INDIANAPOLIS (IndyIndians.com) - Former Indians infielder Josh Wilson victimized the Tribe to the tune of four hits -- including two doubles and a home run -- with four RBI and two runs scored on Tuesday night as the Gwinnett Braves picked up the first win of the season over Indianapolis, 8-5 at Victory Field.
En route to the victory, Gwinnett took advantage of a four-run top of the sixth, which C Jose Yepez opened with his 13th double of the season. After a groundout, 2B Ruben Gotay lifted a sinking line drive into shallow right field. Indians RF Starling Marte made a valiant sliding effort at the ball but was unable to catch it on the fly and Yepez, who had a poor read on the ball and was running on contact, caught a break and scored from first, putting the Braves ahead 4-3.
A pair of home runs then gave Gwinnett a 7-3 lead, which Indianapolis would not be able to overcome. Former Indians SS Josh Wilson smacked a two-run home run, his fourth of the season, to the left-field corner. Two batters later, LF Stefan Gartrell smacked a two-out solo home run to left field in his first at bat of the ballgame. Gartrell had taken over in left for Jose Constanza -- who was 1-for-3 in the game -- in the bottom of the fifth.
A solo home run by RF Felix Pie in the top of the seventh inning provided a final insurance run for Gwinnett, the third home run of the game for the Braves and second of the season for Pie, extending the lead to 8-3. Indianapolis rallied for two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning on an RBI triple by 2B Anderson Hernandez and a run-scoring groundout by C Eric Fryer, but the Indians were unable to complete the comeback and fell 8-5.
Gwinnett starter Yohan Flande (6.1 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 3 K) was chased by Hernandez's triple but still picked up his fourth win of the season for the Triple-A Braves. Meanwhile, reliever Kris Johnson (1.0+ IP, 5 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 3 HR) allowed all three Gwinnett home runs and took the loss for Indianapolis, falling to 4-2 on the season. Indians starter Jeff Locke (5.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 K) had left the game with the scored tied 3-3 and thus did not factor into the final decision.
Indianapolis had taken an early 1-0 lead when SS Chase d'Arnaud hit his second triple of the season to center field in the bottom of the first inning and then scored on a wild pitch. Gwinnett tied the game in the top of the third inning when Wilson, who had doubled, scored on a single by Constanza, but the Indians went ahead 2-1 in the bottom of the third when Locke drew a leadoff walk and scored from first on a double by CF Jose Tabata, who was thrown out trying to stretch the hit into a triple.
It was the third time in two games that Indianapolis has had a pitcher on base; both LHP Rudy Owens and RHP Chris Leroux recorded base hits in Monday night's win.
A two-run double by Wilson in the top of the fourth inning gave the Braves their first lead of the game, scoring Yepez and Gotay to put Gwinnett up 3-2. When the dust had settled and all was said and done, Wilson had gone 4-for-4 with two doubles, a home run, four RBI and two runs scored against his former organization. Indianapolis tied the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the fifth inning when C Eric Fryer doubled home Hernandez, but the Braves exploded for four runs in the top half of the next inning and would not look back.
It appeared Gwinnett might score an extra insurance run in the top of the ninth inning when 1B Ernesto Mejia doubled down the left field line, but Tribe LF Brandon Boggs retrieved the ball from the Indianapolis bullpen and threw a strike to the plate to gun down Pie. It wasn't the first time this season Boggs had come out of the bullpen and thrown strikes -- on June 5 in Pawtucket, Boggs pitched a scoreless inning of relief in the first pitching appearance of his professional career.
1B Jeff Clement led off the bottom of the ninth inning with a double for Indianapolis and Fryer drew a two-out walk to put runners on the corners, but a forceout at second base ended the Tribe's chances of a rally.
The Indians (60-37) and Braves (45-53) will play a game three matinee on Wednesday afternoon starting at 1:05 p.m. RHP Daniel Cabrera (4-4, 4.35) will likely start for Indianapolis, while Gwinnett is expected to counter with RHP Eric Junge (5-8, 4.76).
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