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Johnson pitches seven shutout innings

Wilkin Ramirez had three hits, two runs scored and two RBI, and Kris Johnson pitched seven shutout innings to lead the Red Wings to a 7-0 win over the Gwinnett Braves Friday night at Frontier Field. 

Friday featured a matchup between the Red Wings' pitching staff - tops in the International League with a 3.25 staff ERA - and the G-Braves' offense, which leads the IL with a .270 average coming into play Friday. Both starting pitchers - Gwinnett's Cody Martin, and Johnson - were both ranked among the top 10 pitchers in the league based on their ERA.

Johnson (5-2) retired the G-Braves in order in the top of the first inning, and Martin allowed a single to James Beresford in a scoreless bottom of the first.

The Wings broke open the game against Martin (3-4) in the fourth. Following a one-out double by Brad Nelson, Ramirez drove him home with a line drive double down the third base line. After advancing to third, Ramirez scored on a scorching double to right center field by Eric Fryer. Fryer was driven home by a slicing Pedro Florimon line drive single to right field. The next batter, Eric Farris, kept the Wings inning alive, driving home Florimon after Florimon stole second, which put the Wings up 4-0. The Wings recorded three straight hits, to bring home three runs, all with two outs in the inning.

Johnson faced his first threat in the top of the fifth, when runners reached second and first with no outs. Johnson worked out of the jam perfectly, striking out Mark Hamilton, getting Edward Salcedo to fly out to right, and finally getting Derrick Mitchell to ground out to third to end the inning.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, Farris doubled into the left field corner, bringing Florimon all the way around to score from first base and extending the lead to 5-0. The hit by Farris was the 12th of the game off Martin - five more than he had given up in any previous start this season.

Johnson cruised into the seventh inning having allowed four hits and two walks, while striking out five. Todd Cunningham reached first on a fielding error by Florimon to open the seventh, but Johnson retired the next three batters - helped by a nice running catch by Ramirez in right field. Johnson threw 111 pitches, 69 for strikes and lowered his ERA to 1.83.

Martin was done after six innings, having yielded 12 hits, five earned runs and a walk while striking out three. His replacement, Wirfin Obispo, was tagged for a pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh.Chris Colabello walked, went to second on a wild pitch, and scored on a double by Ramirez. Bernier followed with a single, and Ramirez slid home just ahead of the throw to put the Wings up 7-0.

Ryan Pressly took over for Johnson to start the eighth inning. Pressly set down all six batters he faced.

Nelson and Farris also had three hits each. Five Red Wings had two or more hits in the game.

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