DURHAM, NC -With Atlanta's Evan Gattis in the lineup in his first rehab start since his injury on June 18, the Gwinnett Braves (41-55) succumb to the Durham Bulls (61-35), 3-0 Friday night in game one of the three game series at Durham Bulls Athletic Park in Durham, NC.
Gattis, in the lineup as the DH, finished the night 0-for-4 in his first game in a Gwinnett uniform.
The rest of the G-Braves struggled at the plate as well against the Durham pitching staff, as Gwinnett was shutout for the eighth time this season.
The Bulls broke a scoreless tie with a run in the bottom of the fourth off of G-Braves starter David Hale (L, 3-5). Leslie Anderson single to left-center with one out, moved to third on a double to right by Ryan Roberts and then scored on a passed ball for a 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the fifth, Cole Figueroa drilled a two-out, solo homer to right to up the Durham lead to 2-0.
The final Bulls' run came in the bottom of the eighth against Gwinnett reliever Mark Lamm. Figueroa led off with a double and scored on a double to left by Tim Beckham.
The G-Braves had a few opportunities to score. In the top of the second, Phil Gosselin tried to score from first on a double in the gap in left center by Joe Leonard, but was thrown out at the plate. And then in the top of the third, they loaded the bases with one out, but Durham starter Merrill Kelly (W, 4-0) struck out Gattis and Ernesto Mejia to end the threat.
Hale worked 5.0 innings in his 11th start of the season. He allowed five hits and one earned run, while striking out four. Ryan Buchter had a dominant 2.0 innings of work, allowing one hit and recording six strikeouts.
Kelly went 6.0 innings for the win. He gave up five hits with one walk and five strikeouts. Jeff Beliveau pitched a scoreless seventh with one hit and one strikeout. Josh Lueke worked a scoreless eighth with one hit, one walk and one strikeout. Kirby Yates (S, 10) pitched a scoreless ninth with one hit and one strikeout.
At the plate for Gwinnett, Leonard was 3-for-4 with two doubles and a single. Jose Constanza was 2-for-5 with his team-leading 17th stolen base of the season.
The Bulls were paced by Figueroa who was 3-for-4 with a double, a homer and one RBI. Anderson was 2-for-3.
The G-Braves and Bulls play game two of the three game series Saturday in Durham. Right-hander Jose Bisenius (3-1, 5.31) is scheduled to start for Gwinnett. Durham has slated right-hander Matt Buschmann (4-0, 2.56). The game will air on WDUN 550 AM/102.9 FM. First pitch set for 7:05 p.m.