LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. -- In their first game back following the Triple-A All-Star break, the Gwinnett Braves (42-57) took advantage of costly mistakes by the Indianapolis Indians (61-39) and routed the International League West Division's first place club, 10-3, on Thursday night at Coolray Field.
The offense backed a strong performance by left-hander Alex Wood (W, 1-0). In his first career Triple-A appearance, the southpaw scattered three hits over 5.0 innings, allowed one run and struck out five. He went on to record his first victory since May 25 with Double-A Mississippi, when he tossed 7.0 innings of one-run baseball at Mobile.
After being held to seven runs total in their four-game series at Indianapolis in April, it was crucial for the G-Braves to get off to a good offensive start on Thursday.
"We gave them good games," said Gwinnett Manager Randy Ready about the last time they faced Indianapolis. "I like how we started the game. We took advantage of some command issues and came through with some timely hits. It was nice to see the ball bounce in our favor for a change."
Gwinnett took advantage of Indians' miscues early, scoring three runs in the first and six in the second. In the first inning, starter Andy Oliver walked the bases loaded with one out before Joe Leonard connected for an RBI single, making it 1-0. Luis Nunez would hit into a potential inning-ending double play, but shortstop Brian Bocock misplayed the grounder and allowed two more runs to score.
In the second inning, the G-Braves scored six runs on four hits. With two outs, Brandon Boggs drove in Phil Gosselin with an RBI double. After a walk to Stefan Gartrell, Leonard doubled both Boggs and Gartrell in, extending the lead to 6-0. Nunez would reach on a hit-by-pitch and Matt Pagnozzi capped the offensive output with a three-run homer over the left field fence, making it 9-0.
Indianapolis wouldn't stay quiet for long, scoring a run in the fifth and two in the sixth. In the fifth inning, the Indians finally got to Wood, as Lucas May led off with a walk and advanced to third on consecutive wild pitches. He eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by Darren Ford.
Right-hander Cody Martin stepped in to replace Wood in the sixth inning and promptly gave up a leadoff homer to Matt Hague. The Indians tacked on another run on an RBI triple by Andrew Lambo to get within six at 9-3.
Gwinnett fended off an Indianapolis comeback by scoring another run in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI single by Gartrell.
Martin (S, 1) pitched well in relief of Wood, tossing 4.0 innings with two runs allowed on four hits. He walked none and struck out two to earn his first save since September 1, 2011 with Class-A Rome.
Oliver (L, 5-3) suffered the loss for Indianapolis, giving up nine runs, eight earned on five hits over 1.2 innings. He issued five walks while striking out a pair. Five Indians' relievers combined to allow a run on two hits over the final 6.1 innings.
Offensively for Gwinnett, Leonard went 2-for-4 with three RBIs, while Pagnozzi added his fifth home run of the season and three RBIs.
Russ Canzler had the only multi-hit effort for the Indians, going 2-for-4.
The Gwinnett Braves continued their series with the Indianapolis Indians in game two of this four game set on Friday night at Coolray Field. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM. Atlanta Braves' right-hander Brandon Beachy (0-3, 3.79) will make a rehab start for Gwinnett, while right-hander Stolmy Pimentel (2-1, 2.77) will start for the Indians. The radio broadcast will air on WDUN 550 AM and 102.9 FM, while the television broadcast will air on CSS.
Friday night is "Outdoors Night" at Coolray Field. Take part in the festivities by wearing your favorite outdoor gear to the ballpark.