CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Gwinnett Braves scored eight runs on 12 hits on Friday and went on to blank the Charlotte Knights by a score of 8-0 in the opening game of a two-game series from Knights Stadium.
Gwinnett starter Omar Poveda (1-0, 2.00) tossed seven scoreless innings en route to his first win of the season. Atlanta slugger Freddie Freeman made a rehab appearance for Gwinnett and went 0-3 with a run scored on the evening.
The Knights returned home on Friday after a two-game road trip in Durham. The Knights, who entered the game with a 1-8 record on the road and a 4-2 mark at home, failed to get by the Braves in the opener. Gwinnett improved to 7-9 on the season. Charlotte dropped to 5-11.
RHP Jason Berken started for Charlotte and allowed six runs on 10 hits over 4.1 innings. Berken, who did not allow an earned run over his first two starts of the season, lost for the first time in 2013 on Friday. The Clemson product walked one and struck-out five batters, but failed to get out of the fifth inning.
Gwinnett’s offense busted out for 12 hits and were helped out by Jose Constanza, who went 3-5 with two runs and an RBI. RF Joey Terdoslavich homered off of Berken in the fifth inning.
Freeman started for Gwinnett at DH and batted third in the game. Freeman, who is recovering from a sprained right oblique, was in the first game of his Major League rehab assignment. He struck-out three times on Friday. The Atlanta first baseman, who launched 23 home runs last season, is expected to continue his rehab on Saturday at Knights Stadium.
In all, the Knights offense had five hits. Josh Bell, who was activated off of the disabled list before the game, had one of those hits.
The two teams will be back at it again on Saturday for game two of the two-game series. RHP Zach Stewart (0-1, 4.50) will get the start for the Knights, while Gwinnett will send LHP Daniel Rodriguez (0-1, 17.05) to the hill.
Gates open at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday with first pitch set for 7:15 p.m. After the game, the Knights will light-up the sky with thrilling post-game fireworks, presented by BB&T Ballpark and News Talk 1110 WBT.