Posted: Friday, August 10th 2012 at 10:42pm
G-Braves drop opener to Louisville
By staff reports
LAWRENCEVILLE -– The Gwinnett Braves lost to the Louisville Bats, 3-2, in the opener of a four-game series on Friday night at Coolray Field.
Jair Jurrjens was solid for six innings of two-run baseball, but exited the game with a no decision. Neftali Soto led the way for Louisville, going 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs.
Gwinnett held leads of 1-0 and 2-1, but Louisville battled back and took a 3-2 lead against Anthony Varvaro in the top of the eighth. Didi Gregorius reached base on an error by first baseman Ernesto Mejia and scored on a single up the middle by Henry Rodriguez. Varvaro (0-2) yielded just that unearned run on two hits over an inning, but it was enough to suffer the loss.
The G-Braves scored in the first inning as Felix Pie doubled to left-center, took third on a fielding error by Bats’ center-fielder Denis Phipps, and scored on Mejia’s sacrifice fly to right.
Louisville tied the score in the top of the second against Jurrjens as Soto crushed a solo blast over the G-Braves’ bullpen for his 14th home run of the season.
Gwinnett responded to retake the lead in the third inning. Luis Durango singled and Pie walked, and both moved into scoring position on a double steal. Durango’s Triple-A leading 40th stolen base put him at third, where he’d walk home on a single by Terry Tiffee.
Again, however, the Bats tied the score against Jurrjens. Louisville starting pitcher Chad Reineke, 2-for-3 at the plate on Friday, led off the sixth with a single. Rodriguez reached on a fielding error by second baseman Rusty Ryal and Soto followed with a single to score Reineke. Soto’s second RBI of the game tied the score at 2-2.
Only one of two runs scored against Jurrjens was earned. The right-hander, starting on a rehab assignment for the Atlanta Braves, scattered four hits over 6.0 innings, walked none and struck out two. Jurrjens threw 78 pitches, 52 for strikes in an efficient outing.
Reineke battled Jurrjens on both sides of the diamond, working six innings of his own as he yielded two runs, one earned on six hits. He struck out two and walked one in a no-decision. Jordan Smith (2-3) earned the victory with a scoreless seventh inning and Nick Masset pitched a perfect eighth inning. Former Brave J.J. Hoover closed the door for his 12th save of the season.
Peter Moylan and Dusty Hughes each threw scoreless innings in relief for Gwinnett.
Durango went 2-for-3 with a run scored and Ryal went 2-for-3 with a double in the losing cause for the G-Braves. The Gwinnett offense combined for just six total hits on the night.
The Gwinnett Braves (53-68) take on the Louisville Bats (48-73) in game two of the four-game series on Saturday night at Coolray Field, first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Left-hander Sean Gilmartin (0-1, 3.95) is scheduled to start for the G-Braves against right-hander Tim Gustafson (4-3, 4.30) of the Bats. Listen to the broadcast on WDUN 550 AM and 102.9 FM.
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