The Gwinnett Braves (2-4) erupted for 17 hits and whipped the Norfolk Tides (1-5) by a 15-2 score Tuesday night in game two of the three game series at Harbor Park.
After being the victims of a 3-0 shutout at the hands of Norfolk pitching on Monday, the G-Braves quickly rebounded with a four run outburst in the top of the third inning in game two of the series. Xavier Avery led off the inning with an infield single off Tides starter Mike Wright and moved to second on a ground out. A two out single to right by Ozzie Albies plated Avery for a 1-0 lead. Sean Kazmar followed with a single, moving Albies to second. Albies then scored on a single by Mel Rojas Jr. to up the Gwinnett lead to 2-0. Matt Tuiasosopofollowed with a single to right that plated both Kazmar and Rojas for a 4-0 G-Braves lead.
The Gwinnett lead went to 5-0 in the top of the fourth as Avery drilled a one out double to left off Wright and scored on a single to center by Lane Adams (Choctaw Nation).
G-Braves starter Aaron Blair gave up his only run in the bottom of the fifth on a two out RBI single to left by Logan Schafer, which cut the lead to 5-1.
But in the top of the sixth, after David Freitas drew a two-out walk, Adams (2) crushed a two-run homer to left off Norfolk reliever Zach Stewart to push the lead to 7-1.
The G-Braves scored three in the seventh off of Stewart to make it 10-1. One on a solo homer by Kazmar (2), one on a sacrifice fly by Adam Brett Walker and the other as Rio Ruiz scored from third on a fielding error by Norfolk first baseman David Washington.
An RBI double in the bottom of the seventh by Norfolk’s Paul Janish off Rhiner Cruz cut the Gwinnett lead to 10-2, but the G-Braves added more in their final two at-bats. Ruiz drove in two in top of the eighth on a long double off the right field wall, and Adams (3) socked a three-run homer in the top of the ninth to make the final 15-2.
Blair (W, 1-1) went 5.0 innings, allowing three hits, one earned run and three walks while striking out six to earn his first win of the season. Cruz pitched 2.0 innings with two hits, one earned run and two strikeouts. Kevin Chapman worked 1.0 inning with one hit and one strikeout, and the newest G-Brave, Jason Motte, pitched a scoreless bottom of the ninth with one hit.
Wright (L, 0-1) went 4.1 innings with eight hits and five earned runs. He struck out four. Stewart pitched 2.1 innings with three hits, five runs (four earned), two walks and four strikeouts. Parker Bridwell worked 2.0 innings with six hits, five earned runs one walk and four strikeouts. Outfielder Michael Choice was called in to pitch with two outs in the top of the ninth and was credited with 0.1 of an inning pitched.
Adams had the big night for the G-Braves by going 4-for-5 with three runs, two homers and six RBI. Rojas was 3-for-6 with one RBI and Avery was 3-for-5 with three runs scored. Kazmar and Ruiz each collected two hits. Ruiz ran his hitting streak to six games. The G-Braves combined for nine RBI with two outs in the game.
For Norfolk, Chance Sisco was 2-for-4, the only player in the lineup with more than one hit.
The G-Braves and Tides will meet in game three of the four-game series at Harbor Park Wednesday night. Left-hander Sean Newcomb (0-0, 8.31) is scheduled to make his second start of the season for Gwinnett. Norfolk will pitch right-hander Gabriel Ynoa (0-1, 16.87). First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m. Tony Schiavone has the play-by-play call on 97.7 FM The Other Side of the River beginning at 6:05 p.m.