INDIANAPOLIS, IN –The Indianapolis Indians (39-23) won their seventh game in a row by beating the Gwinnett Braves (29-30) by a 4-2 score Thursday night at Victory Field.
It was also the first loss for Gwinnett starting pitcher Manny Banuelos (L, 5-1). The lefty worked 6.0 innings with five hits, two earned runs, three walks and five strikeouts.
The Indians got on the board in the bottom of the first and never trailed in the game. Jaff Decker drew a one-out walk, and Banuelos, attempting to pick Decker off first, threw the ball away. The error enabled Decker to score all the way from first for a 1-0 lead.
Indianapolis added a run in the bottom of the second on a rally started with a single by Decker. He was forced out at second base on a ball hit to third by Keon Broxton. Brent Morel followed with a long double off the wall in right-center field to score Broxton from first for a 2-0 lead.
The G-Braves first run came in the top of the fourth when Adonis Garcia drilled a one out single to left off of Indianapolis right-handed starter Chris Volstad (W, 5-2) and moved to second on a ground out to first by Cedric Hunter. Wil Nieves then stroked a ground-rule double to left, scoring Garcia to cut the lead to 2-1.
However, in the bottom of the seventh, with right-handed reliever Peter Moylan pitching for Gwinnett, pinch hitter Mel Rojas, Jr. singled. He moved to second on a wild pitch and to third on an infield single by Alen Hanson, who also stole second. Both Rojas and Hanson scored on a bloop double to left by Decker for a 4-1 lead.
The final run of the night came in the top of the eight after outfielder Eric Young, Jr. led off with a pinch-hit walk in his first appearance as a G-Brave. Young stole second and scored on a throwing error by Indians’ first baseman John Bowker to cut the G-Braves’ deficit to the eventual final score of 4-2.
Moylan, who replaced Banuelos in the seventh inning, pitched 1.0 inning with three hits and two earned runs while striking out one. Righty Kanekoa Texeira went 1.0 inning with one hit and one strikeout.
Volstad worked 7.0 innings with six hits, one earned run, one walk and four strikeouts. Brad Lincoln (H, 3) pitched 1.0 inning with one unearned run, one walk and one strikeout. Former North Gwinnett star Blake Wood (S, 17) went 1.0 inning with one hit and one strikeout.
For Gwinnett, Garcia was 2-for-4 with a run; Daniel Castro was 1-for-2 with a walk; Nieves was 1-for-4 with a double and an RBI; and Joey Terdoslavich, in his first game back in a Gwinnett uniform, went 1-for-4 with a double.
Morel was 3-for-4 with an RBI for the Indians, and Decker was 2-for-3 with one run and two RBIs.
The G-Braves and Indians meet in game two of their four-game series at 7:15 p.m. Friday night at Victory Field. Right-handed starter Matt Wisler (3-4, 3.52) will be on the mound for Gwinnett. Indianapolis will start right-hander Adrian Sampson (6-3, 2.69). Tony Schiavone has the play-by-play call on 97.7 FM and WSBRadio.com beginning at 6:45 p.m.