LAWRENCEVILLE, GA - Kris Medlen tossed his first career minor league shutout in the opener to lead the Gwinnett Braves (70-70) to a 1-0 win, but the Durham Bulls (85-55) responded with a shutout of their own in game two, winning 2-0 as the teams split a doubleheader on Saturday night at Coolray Field.
Medlen was the story in game one. Making his final start of the season, the 31-year-old right-hander was sharp from start to finish. In his first shutout at any level since August 16, 2012 for Atlanta vs. San Diego, Medlen (W, 3-7) tossed 7.0 innings, giving up just four hits while walking one and striking out eight.
The G-Braves got him just enough support in the second inning against Bulls' starter Mike Broadway (L, 1-2). Leading off the inning, Micah Johnson lifted his first Gwinnett home run 395 feet to left-center field to put Gwinnett up 1-0.
Medlen's biggest test came in the fourth inning when the Bulls loaded the bases with two outs. However, he induced a ground out from Taylor Featherston to end the inning. In the fifth, Kade Scivicque caught Kean Wong trying to steal to get Medlen through the inning. After retiring the side in order in the sixth, Melden finished the shutout by inducing a ground out from Wong to strand the tying run on base.
For Durham, Broadway gave up the one run on three hits over 3.2 innings while Hunter Wood tossed 2.1 scoreless relief innings. Four different Bulls recorded hits in the loss.
The second game played out in a similar fashion, but with a different result.
Making just his second career start, Philip Pfeifer (L, 0-2) was good for the first two innings but ran into trouble in the third. Johnny Field's RBI double and Kean Wong's sacrifice fly made it 2-0, and that would remain the score for the rest of the game.
Durham starter Chih-Wei Hu and reliever Diego Castillo (W, 3-2) each threw 2.0 scoreless innings to hold the lead. In the fifth, the G-Braves loaded the bases with nobody out., but former Gwinnett left-hander Jonny Venters escaped the jam in his Durham debut by retiring the next three batters in order to end the inning.
Fellow former G-Brave Chaz Roe (S, 4) entered in the sixth and pitched 2.0 scoreless relief innings of his own to finish the win.
In the second game, Ronald Acuna was 2-for-4 to lead the way for Gwinnett. On the mound, Akeel Morris and Danny Reynolds , making his G-Braves debut, each tossed 2.0 scoreless innings to hold the deficit at two runs.
For Durham, Field was 1-for-4 with a double, run scored, and an RBI while Michael McKenry was 1-for-2 with a walk and a run scored.
In game four of the series on Sunday afternoon, the G-Braves are scheduled to start right-hander Josh Collmenter (1-0, 1.13 ERA) against the Bulls' Brent Honeywell (11-8, 3.80) ERA. First pitch at Coolray Field is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. Tony Schiavone has the play-by-play call on 97.7 FM The Other Side of the River beginning at 12:35 p.m.
As part of Sunday Funday (sponsored by Georgia United Credit Union), fans are invited to play catch on the field before the game at approximately 12:05 p.m. Following the game, kids ages 12 and under are welcome to run the bases. For tickets, call 678-277-0340 or visit GwinnettBraves.com/tickets.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.