By Greg Dumais/Danville Braves Monday, July 16 2012 00:00
DANVILLE, Va. - Nick De Santiago, who hit a team-high .391 against the Pulaski Mariners last season, went 3-for-3 with one double and two singles as the Danville Braves outslugged the M's 14-7 in the Sunday matinee at American Legion Post 325 Field. The victory puts the Braves in sole possession of first place in the Appalachian League East.
Perhaps showing some debut jitters, D-Braves shortstop Jose Peraza misplayed a ball by Mariners lead off man James Zamarripa, which allowed him to reach base in the first. Second baseman Brock Hebert singled Zamarripa into scoring position. The M's then got a broken-bat single from center fielder Jabari Henry, which loaded the bases for left fielder Reggie Lawson. But Braves starter Ernesto Silva got Lawson to hit into a 1-2-3 double play ball and pitched his way out of the bases loaded jam to keep his scoreless first inning streak intact.
The Braves put men on base in each inning of the game before scoring in the third. Levi Hyams dropped-down and bunted his way on in the home half of the first. The fourth pickoff throw was a charm for M's starter Min-Sih Chen as he caught Hyams leaning. Third baseman Carlos Franco then grounded-out to end the inning.
After an eight-pitch at-bat, first baseman Gilmer Lampe singled to get aboard in the second. Catcher Franklin Diaz then singled to give the M's their second pair of back-to-back singles in the game. With runners at first and second, Silva got shortstop Bryan Brito to double into the second twin killing of the game and the Braves ended another Mariners scoring threat.
But the M's didn't leave any men on base in the third. Leading off, Zamarripa reached for the second time in three innings. Hebert then pulled a ball down the left field line for an RBI double, which plated Zamarripa all the way from first. Hebert advanced to third on an opposite field groundout by Henry and scored on a Lawson single to cap the two-run inning.
The Braves broke through in the third. Peraza singled and, running on the pitch, slid under the tag to steal second. Hyams pushed Peraza to third on a groundout and Franco walked. Franco then advanced to second on a 55-footer from Chen and designated hitter Josh Elander hit a two-run single to tie it at two.
Behind in the count, left fielder Edison Sanchez tomahawked a single to lead off the fourth. De Santiago worked a walk and 1B Casey Kalenkosky was hit by a pitch, which loaded the bases. Peraza put the Braves out in front 3-2 with his second base knock in as many at-bats. With the table still set, De Santiago scored on a long sac fly from Hyams, who just missed his second grand slam of the season and had to settle for an RBI sac fly.
The M's retook the lead in the fifth. Brito bagged a single and Zamarripa walked before Hebert singled the former to home and the latter to third. Henry hit an RBI sac fly to score Zamarripa and Lawson walked. With runners at first and third, third baseman Jordy Lara launched a three-run home run to make it 7-4 and cap the M's five-run fifth.
In the home half of the fifth, the Braves got back-to-back doubles from right fielder Felix Marte and Sanchez. Marte got a late break on Sanchez's double and wasn't able to score on the play. But De Santiago singled to give the Braves their third straight hit of the inning and score Marte from third. With one-out and runners at the corners, Kalenkosky clutch hit for an RBI single to make it 7-6. With the tying-run 90-feet away, center fielder Kurt Fleming drag bunted his way to first and De Santiago scored on the play as the Braves played small ball to tie the game at seven. The Braves retook the lead on an RBI hit by Hyams, which scored Kalenkosky from third and made it 8-7.
The Braves batted around for the second time in the game in the seventh and benefitted from two Mariners errors, their fourth of the game, to make it 13-7.
Ernesto Silva pitched 4.0 innings and allowed five runs (all earned) on nine hits. Min-Sih Chen pitched 3 1/3 innings and allowed four runs (two earned) on four hits. The pitchers of record are Braves reliever Michael Hashem and M's reliever Isliexel Gonzalez. Hashem pitched a scoreless 2 1/3 of relief and was credited with the win. Gonzalez pitched 1 2/3 inning and allowed four runs (two earned)on three hits to suffer the loss.
Today is $ Dog Monday courtesy of Kunzler, so bring your appetite for ballpark franks as the D-Braves go for the series sweep. Mauricio Cabrera will get the nod for the Braves. Jochi Ogando will go for the M's. Game time is 7:00 p.m. and gates will open at 6:00 p.m.
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