LAWRENCEVILLE, GA – Ozzie Albies scored the go-ahead run as part of a seventh-inning rally as the Gwinnett Braves (19-20) edged the Durham Bulls (16-23) 4-1 on Monday night in the opener of a three-game series at Coolray Field.
With one out in the seventh and the game tied at 1-1, Albies singled up the middle for his third hit of the night. Bulls’ reliever Danny Farquhar (L, 1-1) attempted to pick him off first base, but his throw ended up down the right field line and Albies raced to third. Three pitches later, Farquhar balked, allowing Albies to score the eventual winning run.
Albies went 3-for-5 with a double and a run scored, his second three-hit night in 16 games for Gwinnett. He’s now batting .250, the highest his average has been since joining the club on April 30.
Emilio Bonifacio followed with a triple into the right field corner and Jace Peterson reached on a fielder’s choice, allowing Bonifacio to score for a 3-1 lead. Adonis Garcia then doubled home Peterson to cap the inning.
The three-run seventh made a winner out of Casey Kelly (W, 2-1), who tossed 7.0 innings in relief. Kelly came on after Atlanta Braves’ right-hander Shae Simmons worked a scoreless inning in his first rehab start with Gwinnett. In his first outing since February 2015 “Tommy John” surgery, Simmons struck out the side, pitching around a leadoff triple and a two-out walk.
Kelly entered in the second and yielded just three hits to the Bulls while striking out seven. The lone blemish on his night came in the fifth when Carlos Corporan homered just over the right field fence, tying the game at 1-1. Kelly retired the final 10 batters he faced and walked just one, throwing 63 of his 95 pitches for strikes in the longest relief outing of his career.
Matt Tuiasosopo put Gwinnett on the board first in the second inning, blasting a leadoff home run to dead center field. Tuiasosopo would add a double to finish 2-for-3, extending his hitting streak to eight games. He and Albies combined for five of the G-Braves’ nine hits.
Matt Marksberry (H, 1), and Chris Withrow (S, 3) combined to get the final three outs, registering a pair of strikeouts in a scoreless ninth. Gwinnett struck out 12 Bulls’ hitters on the night and held Durham to just five hits.
Garcia saw his four-game home run streak come to an end, but his RBI double extended his hitting streak to 10 games and his RBI streak to six games. Bonifacio’s triple, his first of the season, extended his hitting streak to seven games.
The G-Braves and Bulls continue the three-game series on Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m. at Coolray Field. Right-hander Kanekoa Texeira (1-2, 2.70) is scheduled to pitch for Gwinnett against right-hander Austin Pruitt (2-2, 2.70) for Durham. Tony Schiavone will have the play-by-play on 97.7 FM at 6:35 p.m.
It’s a Two-for-Tuesday night, as all Dugout seats are two for the price of one. Tickets for Tuesday’s game are on sale now at the Coolray Field Ticket Office, call 678-277-0340 or visit GwinnettBraves.com/tickets to purchase.