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08/18/2007 10:48 PM ET
Despite defeat, D-Braves clinch division title
Secure playoff spot following loss by second-place Burlington
Saturday's loss was Jose Ortegano's first in 12 appearances, including eight starts, this season. (Bill Setliff)

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The Danville Braves clinched the Appalachian League East Division title Saturday, despite dropping a 9-0 decision to the Princeton Devil Rays.

Nick Barnese (2-2) and Kyle Ayers combined on a seven-hitter and Jeff Carroll drove in three runs for the Devil Rays (24-31), but the result hardly mattered as the Braves (41-16) secured a playoff spot when second-place Burlington lost to Bluefield, 5-4.

The reigning Appalachian League champions put together a 28-6 stretch from July 13-Aug. 16 to take control of the division race.

Barnese (2-2) allowed four hits, struck out six and did not walk a batter in six innings. Ayers gave up three hits and fanned two over the final three frames.

Carroll ripped an RBI single in the first and drilled a two-run double in a six-run sixth for Princeton. Ben Humphrey and Mark Thomas hit two-run homers in the sixth.

Danville's Jose Ortegano (5-1) surrendered three runs on five hits and a walk with six strikeouts in five innings and suffered his first loss in eight starts.

Eliazar Carmona singled twice for the Braves, but Adam Coe went 0-for-4 to snap his 13-game hit streak.

Danny Wild is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.