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G-Braves keep winning vs. Bulls

DURHAM, N.C. — The Gwinnett Braves beat the Durham Bulls 3-0 at Durham Bulls Athletic Park in Durham, N.C., on Saturday night in the opening game of the three-game series.

The Braves have now won seven in a row and move their record to 41-42. The team picks up another game on the first place Bulls in the International League South; and are now 81⁄2 games out. The Bulls lose their second in a row and are 49-33 on the season.

It was over when Joe Thurston hit a solo homer off Bulls starting pitcher Richard De Los Santos to lead off the second inning. It would be the only run the Braves would need, as Gwinnett starter Todd Redmond and the bullpen of Stephen Marek and Craig Kimbrel allowed only three Durham singles on the night. The other Braves’ runs came in the sixth and eighth, a RBI double by Barbaro Canizares to plate Freddie Freeman who had earlier doubled and a long solo homer by Mitch Jones.

On the mound, RHP Todd Redmond (8-7) started and got the win, going seven innings and allowing two while walking two and striking out seven. Marek worked a scoreless eighth and Kimbrel pitched the ninth for his 11th save.

At the plate, Freeman went 2-for-4 to increase his on base streak to 23 games. Thurston had two hits including his seventh home run of the season. Jones’ home run is his team-leading 14th of the season.

For the Bull, RHP De Los Santos (6-4) was tagged with the loss. He pitched seven innings, allowing two runs off seven hits. Mike Ekstrom worked the eighth and R. J. Swindle the ninth (1 IP, 2K).

The Braves and Bulls play game two of the series in Durham tonight. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m. with RHP Ryne Reynoso (2-5, 4.63 ERA) starting for the G-Braves. Durham will start RHP Virgil Vasquez (2-0, 5.31 ERA).