained back.
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