DURHAM, NC - The Durham Bulls dropped the opener of a three-game set 4-0 to the Gwinnett Braves Friday night at the DBAP, as the home side was held scoreless for the third time in its last five games.
The Bulls (52-62) were kept silent all night by the Gwinnett combination of Chris Ellis and Ryan Weber. Ellis (3-4) picked up the win, tossing five innings and working around five walks and three hits, while Weber allowed just one hit over four innings out of the bullpen. Jake Faria (3-3) suffered the loss for the home side, allowing three runs on six hits in 5 2/3 frames while striking out six.
The G-Braves (51-62) opened the scoring in the fifth inning when Mel Rojas Jr. lifted a two-out, two-run homer over the right field wall. In the sixth Gwinnett extended its lead on Michael McKenry's RBI single to left, and Rojas Jr. struck again in the seventh when he drove home Emilio Bonifacio with a single for a 4-0 lead.
Despite the loss Durham maintains a half-game lead over the Gwinnett Braves in the IL South Division, as the teams are scheduled to meet eight times over the season's final month.
The series continues Saturday when the Bulls send LHP Justin Marks (4-10, 3.92) to the hill, while Gwinnett has yet to name a starter. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m.
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