LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga -- In his final start of the 2013 season, right-hander Omar Poveda hurled 6.0 strong innings for the Gwinnett Braves (57-82), but it wasn't enough as Durham (86-53) came from behind and held off a late rally for a 7-6 win on Thursday night. The Bulls are now 15-5 against the G-Braves this season, including 6-4 at Coolray Field.
Poveda was solid, scattering five hits and allowing four runs over 6.0 innings. He out-dueled Tampa Bay Rays' left-hander Matt Moore, who was making his first Major League rehab start since being placed on the disabled list with elbow soreness on July 31. Moore allowed four runs on eight hits in 4.0 innings.
The Bulls backed Moore early, jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Tim Beckham and Jason Bourgeois drew walks, putting runners on first and second with one out. Vince Belnome drove in Beckham with an RBI single, while Bourgeois scored on an RBI single by Cole Figueroa.
Gwinnett answered, scoring three runs on three hits in the bottom of the first inning. Jose Constanza led off with a single and Phil Gosselin walked, putting runners on first and second with one out. Brandon Boggs drove in the first run with a ground-rule double, while Jose Yepez drove in two with a single, giving the G-Braves a 3-2 lead.
Durham tied it up in the third inning, as Shelley Duncan plated Belnome with an RBI triple to right field.
Gwinnett regained the lead in the fourth. Sean Kazmar doubled to left field and scored on an RBI double by Constanza, making it 4-3.
However, the lead didn't last long as the Bulls knotted it back up in the top of the fifth. With one out, Bourgeois walked and advanced to third on a ground-rule double by Belnome. He then scored on a sacrifice fly by Duncan, tying the score at 4-4.
Durham took the lead for good in the top of the seventh inning, scoring three runs on just one hit. The Bulls loaded the bases on three consecutive walks by right-hander Mark Lamm. Left-hander Ryan Buchter took over with two outs to face Figueroa, who emptied the bags with a triple down the left-field line to make it 7-4 Durham.
Gwinnett made it interesting in the ninth, tallying two runs against Bulls' right-hander Kirby Yates. Kazmar ripped an RBI double scoring Tyler Greene and Gosselin added an RBI single, cutting the deficit to 7-6. With runners at the corners and one out, Yates struck out Ernesto Mejia and Boggs to end the game.
Lamm (L, 3-3) suffered the loss, allowing three runs on three walks over 0.2 innings.
Left-hander Adam Liberatore (W, 5-3) recorded the victory after tossing 2.0 innings of scoreless relief. He faced the minimum, striking out three. Yates (S, 19) earned the save despite allowing two runs on three hits over 1.0 inning.
Kazmar went 2-for-4 with two doubles, two runs scored and an RBI for Gwinnett, while Boggs added a double and an RBI on 2-for-5 hitting. Constanza collected a game-high three hits, finishing 3-for-5 with a double, run and RBI.
Figueroa continued his dominance of G-Braves pitching this season, going 2-for-4 with a triple and four RBIs on the night. Belnome went 2-for-3 with a double, two runs and an RBI.
The Gwinnett Braves and Durham Bulls finish their three-game series at Coolray Field on Friday night at 7:05 PM. G-Braves' right-hander Kameron Loe (4-4, 3.28) will face Bulls' left-hander Mike Montgomery (7-7, 4.60) in the finale. The radio broadcast will air on WDUN 550 AM and 102.9 FM with Dave Lezotte calling the play-by-play.
The 2013 home schedule concludes on Friday night with "Fan Appreciation Night." Fans will receive either a Fifth Anniversary Season Logo Baseball or a 2013 G-Braves Team Photo, whichever they choose upon entry, courtesy of the Gwinnett Braves!