Heath, Charlotte win series finale

LAWRENCEVILLE — Deunte Heath and the Charlotte Knights capped a week of playing against the Gwinnett Braves with a convincing victory Friday.

Heath, a Newton High School graduate, tossed two innings of one-run relief and the top of Charlotte’s order did most of the damage in an 8-2 victory over the G-Braves in International League play Friday at Coolray Field.

Charlotte, the Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago Whitesox, won two of three games in Gwinnett after splitting four games in Charlotte from July 26-29.

Charlotte grabbed a 2-0 lead in the top of the first on a two-run triple by cleanup hitter Travis Ishikawa, then in the second took advantage of a walk and fielding error with two outs to go up 4-0 on a two-run single by No. 3 hitter Avisail Garcia.

It was 8-0 in the seventh when No. 2 hitter Carlos Sanchez ripped a two-run single to chase Gwinnett starter Omar Poveda and Garcia hit an opposite field, two-run home run to greet reliever Joe Bisenius.

After starter Charlie Leesman completed seven innings of one-run ball, Heath entered in the eighth and immediately gave up a lead off double to B.J. Upton, in Gwinnett rehabbing a leg injury. Heath, who was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 19th round of the 2006 draft out of the University of Tennessee, settled down against his former organization getting a ground out and two strikeouts to strand Upton at third. Heath allowed a solo home run to Stefan Gartrell to start the ninth and also surrendered a walk and hit a batter, but ended up striking out the side, including Upton looking to end the game.

Gwinnett broke up Leesman’s shut out attempt when Gartrell doubled with one out in the seventh and scored on a single by Joe Leonard.

Poveda allowed seven runs, though just four were earned, and struck out seven in six innings of work for Gwinnett, which began a two-game series at Durham on Saturday.