SAVANNAH, GA – The Rome Braves scored five unanswered runs in the sixth through eighth innings for a 5-3 comeback win snapping the Savannah Sand Gnats' 11-game winning streak Wednesday night at Historic Grayson Stadium. The Gnats (12-2/51-32) still hold the best record in the South Atlantic League.
The Gnats' now finished 11-game winning streak matches the franchise's best since the beginning of the 1993 season. Savannah won 11 games in a row in 1993 as the Savannah Cardinals and in 2000 as the Sand Gnats.
In a 3-3 game, Rome DH Chris Garcia led off the eighth inning with a solo home run just to the left of straightaway centerfield to give the Braves (3-11/28-56) their first lead of the night. Rome tacked on a second run in the inning off reliever Luis Rojas to establish the final margin of 5-3.
The Gnats built a 3-0 lead by scoring a single run in every one of the first three innings. In the first, SS Wilfredo Tovar walked, stole second, advanced to third on a wild pitch, and scored on C Blake Forsythe's infield single along the third base line. In the second, 2B Luis Nieves ripped a double down the right field line bringing home Sam Honeck who had drawn a leadoff walk. In the third, RF Rafael Fernandez stole two bases and scored on catcher Ryan Delgado's throwing error.
Rome began their rally against Gnats' starter Taylor Whitenton in the sixth. 2B Tommy La Stella led off the frame with a solo home run to make the score 3-1 Savannah. Whitenton finished the sixth, yielding just one run on two hits with two walks and five strikeouts.
After two walks and a double, the Braves tied the game in the seventh against Rojas on La Stella's RBI groundout to second. Rojas was charged with the loss to fall to 1-5.
Braves' starter Caleb Brewer retired 14 of the final 15 batters he faced to finish seven innings and earn his fifth win of the year. Reliever Chris Schlosser struck out three in the final two innings to record his first professional save.
The Gnats will begin a four-game series against the Greensboro Grasshoppers Thursday night. Gnats' RHP Gonzalez Germen (6-3, 3.95) will take on 'Hoppers RHP Robert Morey (3-6, 6.89).