G-Braves rally to avoid sweep

FORT MILL, S.C. - The Gwinnett Braves scored four times in the eighth inning to defeat the Charlotte Knights 4-1 on Friday.

Gwinnett (76-58) avoided the sweep and remained atop the International League South Division standings.

Charlotte (63-70) jumped out to the early lead in the third inning on Dewaye Wise's single to left field. Stefan Gartrell, who reached with a one-out walk, scampered home giving the Knights' a 1-0 lead.

Gwinnett had recorded just two hits before a four-run eighth inning gave the G-Braves a three-run advantage.

Chris Burke extended his hitting streak to 11 games with his second-inning single. Burke is batting .333 (26-78) with 11 runs and 10 RBI in his last 21 games.

Gwinnett starter Jonny Venters, relievers Jon Huber, Juan Perez and Luis Valdez held Charlotte to just four hits in the series finale. Andy Cannizaro led the Knights' offense with two of the four Charlotte hits.

Huber picked up his third win with Gwinnett and is now 3-0 with a 4.70 ERA. And Valdez picked up his league-leading 26th save of the season after getting the G-Braves out of the eighth and pitching a scoreless ninth inning.

Gwinnett now plays a four-game series at Durham. Gwinnett will send LHP John Halama (4-6, 4.61 ERA) to the mound in the series opener while Durham is expected to start RHP Andy Sonnanstine (5-3, 4.40 ERA).

SideBar: Next Up

· Who: Durham Bulls

· Where: Durham, N.C.

· When: Today, Monday, Tuesday 7 p.m.; Sunday 5 p.m.

· Radio: WDUN 550-AM

· Affiliation: Tampa Bay Rays

· Manager: Dave Myers

· Season series: Tied 9-9

· Playoff implications: Gwinnett and Durham enter this series fighting for the International League South Division championship. Durham erased a four-game deficit this week as the G-Braves lost three straight to last-place division opponent Charlotte, starting with a doubleheader sweep by the Knights in Gwinnett on Monday. The Bulls and Braves are also leaders in the wild card race making this more for the division title and a playoff spot.

· Bull update: Durham picked up the four games on the G-Brave by winning four in a row and seven of its last 10. ... Unlike the G-Braves who where just hit with myriad roster moves, Durham's roster has not changed much in the second half of August. The Bulls have not made a roster move since Aug. 19 when it got SS Reid Brignac back from the Tampa Bay Rays. Brignac is hitting .278 with 39 RBIs for the Bulls. ... In August, the Bulls' OF Jon Weber (.365) and OF Desmond Jennings (.302) are hitting over .300 with 25 combined RBIs.

· Did you know? The Bulls are the two-time South Division champs and twice winners of the Governor's Cup.