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G-Braves drop 9th straight, fall to third place

POSTED: June 24, 2012 10:43 p.m.

SYRACUSE, NY — The Syracuse Chiefs received eight strong innings from starting pitcher Zack Duke and handed the Gwinnett Braves their ninth straight loss with a 5-2 win Sunday night.

The G-Braves dropped to third place in the International League South standings, one game behind Norfolk, as the Tides won their fifth in a row with a 9-2 win at Toledo on Sunday.

After rain delayed the start of the game for almost two hours, the G-Braves took the early lead as leadoff man Luis Durango laid down a bunt single, stole second base and moved to third on a throwing error by Syracuse catcher Jeff Howell. Durango scored from third on a ground out to short by Josh Wilson, giving Gwinnett a 1-0 lead.

The Gwinnett lead lasted only half an inning, as the Chiefs took the lead for good in the bottom of the first. Corey Brown led off with a double and moved to third on a single by Erik Komatsu. Brett Carroll lifted a sacrifice fly to right that scored Brown to tie the game, 1-1. After recording the second out, Braves starter Jose Lugo yielded a walk to Mark Teahen and a single to Carlos Rivero to load the bases. Lugo then walked Jarrett Hoffpauir to push across Komatsu, giving Syracuse the 2-1 lead. Lugo walked Howell which scored Teahen to give the Chiefs a 3-1 lead.

The G-Braves cut into the lead in the top of the third, as Durango singled and scored again from first on a double deep to left by Wilson to make it 3-2 Syracuse. It was the last run the G-Braves scored.

Lugo (L, 1-3) worked four innings and surrendered 10 hits, four earned runs and walked four striking out five. Buddy Carlyle worked two innings, striking out four. His lone blemish was a Komatsu solo blast. Cory Gearrin worked two scoreless innings and yielded one walk alongside two strikeouts.

Duke (W, 9-3) pitched eight solid innings and allowed seven hits, two earned runs while he walked two and struck out two. Henry Rodriguez (S, 2) worked a scoreless ninth for the save, walking two and striking out one.

Durango and Wilson led the Braves offensively, as both went 2 for 4. Wilson drove in both G-Braves’ runs.

Komatsu was the hitting star for Syracuse, going 4 for 5 with a home run and three runs scored, while Brown and Marrero each had two hits.

Gwinnett and Syracuse end their four-game series Monday night . The Braves will have right-hander Eric Junge (4-7, 4.71) on the mound against the Chiefs right-hander Mitch Atkins (5-5, 4.31). First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. as Gwinnett looks to avoid their season-high 10th straight loss.


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