LAWRENCEVILLE, GA - The Louisville Bats (46-71) were unable to solve the right arm of Aaron Blair on Friday night, dropping their second consecutive game to the Gwinnett Braves (57-60) by a score of 3-1 at Coolray Field.
Blair (7-6, 4.39) shut out the Bats offense in six innings of work, allowing five hits and two walks while striking out four.
The Bats and Braves had a golden opportunity to get on the scoreboard in the first inning with a runner at second base and only one out, but both teams failed to cash in.
Louisville's biggest scoring threat after that came in the sixth inning. Blair fielded a comebacker by Brandon Dixon, but an errant throw allowed Dixon to advance to second on the play. Hernan Iribarren then blooped in a single to right field, giving the Bats runners at the corners with only one out.
Blair, who's limiting opponents to a .235 batting average with runners in scoring position, defused the situation by getting Tyler Goeddel to fly out and Adrian Nieto to whiff on a curveball, keeping the game deadlocked at 0-0.
Kade Scivicque broke the scoreless tie in the seventh inning on a two-run single after Ariel Hernandez came on in relief. Both of those runs were charged to right-hander Jackson Stephens (7-8, 5.00), who allowed four hits and two walks while striking out six in six-plus innings. It was his team-leading 10th quality start of the season.
Louisville scored its lone run of the ballgame in the eighth inning on a Tyler Goeddel RBI groundout, making it a 2-1 deficit. Gwinnett added an insurance run in the bottom half of the frame courtesy of a Carlos Franco RBI single.
Enrique Burgos closed the game out by pitching a clean ninth inning, giving the Braves a 3-1 victory.
The Bats will look to right the ship in game three of a four-game set against the Braves tomorrow night at 6:05 p.m. Right-hander Luke Farrell will make his Louisville debut while right-hander Kris Medlen (1-5, 5.86) will start for Gwinnett.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.