The Gwinnett Braves beat the Durham Bulls 3-0 at Durham Bulls Athletic Park in Durham, NC Saturday night in the opening game of the three-game series.
The Braves have now won seven in a row and move their record to 41-42. The team picks up another game on the first place Bulls in the International League South; and are now eight and a half games out. The Bulls lost their second in a row and are 49-33 on the season.
Joe Thurston hit a solo homer off Bulls starting pitcher Richard De Los Santos to lead off the second inning. It was the only run the Braves would need, as Gwinnett starter Todd Redmond and the bullpen of Stephen Marek and Craig Kimbrel allowed only three Durham singles on the night. The other Gwinnett runs came in the sixth and eighth on an RBI double by Barbaro Canizares to plate Freddie Freeman, who doubled earlier and a long solo homer by Mitch Jones, respectively.
Redmond (8-7) started and got the win going seven innings with two hits, no runs, two walks and seven strikeouts. Marek worked a scoreless eighth and Kimbrel pitched the ninth for his 11th save.
Freeman went 2-for-4 to increase his on base streak to 23 games. Thurston had two hits including his seventh home run of the season. Jones’ home run is his team-leading 14th of the season.
De Los Santos (6-4) pitched seven innings and gave up seven hits, two runs and two walks for the Bulls.
Desmond Jennings, J. J. Furmaniak and Dioner Navarro got the only hits for Durham in the game.
The Braves and Bulls play Game 2 of the series in Durham at 7:05 tonight. Ryne Reynoso (2-5, 4.63 ERA) is scheduled to start for the Braves, while Durham will start Virgil Vasquez (2-0, 5.31 ERA).