Posted: Wednesday, August 28th 2013 at 11:03pm
Martin, Bulls Handcuff G-Braves
By staff reports
LAWRENCEVILLE -– On Tuesday afternoon, Durham Bulls’ pitcher J.D. Martin was named the International League’s Most Valuable Pitcher. The right-hander continued his award-winning season on Wednesday night by tossing 7.1 innings of one-run baseball to lead the Bulls to a 5-1 win over the Gwinnett Braves at Coolray Field.
Martin (W, 16-5) scattered seven hits, walked none and struck out four to collect his third win over the G-Braves in 2013. In 20.1 innings against Gwinnett, Martin has allowed one run on 13 hits while striking out 15.
He was backed early as Durham scored two runs in the top of the first inning. Tim Beckham belted a leadoff homer to left to start the game, and Luke Scott and Brandon Guyer followed with back-to-back hits. The double by Guyer put runners on second and third with no outs. Leslie Anderson drove in Scott with a groundout to shortstop Tyler Greene, but that was all the Bulls could get as Gwinnett right-hander David Hale induced a groundout and fly out to keep it at 2-0.
The Bulls (85-53) extended their lead to 4-0, scoring a run in both the second and fifth innings. In the second inning, Beckham laced a double down the left field line scoring Kevin Kiermaier from first base, while in the fourth, Guyer tripled and scored on an RBI groundout by Jason Bourgeois.
Gwinnett (57-82) cut into the lead in the bottom of the fourth. Three-straight singles by Joe Leonard, Phil Gosselin and Matt Pagnozzi loaded the bases with one out. Jose Constanza laced a hard grounder to first base, but Anderson made a diving stop, preventing the ball from going down the right field line and allowing just one run to score, making it 4-1.
The Bulls answered, scoring a run in the fifth without recording a hit. Hale walked the first two batters before exiting. Right-hander Andrew Russell came on and walked two more, pushing across a run to make it 5-1.
Hale (L, 6-8) allowed five earned runs on seven hits in 5.1 innings, suffering his third-straight loss. The right-hander hasn’t won a start since August 1.
Martin picked up his league-leading 16th victory, while right-hander Josh Lueke (S, 17) recorded the save. Lueke tossed 1.2 innings with three strikeouts.
Constanza paced the G-Braves attack, going 3-for-4 with an RBI. Pagnozzi added two hits for Gwinnett, scoring the lone run. Leonard also went 2-for-4, extending his hitting streak to eight games.
Beckham, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2008 June draft by the Tampa Bay Rays, went 4-for-6 with a double, home run and two RBIs for Durham. He fell a triple shy of the cycle. Guyer added two hits and one RBI.
The Gwinnett Braves and the Durham Bulls play game two of their three-game series at Coolray Field on Thursday night at 6:05 PM. Right-hander Omar Poveda (6-7, 3.53) will pitch for the G-Braves and will oppose Tampa Bay Rays’ left-hander Matt Moore (0-0, 0.00) who will make a rehab start for the Bulls. 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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