LAWRENCEVILLE -- The Gwinnett Braves won their second thriller in as many nights with a 3-2 victory over the Charlotte Knights in 12 innings on Monday night at Coolray Field. Tyler Pastornicky's fielder's choice to short scored Luis Durango from third base for the game-winning run. Before Monday, the G-Braves had not won back-to-back games on separate days since May 28 and 29.
Durango led off the 12th inning with a single up the middle off Charlotte reliever Gregory Infante (L, 4-1). Jose Constanza sacrificed Durango to second, putting the winning run in scoring position. Following a wild pitch from Infante that advanced Durango to third base, Pastornicky smacked a high chopper that drawn-in shortstop Ozzie Martinez couldn't get out of his glove in time for a play at the plate. Durango scored easily, giving the G-Braves the win and sending the rest of the team in a chase around the diamond to greet Pastornicky.
Pastornicky's game-winning RBI capped a 3-for-6 game that included his 14th double of the year. He's the ninth-different Gwinnett hitter to drive in the game-winning run in the club's 10th last at-bat win of the season.
Yohan Flande was masterful over a season-high 8.0 innings in the start. The southpaw left the game with the no decision, but pitched well enough to win as he surrendered just two runs, one earned on four hits. His lone mistake of the evening came in the fourth inning when he allowed Dan Johnson to smash his 21st home run of the season. Flande walked none and struck out three, throwing 108 pitches, 69 for strikes.
Prior to the 12th inning, both of Gwinnett's runs came off of solo home runs. Christian Marrero led off the second inning with his fourth of the season, giving the G-Braves an early 1-0 lead. Following Johnson's home run to lead off the fourth for Charlotte, Triple-A All-Star Ernesto Mejia got into the mix with his team-leading 16th home run of the season. Mejia destroyed a 2-2 pitch from Charlotte right-hander Matt Zaleski, launching the ball off the left field retaining wall for a 2-1 lead.
Flande preserved the lead for three innings until an eighth inning fielding error by third baseman Ruben Gotay on a grounder by Jim Gallagher opened the door. The Knights capitalized on the mistake as Justin Greene smoked a double down the left field line that scored Gallagher to tie the game at 2-2.
Gwinnett's bullpen kept the team in the game as Jaye Chapman worked 2.0 scoreless frames following Flande's departure. The right-hander was nearly flawless, yielding just one hit and striking out two. Dusty Hughes worked a scoreless 11th inning and D.J. Carrasco (W, 1-0) grabbed his first victory with the G-Braves as he worked a scoreless 12th inning.
Scott Olsen made his first start of the season with Charlotte, working 2.0 innings with one run allowed on the Marrero homer. The original game-three starter, Zaleski was brilliant in relief of Olsen, working 7.0 innings with one earned run on five hits and six strikeouts. Decatur, GA native Anthony Carter also made an appearance in the game, working 2.0 scoreless frames for the Knights in extra innings.
The Gwinnett Braves (39-47) play the final game of the four-game series against the Charlotte Knights (49-37) on Tuesday night at Coolray Field, first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Right-hander Julio Teheran (5-5, 4.50) is scheduled to start for the G-Braves against Charlotte left-hander Charlie Leesman (7-6, 2.45). The game will be broadcast on WDUN 550 AM and 102.9 FM in Gainesville, GA with Tony Schiavone calling the play-by-play.
Tuesday night is another "2-for- 1 Tuesday" at Coolray Field. Visit www.gwinnettbraves.com/Tuesday to print your coupon. Some seating level restrictions apply (limit 6 tickets per group).