Posted: Sunday, April 13th 2014 at 8:09pm
Karns pitches Bulls to sweep of G-Braves
By staff reports
LAWRENCEVILLE -– The Durham Bulls (8-3) finished off a three-game sweep of the Gwinnett Braves (4-6) on Sunday afternoon with a 3-1 victory at Coolray Field. Bulls’ right-hander Nathan Karns (W, 1-1) twirled a gem as he allowed one run on three hits over 5.0 innings, walked two and struck out seven. Durham has won five straight games.
Atlanta Braves’ right-hander Gavin Floyd (L, 0-1) made his third rehab start for Gwinnett and went 3.2 innings, allowing two runs, one earned on three hits. He walked three and struck out three in a 73-pitch, 43-strike outing.
“The first couple innings I was just trying to make adjustments because I was rushing a little bit,” said Floyd about his start. “I was able to make that adjustment in the third and fourth inning. I was glad I was able to make that adjustment and end the game on a good note.”
Floyd’s early command issues resulted in two runs for Durham in the top of the second inning. Back-to-back singles by Mike Fontenot and Ali Solis put runners on first and second with no outs. After a sacrifice bunt by Robby Price, Ray Olmedo drove in the first run with a groundout to short. The second run scored on a passed ball charged to catcher Steve Lerud.
Floyd settled down to retire the last six batters he faced before exiting the game with two outs in the top of the fourth. Despite taking the loss, he was optimistic about the outing.
“Obviously you want results as a pitcher,” said Floyd. “In an ideal world, I wish I would have gone all five innings and pitched 75, but I’m glad I’m going through this. I had a good start last time, and today is a little bump in the road. I had a tough two first innings, but I got a chance to figure it out. I need these things to get ready for when I do come back.”
The Bulls added a run in the fifth inning, connecting on four straight hits against reliever Mark Lamm. Vince Belnome, Mikie Mahtook, Solis and Price each picked up singles, with Price driving in a run to make it 3-0. Lamm avoided further trouble with an inning-ending double play.
In the bottom of the frame, Tyler Greene ended the Durham shutout bid. He smacked his first home run of the season off the retaining wall in left field to cut the deficit to 3-1.
However, that would be as close as the G-Braves would get. Bulls’ relievers Adam Liberatore (H, 2), Steve Geltz (H, 2) and C.J. Riefenhauser (S, 1) combined to toss 4.0 scoreless innings in relief of Karns.
Gwinnett tallied five hits on the day. Ernesto Mejia led the way, going 2-for-3 with a double and a walk, while Greene went 1-for-3 with the homer and an RBI.
Solis led the Bulls, going 3-for-5 with one run scored. Price and Olmedo each tallied an RBI.
The Gwinnett Braves open a two-game series against the Norfolk Tides, Triple-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles, on Monday night at Coolray Field. First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m. Right-hander Zach Stewart (0-0, 5.40) will start for the G-Braves against right-hander Mike Wright (0-0, 0.00) of the Tides. Tony Schiavone will have the play-by-play call on wdun.com, GwinnettBraves.com, TuneIn Radio and the MiLB First Pitch app.
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