Saturday, April 24, 2010

Gwinnett Braves 8, Durham Bulls 7, 8-game win streak ends

[Via email from Matt DeMargel/Andrew Zelinsky of the Durham Bulls.]

Durham, NC - The Bulls eight-game win streak came to an end as they were defeated by Gwinnett, 8-7 Saturday night at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. For the second consecutive night Durham’s offense mounted a late rally, but this time it was not enough as they fall to 12-4 on the season.

Durham got on the board in the first inning against Gwinnett starter Chris Resop, as Justin Ruggiano connected for his second home run in as many games with a solo shot over the Blue Monster in left. The hit extended Ruggiano’s hitting streak to 10 games with a hefty .391 batting average during that stretch.

Gwinnett mounted a comfortable advantage against Bulls starter Heath Phillips, notching a pair of runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings. Brandon Hicks and Gregor Blanco had solo shots for the G-Braves in the third, while Hicks also had a two-run single in the fourth. Freddie Freeman had an RBI-triple and scored on a sacrifice fly in the fifth, extending the Braves advantage to 6-2 after five.

The Bulls stormed back in the sixth as Hank Blalock, Joe Dillon and Ryan Shealy walked to begin the inning against Braves reliever Jeff Lyman. Gwinnett went to sidearmer Cory Gearrin, but he tossed a wild pitch to plate a run before allowing an RBI-single to Angel Chavez. One batter later, Alvin Colina singled home a run and put the go-ahead run on first with one man out, but Gearrin induced Fernando Perez to ground into an inning-ending double play to end the threat.

A pair of runs in the seventh and eighth innings extended the lead back to three for the Braves, as Joe Bateman struggled in relief for the Bulls. He allowed four hits, two runs and a walk in 2.0 innings of work, snapping a string of five consecutive scoreless appearances for the right-hander.

The Bulls added two in the eighth inning to bring the deficit to one, as Jose Lobaton had an RBI double and Craig Kimbrell threw a wild pitch which brought home Chavez to make the score 8-7.

The Bulls put the tying run on second in the ninth, as Hank Blalock laced a one-out double to left off southpaw Mariano Gomez. Desmond Jennings came in to pinch run for Blalock, but was caught trying to steal third for the second out of the inning. Joe Dillon singled with two outs, but Gomez got Shealy to ground out softly back to the mound to end the threat and the Bulls win streak.

The two teams continue their series tomorrow as RHP Aneury Rodriguez (1-0, 0.00) takes the mound in his home debut for the Bulls. He will be paired against Todd Redmond (2-1 1.69) for the Bulls. Game time is set for 5:05 p.m. and kids are encouraged to take part in Pepsi’s Kids Run The Bases after the game.

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