David Hurlbut struck out seven in 5.2 innings, getting his first Triple-A win as the Red Wings beat the Gwinnett Braves 5-2 Tuesday night in Georgia.
The Wings jumped out to an early lead against Braves pitching prospect Sean Newcomb. A pair of walks and a hit batter loaded the bases to start the game, and Kennys Vargas cleared the bases with a triple; the hit by Vargas appeared to clear the yellow line over the center field wall for a home run, but the umpires conferred and the play was ruled a triple. Daniel Palka, who was 4-for-4 in the second game of Sunday’s doubleheader, singled to bring in Vargas and the Wings led 4-0.
Matt Hague drove in Leonardo Reginatto with a second inning single, boosting the Wings’ lead to 5-0.
On the mound, Rochester starter Hurlbut allowed a hit and a walk while notching three strikeouts over the first two innings. In the bottom of the third, the Braves had the bases loaded with two outs, but Hurlbut responded by striking out Rio Ruiz to escape the jam.
Newcomb (1-1) was lifted in favor of David Peterson with two out and two on in the top of the fifth inning. Newcombe allowed six hits and five runs (four earned) in 4.2 innings pitched, with four walks and five strikeouts. Newcomb threw 97 pitches, 61 for strikes.
The Braves took advantage of a walk, a passed ball and a two-out single to get on the scoreboard in the bototm of the sixth inning. D.J. Baxendale came into the game to relieve Hurlbut and face former Wings slugger Adam Brett Walker. Hurlbut walked Walker, then got a groundout to end the inning.
Hurlbut (1-0) went 5.2 innings in his second start of the season, allowing three hits and a unearned run with three walks and seven strikeouts. Hurlbut threw 96 pitches, 59 for strikes.
With two out and Hague at second base in the top of the seventh inning, the game went into a rain delay. The game resumed after a 57-minute delay.
Trevor Hildenberger took over on the mound for the Wings in the bottom of the seventh inning. After a groundout and a walk, Wings trainer Larry Bennese and pitching coach Stu Cliburn went out to check on Hildenberger – who was taken out of the game with what appeared to be a leg injury. Drew Rucinski came in to relieve Hildenberger, and struck out a pair to end the seventh inning.
Rucinski allowed a ninth inning home run to David Freitas. Rucinski struck out four in his 2.2 innings of relief.
NOTES: In addition to OF Adam Brett Walker, two other former Red Wings are on the G-Braves roster: OF Xavier Avery and LHP Andrew Albers… Atlanta Braves OF Matt Kemp is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment against the Wings Tuesday night…The win earned fans a $1 discount off tickets for the April 25-30 homestand at Frontier Field; click here for all the details on how the Wings’ road trip performance will determine a ticket discount for next week.
Next up: RHP Jose Berrios (1-0, 0.00) starts in Gwinnett Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m.
Next Home Game: Tuesday, April 25 vs. Gwinnett (Braves), 6:35 p.m.