INDIANAPOLIS, IN -- The Indianapolis Indians (20-7) rode the pitching of starter Francisco Liriano, a solid bullpen and timely hitting to a 9-2 win over the Gwinnett Braves (12-15) on Tuesday afternoon in the finale of the four-game series at Victory Field.
After starting the road trip 3-1, the G-Braves dropped their next four to finish 3-5 away from home.
G-Braves starter Daniel Rodriguez (L, 1-2) had entered the game with a 14.2 inning scoreless streak on the line. However, that quickly changed in the first. Darren Ford walked, stole second and went to third on a throwing error by first baseman Ernesto Mejia. Centerfielder Alex Presley grounded out to second, scoring Ford with the first run of the game.
In the second, the Indians kept the pressure on Rodriguez. Jared Goedert and Brian Jeroloman walked to begin the inning. They both moved up on a force play from Liriano. Goedert then scored from third on a bunt single by Ford to put the Indians up 2-0.
Indianapolis broke the game open in the bottom of the third with a five-run frame. Ivan De Jesus Jr. delivered the big hit, as he hit a bases clearing double. Rodriguez finished the frame, but that would be all from the left-hander as he went 3.0 innings, allowing seven runs and walking six.
The Indians added a run off of reliever Cole McCurry in the bottom of the fourth as Presley (2) led off the half inning with a solo homer to right.
The Braves finally tallied in the top of the fifth, as third baseman Joe Leonard tripled to right center and scored on a sac fly by shortstop Sean Kazmar.
The Braves added another run in the top of the ninth, but it would not be enough as the Indians finished the four-game sweep of the G-Braves.
After Rodriguez left the game, the bullpen did a nice job in relief. Four relievers combined to toss 5.0 innings, yielding six hits, two runs and striking out three. Lefty Dusty Hughes led the way, working 1.1 innings on the day. He allowed one hit and struck out two.
In his second minor league rehab start, Liriano (W, 2-0) was superb. He worked 6.0 innings, gave up four hits and one earned run. He walked no one, and struck out nine. The Indians bullpen finished it off, allowing three hits and striking out six in the final three frames.
Centerfielder Todd Cunningham led the Braves attack with a 3-for-3 day.
Josh Harrison was 3-for-4 for Indianapolis. Rightfielder Brett Carroll and De Jesus each had two hits, while De Jesus added three RBI.
After an off day on Wednesday, the G-Braves begin an eight-game homestand at Coolray Field on Thursday night with game one of a four game series against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, the Triple-A affiliate of the New York Yankees. First pitch at 6:05 p.m. LHP Sean Gilmartin (2-0, 2.40) will start for the Braves. The RailRiders will pitch RHP Brett Marshall (0-2, 7.36). Tony Schiavone will have the call on WDUN AM 550/FM 102.9.
Tickets for all Gwinnett Braves home games are on sale now at the Coolray Field Box Office. Call (678) 277-0340 or visit gwinnettbraves.com for more information.