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Resop shines as offense flounders

Staff Photo: Jonathan Phillips
 Gwinnett Braves’ catcher J.C. Boscan, left, lands on his head after a collision with Durham’s Justin Ruggiano at home plate Wednesday. 

Staff Photo: Jonathan Phillips Gwinnett Braves’ catcher J.C. Boscan, left, lands on his head after a collision with Durham’s Justin Ruggiano at home plate Wednesday. 

LAWRENCEVILLE — Five days meant everything for Chris Resop.

The Gwinnett Braves' Game 2 starter of the season labored through 32/3 innings in his first start Friday, giving up five hits and one run while walking three.

INSTANT REPLAY

Bulls 3, G-Braves 1

Turnaround: Chris Resop, who struggled through 32/3 innings in his first start Friday, showed no signs of the same pitcher Wednesday. He struck out a season-high 10, giving up just two hits in six innings.

Roster changes are here: With Atlanta pitcher Jo-Jo Reyes heading to the disabled list Wednesday, G-Braves reliever Mike Dunn will not be on the Class AAA team's road trip, getting the call to Atlanta to fill Reyes' vacant roster spot.

Web gem: Durham tried to add a second run in the eighth inning on a long double to left field, but the Brent Clevlen relay to Joe Thurston to J.C. Boscan beat Justin Ruggiano to home and Boscan made the tag and held onto the ball for the inning's third out.

Small rally: After seven innings of silence, Thurston finally got the G-Braves on the board with a leadoff home run in the eighth to tie the game at 1-1. The homer came just moments after his relay saved a run and forced extra innings

On deck: The G-Braves begin a 12-game road trip with four games each in Charlotte and Norfolk before concluding with three at Durham. RHP Todd Redmond (1-0, 1.29 ERA) get today's start at Charlotte against RHP Jeff Marquez (0-1, 9.00).

The struggles evaporated Wednesday.

Resop struck out his first five batters on his way to a career best 10 for the night. He allowed just two hits and walked one in the G-Braves' 10-inning 3-1 loss to the Durham Bulls.

"This starting thing is new to me," said Resop whose ERA dropped from 2.45 to .093. "I've never thrown that many innings, had that many strikeouts, a lot of firsts."

The right-handed career reliever returned to the Braves organization after spending last season in Japan. He appeared in 12 games and posted a 5.21 ERA while with Hanshin, but never started. Until this season, he had just two professional starts, both with the then-Richmond Braves in 2008. But the change from first start to second in Gwinnett showed Resop's starting potential.

"I am enjoying it," Resop said of starting, "I have pitched at every level out of the bullpen and I haven't stuck (in the big leagues). I am willing to give it my best shot and do the best I can."

While Resop dominated, Durham starter Heath Phillips looked just as strong, blanking the G-Braves for seven innings before giving up a leadoff home run in the seventh to Joe Thurston. By then, Resop's day was done, giving him a no-decision in Gwinnett's fourth straight loss. Durham leaves Coolray with a series sweep.

It was a series, and homestand, marked by the absence of offense for Gwinnett and Wednesday was no exception. Gwinnett stranded six in the final game and 24 for the series.

"The last few games have been a struggle to find our offense," manager Dave Brundage said. "This is a good offensive ball club. The first series doesn't change my opinion of what we have."

The G-Braves gave up the first run when Mariano Gomez entered in the seventh and gave up three straight hits. But the lefty recovered with three straight outs to keep the deficit at 1-0.

Even with the small lead, it looked like Durham would hold on with the Gwinnett bats putting up just three hits over the first seven innings. But Thurston ended the drought with his home run to tie the game at 1-1.

The inning before, Thurston saved a run with a rocket relay from left to home where catcher J.C. Boscan made the tag and held on through a collision with Justin Ruggiano.

"Our best asset we have right now is our defense," Brundage said. "It was a big relay. I thought something like that could give us some momentum and get us swinging the bats."

Ruggiano made up for the failed run with the game-winning two-run double in the 10th.

The final two runs came off recently added reliever Cristhian Martinez, who has struggled in his two outings since joining the G-Braves on April 8. Gwinnett now hits the road for a 12-game trip that ends where the homestand did, with a three-game series against Durham.

"We have to get on the same page and play well from an offensive standpoint as a team," Brundage said.