DURHAM, NC - The Durham Bulls dropped the opening game of a three-game set to the Gwinnett Braves Friday night at the DBAP, falling 8-4.
After the Bulls scored the game's first run in the second inning on an RBI single by Luke Maile, the G-Braves countered with four runs in the fourth. Cedric Hunter tied the game with an RBI single, then Todd Cunningham singled to leftfield to score a pair and take the lead. The next batter, Sean Kazmar, singled to score Christian Bethancourt for a 4-1 ballgame.
In the fifth Gwinnett (54-51) extended its lead when Hunter cracked a three-run homer into the rightfield seats to make it a 7-1 contest.
Durham (52-54) wouldn't go quietly though, plating a pair of runs in the sixth inning. Taylor Motter led off with a double, and Richie Shaffer followed with an RBI double of his own. Two batters later Ryan Brett doubled to centerfield to score Shaffer, cutting the deficit to four. The visitors scored another run in eighth, before Nick Franklin hit a solo homer to centerfield in the bottom of the inning to close the scoring.
Kanekoa Texeira (3-3) picked up the victory, surrendering three runs on five hits over five innings, while righty Dylan Floro (9-10) suffered the loss, allowing seven runs (six earned) on seven hits over 5 2/3 frames.
Game two of the set is scheduled for Saturday at 6:35 p.m., when Durham sends LHP Scott Diamond (9-4, 3.89) to the mound against Gwinnett RHP Tyrell Jenkins (2-1, 2.16).