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Posted: Thursday, August 15th 2013 at 10:14pm

Kelly outduels Gilmartiin to lead Bulls past G-Braves

By staff reports
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LAWRENCEVILLE -– In his first start for the Gwinnett Braves (54-73) since June 16, Sean Gilmartin was brilliant, hurling 5.0 innings of scoreless baseball. However, Durham Bulls’ (77-49) starter Merrill Kelly was equally impressive, tossing 6.1 innings of one-run baseball to lead the Bulls to a 2-1 victory on Thursday night.

Gilmartin was efficient in his return to Coolray Field, tossing 58 pitches, 35 strikes in his five innings on the mound. He allowed four hits, walked none and struck out one.

Kelly (W, 8-5) had all his pitches working against the G-Braves’ lineup, holding them hitless through 5.2 innings and retiring 15 straight before Jose Constanza punched a single through the right side to end the no-hit bid. Kelly would exit after 6.1 innings, having allowed an unearned run on two hits while striking out six.

The Bulls got on the board first, scoring two runs in the top of the sixth off of reliever Joe Bisenius. Kevin Kiermaier led off with a triple to right field and scored on a ground ball from Cole Figueroa. An errant throw by third baseman Joe Leonard allowed Figueroa to reach base safely, and the error proved costly when Leslie Anderson delivered an RBI double to make it 2-0.

Gwinnett answered in the bottom half of the seventh inning. Alden Carrithers drew a leadoff walk. He would come around to score on a misplayed grounder by third baseman Vince Belnome that ended up down the left field line, cutting the lead to 2-1. Ernesto Mejia, the beneficiary of the two-base error, advanced to third on a single by Stefan Gartrell, placing runners on the corners with one out. Brandon Gomes, on a rehab assignment for the Tampa Bay Rays, came in and ended the threat. He struck out Leonard and induced an inning-ending fly out from Matt Pagnozzi to hold the 2-1 lead.

Gomes and Josh Lueke would hold off two more G-Braves’ rally attempts. Gomes stranded Constanza at third base in the eighth and finished with one hit and one strikeout over 1.2 innings. Lueke (S, 15) worked around a hit and a walk in the bottom of the ninth, striking out one to record the save. The Bulls have now won 12 of 17 games against Gwinnett this year.

Bisenius (L, 3-6) suffered the loss, allowing two runs, one earned on two hits over 1.0 inning. Juan Cedeno added 2.2 scoreless innings and Andrew Russell retired the only batter he faced.

Constanza led Gwinnett, going 2-for-4 to collect two of the team’s four hits on the evening. His effort extended his on-base streak to 16 games. Gartrell finished 1-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to seven games. He’s now just 22 hits away from tying Barbaro Canizares for the most career hits by a G-Brave.

Kiermaier led the Bulls, going 2-for-4 with a triple and a run scored, while Figueroa went 1-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI.

The Gwinnett Braves and the Durham Bulls finish their four-game series on Friday night at 7:05 PM. Right-hander Cody Martin (2-4, 3.97) will start for the G-Braves, matching up against right-hander Matt Buschmann (6-1, 2.95) of the Bulls. The radio broadcast will air on WDUN 550 AM and 102.9 FM with Tony Schiavone calling the play-by-play. The telecast will air on CSS with Mike Morgan and Dave Lezotte.

The first 2,000 fans entering Coolray Field on Friday will receive a G-Braves Baseball Cap, courtesy of Coolray Heating and Cooling. To purchase tickets, call the Coolray Field Box Office at (678) 277-0340 or visit gwinnettbraves.com.
Associated Categories: Sports News, Professional Sports

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