There’s something about Buffalo that the Gwinnett Braves finds appealing. The Braves scored six runs in the ninth inning to win their 11th straight game at Coca-Cola Field, besting the Bisons, 7-1, Friday night. The Bisons have not beaten the Braves at home since a 5-4 win on June 17, 2013. It’s also the seventh loss in the last nine games for the Herd, who fell to 52-48.
Tie game: Gwinnett nursed a 1-0 lead for the majority of the game. The Herd got on the board in the eighth. Alexi Casilla had a two-out single then three straight walks pushed him home, the RBI going to Domonic Brown.
Then it fell apart: Five straight hits for the Braves helped them crank out offense in the eighth, highlighted by a three-run triple from Matt Lipka.
Joey Bats: Jose Bautista in his first rehab game with Buffalo, went 0 for 3 in playing seven innings in right field. He struck out looking, flew out to shallow center, and grounded out to third.
Rehabbers: Ryan Goins started at short and Chris Colabello was at first. Goins made an acrobatic, 360-spin throw in the eighth inning for what in the scorebook went down as a 6-3 ground out. Goins went 0 for 3 with a walk while Colabello went 1 for 4. His single in the ninth was his first hit with the Herd since leading off with a home run on Monday.
Quality start: Casey Lawrence was having a splendid start to the evening, retiring the first seven batters but then surrendered a blistering home run to left-center field to Matt Lipka in the third. He worked himself out of a bases-loaded jam in the fourth, and gave up two hits and a walk then struck out Rio Ruiz looking to end the inning. Lawrence gave up one run on four hits in seven innings of work with a walk and four strikeouts. It was his longest career outing at Triple A.
Allenson on Lawrence: “He made one mistake, he got a running slider that just kinda spun-up there for a run. But he did a super job going seven innings. I’m sure he trusts his stuff a lot better. … Earlier in the year he wasn’t making quality pitches and obviously now he is. When he is in trouble, when he’s in a jam, he can get out of it. Pitched well enough to win. We’re just not doing anything with the bats.”
Roster moves: The Blue Jays activated Marco Estrada and Franklin Morales from the disabled list and optioned reliever Aaron Loup and infielder Andy Burns to the Bisons. Reliever Dustin Antolin, currently with the Bisons, was designated for assignment to clear a 40-man roster spot.
Counting the house: There were 13,552 at Coca-Cola Field Friday night.
Up next: The series continues at 6:05 p.m. Saturday (Radio 1520 AM) with righty Drew Hutchison (6-4, 3.30) scheduled to start for the Herd against former Bison Roberto Hernandez (4-5, 4.62). Saturday’s game, the annual Star Wars promotion, is sold out. The series, and the homestand, ends with a 1:05 game on Sunday. Wilmer Font (1-2, 5.28) is scheduled to start for the Herd vs. Casey Kelly (2-6, 3.95).