The IL South leading Durham Bulls won their season-high sixth straight game, beating Gwinnett 3-0 at the DBAP on Friday night. The Bulls entered the game with the best record in professional baseball-Major or Minor League-and continued their red-hot July.
Durham took the lead on an unearned run in the fourth when Leslie Anderson singled, moved to third on Ryan Roberts' double, and scored on a passed ball, one of two given up by Braves catcher Matt Pagnozzi on the night.
The Bulls added a run in the fifth when Cole Figueroa hit a home run just over the glove of right fielder Brandon Boggs and into the stands. It was Figueroa's third homer of the year and the first by a Bulls' leadoff hitter this season.
Figueroa led off the eighth with a double, his third hit of the night, and scored on Tim Beckham's double to complete the Bulls' scoring.
Bulls starter Merrill Kelly (W, 4-0, 1.70) didn't need any more help. He pitched six scoreless innings, running his scoreless inning streak to 14 straight, second most by a Bulls pitcher this season. Jake Odorizzi went 18.2 scoreless from April 24 to May 10. Kelly allowed 5 hits and struck out 5.
Kelly also struck out Atlanta rookie slugger Evan Gattis, who is with the Braves on injury rehab, twice, including once with the bases loaded. Gattis went hitless in four at bats on the night.
Jeff Beliveau, Josh Lueke and Kirby Yates each pitched a scoreless inning. Lueke extended his scoreless streak to 26 innings, Beliveau extended his to 11.1 innings, and Yates extended his to 17.1. Yates earned his tenth save. David Hale (L, 3-5, 3.28) lost to Kelly for the second time in a week.
The series continues Saturday at 7:05pm at the DBAP. RHP Matt Buschmann (4-0, 2.56) starts for the Bulls against Gwinnett's RHP Joe Bisenius (3-1, 5.31).