LAWRENCEVILLE - Minutes before the first pitch, scheduled starter James Parr was scratched in favor of major-league rehab pitcher Jeff Bennett.
Late notice or a slow comeback from a broken hand, Bennett gave up two runs in the first inning for the second time in as many starts for the G-Braves. But this time, the G-Braves couldn't overcome it in a 7-1 loss to the Rochester Red Wings to open a four-game series.
The Parr scratch started a carousel of G-Braves pitchers that included major-league rehab starts and a returning starter on pitch count.
The late change in order happened when the threat of late-arriving rain snuck up on Gwinnett Stadium.
"Today was their day to throw," Manager Dave Brundage said. "It was an easy decision to throw them out there that way."
Rochester juxtaposed the G-Braves' revolving door with an effective, steady starter.
Philip Humber pitched seven innings, allowing one run off four hits. He carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning, walking just two in the process.
"Humber threw the ball well," Brundage said. "I thought the difference in the game was they got timely hits and we didn't."
In two games with the G-Braves, Bennett has an 18.00 ERA with four earned runs in two innings pitched.
"He has come out the gate and has had trouble locating his pitches," Brundage said of Bennett. "Obviously he can locate better, he has been in a big-league bullpen the past two seasons."
Buddy Carlyle continued the rehab pitching for Gwinnett, giving up a hit, but not allowing a run. Carlyle, coming back from an early-season diabetes diagnosis, has been the opposite of Bennett. He has only give up three hits in four appearances totaling five innings pitched. He has not allowed a run.
Then came James Parr, returning from elbow trouble and set to throw 75 pitches. Parr went four-plus, allowing five hits and two runs, throwing 72 pitches, 42 for strikes. The change from starter to late arrival rattled the right-hander who said his elbow felt good after the outing.
"As good as I was cruising those first three innings, I felt like I should have made it through that last inning," Parr said. "I felt good. I just need to be out there more. Especially if they are going to need me to start."
The one run for Gwinnett was the lowest total for the G-Braves since a loss at Scranton-Wilkes-Barre on July 18 and it came from Van Pope. Pope was 2-for-4 with a double in the loss.
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Red Wings 7, G-Braves 1
What happened: Gwinnett could not overcome a four-hit, one-run seven inning start by Rochester starter Philip Humber even with tossing two major-league pitchers the first two innings. RHP Jeff Bennett allowed two runs in the first inning and Rochester never looked back. Humber did not allow a hit until the sixth and by then the Red Wings' bats had added two more runs to the total. Van Pope and Alvin Colina were the only G-Braves with multiple hits. Pope went 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored, Colina was 2-for-3. Brooks Conrad had the team's only RBI. Rochester scored two runs in the first, sixth and ninth innings all off different pitchers.
Stat of the day: Rochester's RHP Philip Humber, once a first-round draft pick of the Mets out of Rice, took a no-hitter into the sixth inning until No. 9 hitter Van Pope broke it up with a lead-off infield single to third base.
Web gem: A sprinting OF Brian Barton snow-coned a line-drive fly ball to right field to save a base hit in the third inning.
Pivotal moment: A Bobby Brownlie passed ball in the seventh set up a sac fly that negated a G-Braves run in the bottom of the sixth, extending the deficit back to four runs.
Worth noting: The G-Braves streak of six straight games with a home run ended on Tuesday when the only extra base hit came off the bat of Van Pope with a double in the seventh.
On deck: Gwinnett's LHP John Halama (2-3, 4.67 ERA) will toss the second game of the series with Rochester as the Red Wings counter with LHP Reid Santos (1-2, 4.06 ERA).