Atlanta Braves right-hander Williams Perez allowed one hit over 5 2/3 scoreless innings and Barrett Kleinknecht homered to lead the Gwinnett Braves to a 5-3 win over the Charlotte Knights on Sunday in the finale of the three-game series.
Making his third rehab start from Atlanta, Perez (3-1, 1.16 ERA) was solid to lead Gwinnett to a three-game series win. The 6-foot-1 pitcher worked into the sixth inning and struck out five before giving way to the bullpen.
Currently on Atlanta’s disabled list with a left foot contusion, Perez is having a memorable campaign in his first season in the majors. The Venezuelan native posted a 4-0 record with a 2.88 ERA in 11 games (eight starts) with Atlanta before being placed on the team’s disabled list on June 27.
The Braves jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the second inning against Charlotte RHP Brad Penny (5-4, 4.07), who earned the loss. Penny allowed an RBI single to Sean Kazmar and an RBI double to Todd Cunningham in the second frame to give Gwinnett the two-run lead.
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Penny allowed two runs on six hits over five innings. The former National League All-Star struck out three batters on the afternoon. RHP Miguel Chalas tossed a scoreless sixth for the Knights.
Reliever Onelki Garcia allowed a leadoff home run in the bottom of the seventh to Kleinknecht, which gave Gwinnett a 3-0 lead.
The Knights loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the eighth inning and pushed two runs across against the Gwinnett bullpen, which pulled the team to within one run, 3-2. Second baseman Micah Johnson, who went 2-for-4 on the day, came through with an RBI single in the eighth. Drew Garcia drove in the other Charlotte run in the inning on a 6-4 forceout.
Gwinnett mustered up two more runs against Garcia in the bottom of the eighth inning to make it 5-2. Garcia ended up allowing three runs (two earned) on two hits over two innings.
With the bases loaded and no outs, Chris Marrero hit an RBI single through the middle to score Matt Tuiasosopo. Now down 5-3, Tyler Colvin stepped to the plate with the bases still loaded. Colvin grounded into a 1-2-3 double play and the Knights were down to their final out of the day. Peter Moylan got Chris Jacobs to ground out to end the game.
The Knights will make the trek to Louisville, Ky., to open a four-game series against the Louisville Bats. RHP Scott Carroll (3-2, 2.58) will get the start for the Knights against Louisville LHP Tony Cingrani (0-0, 0.00).