Posted: Saturday, August 17th 2013 at 3:52am
Durham earns split with G-Braves, 5-4
LAWRENCEVILLE -– On a cold, slick Friday night at Coolray Field, the Gwinnett Braves (54-73) made four errors in the field and walked ten at the plate, handing the Durham Bulls (77-49) a 5-4 win in the finale of the four-game series.
G-Braves’ starter Cody Martin got off to a solid start, striking out seven over his first 5 innings of scoreless baseball.
He utilized a small cushion that the offense gave him in the top of the second inning. Brandon Boggs drew a one-out walk and advanced to third on a double by Stefan Gartrell, placing runners on second and third. After a fly out, Matt Pagnozzi delivered a two-run single, making it 2-0.
Martin’s luck would run out in the top of the sixth, as Durham took a 3-2 lead as a result of Gwinnett miscues. Back-to-back walks to Tim Beckham and Cole Figueroa were followed by back-to-back errors, a throwing error by Martin and a fielding error by Joe Leonard at third base. After tying the game up at 2-2, the Bulls loaded the bases again and scored the go-ahead run on an RBI groundout by Evan Frey.
Martin exited with three runs, one earned over 5 innings, but left the game in line for the loss. However, Gwinnett bounced back in the bottom half of the frame, scoring two runs to regain the lead. Alden Carrithers reached on a fielding error by Durham third baseman Cole Figueroa to start the inning. A walk to Ernesto Mejia and a sacrifice bunt by Boggs put runners on second and third with one out. Gartrell drove in the tying run with a groundout, while Leonard singled home the go-ahead run to make it 4-3.
Durham regained the lead in the top of the seventh, scoring two runs on one hit. Beckham started things off, reaching first base on another fielding error by Leonard. The G-Braves’ third baseman, who committed his third error of the game and his fifth in the last two nights, had gone 247 chances with one error on the field prior to Thursday’s night game. The error proved costly, as Beckham reached second and scored from second on a wild pitch by Mark Lamm. One-out walks drawn by Figueroa and Gimenez set up an RBI situation for Shelley Duncan, who delivered an RBI single to left for a 5-4 Bulls’ lead.
It would be more than enough for the Bulls, as they held off the G-Braves the rest of the way. Matt Buschmann (W, 7-1) picked up the victory, tossing 6 1/3 innings, allowing five hits, four runs, two earned with four walks and three strikeouts. Jeff Beliveau (H, 8), Steve Geltz (H, 9) and Kirby Yates (S, 17) combined on 2 2/3 scoreless, one-hit innings.
Lamm (L, 2-2) took the loss, giving up two runs, both unearned, in 2/3 innings of relief.
Gartrell led the G-Braves, going 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI to extend his hitting streak to eight games. Constanza went 0-for-3 but drew a walk, extending his on-base streak to 17 games.
Frey led the Bulls, going 1-for-3 with an RBI and two stolen bases.
The Gwinnett Braves will hit the road as they take on the Toledo Mud Hens on Saturday night at 7 p.m. Right-hander David Hale (6-7, 2.99) will take the ball for the G-Braves, while the Mud Hens counter with right-hander Jon Link (0-4, 9.00). The radio broadcast will air on WDUN 550 AM and 102.9 FM with Tony Schiavone calling the play-by-play.
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