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G-Braves win fifth straight

Photo by Brandon Brigman

Photo by Brandon Brigman

CHARLOTTE — The Gwinnett Braves won their fifth game in a row as they beat the Charlotte Knights 3-1 in the opening game of the three-game series at Knights’ Castle in Fort Mill, S.C.

The Braves (11-5) remain in first place in the International League’s South Division.

Diory Hernandez hit a three-run homer to center field in the top of the fourth inning to lead the offensive effort. Jose Constanza upped his batting average to .379 with a 3-for-5 night. Matt Young, in his first game with Gwinnett this season, went 1-for-3 with a run and a walk.

Lefty Mike Minor (1-0) earned his first AAA win of the season. He retired the first 10 batters of the game and did not give up a hit until the bottom of the sixth inning with two outs.

Juan Abreu replaced Minor in the seventh and recorded a hold, while Stephen Marek worked the ninth for his second save in as many nights. Marek struck out the side in only 11 pitches.

Lastings Milledge knocked two of the four Charlotte hits, including the double that broke up Minor’s no-hit bid in the sixth.

Gwinnett and Charlotte continue their series with Game 2 this afternoon at 2:15 p.m. G-Braves RHP Rodrigo Lopez (3-0, 1.31 ERA) is scheduled to face RHP Gabby Hernandez (0-2, 15.43 ERA).