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Bullpen ends G-Braves skid

LAWRENCEVILLE --

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Ending the three-game skid the G-Braves rode into Coolray Field seemed as sure as anything in baseball.

Starting and throwing one inning was rehabbing major leaguer Peter Moylan and then Julio Teheran with his league-best 2.14 ERA and 13 wins was scheduled to follow.

And after Moylan tossed a scoreless first and Gwinnett cranked out three first-inning runs, the plan's first steps went as designed.

But Teheran wasn't Teheran.

A three-run lead became a one-run lead, forcing an earlier-than-usual exit for Teheran and some extra juice from the bullpen in a 3-2 win over the Charlotte Knights.

"It was a much-needed win," manager Dave Brundage said. "We have our backs against the wall. We are not in the driver's seat."

Even after the win, the G-Braves are 2 games behind Lehigh Valley in the Wild Card and 5 behind IL South-leading Durham.

Teheran struggled with his command early, allowing two runs in the second inning to the bottom of the Charlotte order, including an RBI double to catcher Jared Price. A grab coming in on a shallow fly to left field ended the inning and protected the G-Braves's lead.

From there, Teheran battled through five innings. He didn't allow another run, but had to strand five baserunners over his final four innings, failing to get out of any inning clean. After five innings, the right-hander left with four strikeouts, one run and 101 pitches. Sixty six of the pitches were strikes.

"He had to compete for his outs tonight," Brundage said of Teheran. "After the second inning he did a good job of making adjustments. He got his fastball down. It was up in the second inning."

Teheran did earn his 14th win of the season after the bullpen combination of Anthony Varvaro and Jairo Asencio pitched scoreless seventh, eighth and ninth innings.

Varvaro tossed two perfect innings, striking out a pair. He has now pitched 3 scoreless innings since his disastrous return to the G-Braves's bullpen from the big leagues. In his first outing, the right-hander from Staten Island, N.Y., allowed three runs off three hits and walked three over 1 innings to take the loss.

"You have your days," Varvaro said of the bad outing he had put out of his mind until reminded. "I don't want to say I lost focus, but I was a little gassed."

The 26-year-old dropped his ERA to 2.89 with his six straight outs.

Asencio followed Varvaro with a perfect ninth, including a strikeout of the final batter Justin Greene.

"Outstanding. Nine up, nine down," Brundage said. "The both of them."

The game-ending K came a pitch after G-Braves first baseman Helms missed a foul pop out and tumbled over the railing in the visiting dugout head first. For a team with a lengthy disabled list, Diory Hernandez out Monday with fatigue and an ailing Wilkin Ramirez, every dangerous play is scary. Helms is fine.

"It was good effort," Brudage said. "The way things are going sometimes we don't need anything else."

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Ending the three-game skid the G-Braves rode into Coolray Field seemed as sure as anything in baseball.

Starting and throwing one inning was rehabbing major leaguer Peter Moylan and then Julio Teheran with his league-best 2.14 ERA and 13 wins was scheduled to follow.

And after Moylan tossed a scoreless first and Gwinnett cranked out three first-inning runs, the plan's first steps went as designed.

But Teheran wasn't Teheran.

A three-run lead became a one-run lead, forcing an earlier-than-usual exit for Teheran and some extra juice from the bullpen in a 3-2 win over the Charlotte Knights.

"It was a much-needed win," manager Dave Brundage said. "We have our backs against the wall. We are not in the driver's seat."

Even after the win, the G-Braves are 2 games behind Lehigh Valley in the Wild Card and 5 behind IL South-leading Durham.

Teheran struggled with his command early, allowing two runs in the second inning to the bottom of the Charlotte order, including an RBI double to catcher Jared Price. A grab coming in on a shallow fly to left field ended the inning and protected the G-Braves's lead.

From there, Teheran battled through five innings. He didn't allow another run, but had to strand five baserunners over his final four innings, failing to get out of any inning clean. After five innings, the right-hander left with four strikeouts, one run and 101 pitches. Sixty six of the pitches were strikes.

"He had to compete for his outs tonight," Brundage said of Teheran. "After the second inning he did a good job of making adjustments. He got his fastball down. It was up in the second inning."

Teheran did earn his 14th win of the season after the bullpen combination of Anthony Varvaro and Jairo Asencio pitched scoreless seventh, eighth and ninth innings.

Varvaro tossed two perfect innings, striking out a pair. He has now pitched 3 scoreless innings since his disastrous return to the G-Braves's bullpen from the big leagues. In his first outing, the right-hander from Staten Island, N.Y., allowed three runs off three hits and walked three over 1 innings to take the loss.

"You have your days," Varvaro said of the bad outing he had put out of his mind until reminded. "I don't want to say I lost focus, but I was a little gassed."

The 26-year-old dropped his ERA to 2.89 with his six straight outs.

Asencio followed Varvaro with a perfect ninth, including a strikeout of the final batter Justin Greene.

"Outstanding. Nine up, nine down," Brundage said. "The both of them."

The game-ending K came a pitch after G-Braves first baseman Helms missed a foul pop out and tumbled over the railing in the visiting dugout head first. For a team with a lengthy disabled list, Diory Hernandez out Monday with fatigue and an ailing Wilkin Ramirez, every dangerous play is scary. Helms is fine.

"It was good effort," Brudage said. "The way things are going sometimes we don't need anything else."