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Strasburg limits G-Braves to one hit in Class AAA debut

When Syracuse comes to Coolray Field in June, don't expect Stephen Strasburg to be with the Chiefs.

Baseball's top pitching prospect made his Class AAA debut against the G-Braves on Friday night in Syracuse and lived up to all the hype.

A couple more starts with the Chiefs and Washington appears to be next for Strasburg.

The top overall draft pick last June dominated Gwinnett for six innings, allowing just one hit in Syracuse's 7-0 victory before a record crowd of 13,766 at Alliance Bank Stadium.

Strasburg, 3-1 at Class AA Harrisburg before being promoted, struck out six and walked one, throwing 45 of his 65 pitches for strikes.

The first 10 Gwinnett batters went down against the right-hander before Gregor Blanco singled in the fourth inning. The only other G-Brave to reach against Strasburg was Joe Thurston, who walked leading off the fifth.

Strasburg also showed that he could swing the bat, as he will have to do in the National League. He had a RBI single in his first at-bat and laid down a sacrifice bunt in his other trip to the plate.

Many thought that the former San Diego State standout was ready to start the season with the Nationals after an impressive spring. But Washington decided to give the prized prospect some time in the minors.

Strasburg, 21, has now made six starts and has been dominant in all except one of them. He had an ERA of 1.64 in five appearances for Harrisburg, striking out 27 and walking six in 22 innings. Eastern League opponents batted .164 against him and the G-Braves didn't do even that well.

Ryne Reynoso (0-4) started for Gwinnett and gave up three runs in five innings. Then former Atlanta Braves utilityman Pete Orr hit a homer off reliever Vladimir Nunez in a two-run Syracuse seventh inning and Chiefs (17-11) added two more runs in the eighth off Cory Gearrin.

Gwinnett (14-15) had just four hits in losing for the third straight time after a five-game winning streak.

G-Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman sat out the game after tweaking a hamstring during Thursday night's 9-5 loss in the series opener with the Chiefs. He is listed as day to day.

Reliever Stephen Marek joined the G-Braves as a replacement for Craig Kimbrel, who was promoted to Atlanta on Wednesday. Marek, 25, hadn't allowed a run in 11 appearances with Class AA Mississippi, going 4-0 converting all four of his save opportunities. The right-hander struck out 18 and walked one in 13 innings.

The G-Braves play at Syracuse again today and Sunday, then go to Pawtucket for four games before returning to Coolray Field next Friday to begin a series against Lehigh Valley. Columbus follows the Iron Pigs to Gwinnett.