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Gwinnett can't hold on for sweep

LAWRENCEVILLE — He may not have been in the top of the order, but Gregor Blanco did plenty of damage hitting seventh.

The speedy outfielder made the most of his batting position going 2-for-3 with a pair of runs scored, including a bunt single. His second run looked to be the game-winner in the fourth inning as Gwinnett rode a strong finish from starter Chris Resop and two more scoreless innings from reliever Vladimir Nunez.

INSTANT REPLAY

Red Sox 6, G-Braves 5

What happened: The G-Braves' bullpen couldn't hold onto a one-run lead in the ninth inning giving up a pair of runs to Pawtucket in a 6-5 loss. Starter Chris Resop allowed four runs over five innings but was in line for the win after the G-Braves put up three runs in the fourth inning. Freddie Freeman and Gregor Blanco each had a pair of hits and Blanco scored a pair of runs.

Stat of the day: Vladimir Nunez pitched two scoreless innings, keeping the relievers ERA at 0.00 through his first six innings.

Web gem: Matt Young saved a sure double to left in the third inning when he made a diving catch for the out. Young made the grab parallel to the ground.

Pivotal moment: Michael Dunn entered with two men on in the ninth and couldn't battle out trouble, allowing two inherited runners to score and blowing a one-run lead.

Worth noting: Gwinnett lost its first game of the year when leading after eight innings. Before Tuesday's loss, the G-Braves were 13-0 when leading after eight.

On deck: The G-Braves have their first off day of the season today before traveling to Syracuse to take on the Chiefs for four games starting Thursday. Neither team posted pitching rotations, but Friday's starter for Syracuse will be the much-ballyhooed Stephen Strasburg in last year's No. 1 overall pick's first Class AAA start.

But the lead didn't hold.

Cory Gearrin pitched a scoreless eighth, but ran into trouble in the top of the ninth when he walked the first two Pawtucket batters. He managed one out before Michael Dunn entered in relief and didn't fare any better. Dunn hit the first batter he faced and then allowed a sacrifice fly and a base hit to give Pawtucket a 6-5 win.

It was the PawSox (10-16) first win over the Gwinnett Braves (14-13) in the team's two-year history in Georgia and it also ends a five-game winning streak for the G-Braves.

But Gwinnett didn't go down holding its bats. Freddie Freeman lined out hard to short and Barbaro Canizares was robbed of a game-tying home run at the wall by Bubba Bell, whose sac fly tied the game in the ninth.

It was a fight the G-Braves maintained from the start after falling behind two runs in the first.

Starter Chris Resop struggled with his command early in the game, but his teammates' bats and defense limited the damage. Gwinnett scored a run each in the first and second to tie the game, including Blanco scoring when Luis Bolivar was caught in a rundown between first and second. A diving catch by Matt Young in left field save a hit and catcher J.C. Boscan picked off a runner at second base with a rocket from home plate.

Resop again gave up two runs in the fourth, these on a two-runner home run to Red Sox prospect Lars Anderson.

And Gwinnett, led by Blanco, answered.

The G-Braves picked up their starter with three runs, sparked by an RBI single by Blanco. Blanco later scored the go-ahead run.

It's a run that held until the bullpen meltdown in the ninth. An uncommon sight for the G-Braves.

Until Tuesday, the G-Braves had not lost a game when leading after eight innings and the bullpen was 7 of 9 in save opportunities.

Gwinnett now hits the road for eight games, including a four-game rematch with Pawtucket before returning home May 17 against Lehigh Valley. Gwinnett ends its second home stand winning 6 of 8 and climbing to within three games of first-place Durham in the International League's South Division.