Durham evens series, standings with 8-5 win over Gwinnett

Photo: David McGregor
 G-Braves shortstop Julio Lugo throws out a baserunner at first base as Durham baserunner J.J. Furmaniak tries to advance to third Friday. 

Photo: David McGregor G-Braves shortstop Julio Lugo throws out a baserunner at first base as Durham baserunner J.J. Furmaniak tries to advance to third Friday. 

LAWRENCEVILLE — In less than 24 hours, the offensive tables turned on the Gwinnett Braves.

G-Braves starter Yohan Flande yielded two three-run innings, and left after 41⁄3 innings in an 8-5 loss to Durham before a crowd of 5,881 on Friday night at Coolray Field. The big blow for the Bulls was a three-run home run by right fielder Brandon Guyer in the fifth. Durham also opened the game with three singles and a double to score three in the first.

The loss dropped Gwinnett into a tie for first with Durham in the International League South Division.

Bulls 8, G-Braves 5

What happened: G-Braves starter Yohan Flande was touched for three runs in the first inning after he gave up four singles and a double to open the game, then allowed a three-run home run in the fifth. Durham starter Dirk Hayhurst went 51⁄3 innings and allowed four runs. The Bulls tacked on two more runs in the seventh on a single by Leslie Anderson.

Power surge: A day after G-Braves shortstop Julio Lugo hit his first home run of the season, he knocked in three runs on a double to left-center field in the sixth, which doubled his RBI output for the season.

Stat of the day: Hayhurst allowed just five baserunners in the first five innings, and didn’t allow a hit until the third inning.

Pivotal moment: Durham right fielder Brandon Guyer hit his 10th home run of the season, a three-run shot, in the fifth inning. Two batters later, Flande was pulled after a single by Russ Canzler.

On deck: The series against Durham continues at 7:05 p.m. today when RHP Erik Cordier (1-2, 2.86 ERA) opposes LHP Alex Torres (2-5, 4.24).

The three-run first was similar to Gwinnett’s six-run first on Thursday in a 10-2 victory.

Gwinnett starter Yohan Flande allowed six runs on nine hits, walked two and struck out two, and fell to 2-3 on the season.

“Obviously he was throwing strikes, he just wasn’t throwing quality strikes,” G-Braves manager Dave Brundage said. “Then he got it back together and put together three good innings, then came the fifth, a couple hits, next thing you know, it’s 6-1.”

Flande, who began the season as a reliever, but moved to the starting rotation in the last month, was coming off of one of his best outings of the season. On Saturday against Indianapolis, he threw six shutout innings, allowed two hits and two walks.

The G-Braves struggled against Durham starter Dirk Hayhurst.

The best-selling author went 51⁄3 innings Friday, and allowed six hits and four runs. He allowed just five baserunners through five innings, but was pulled after a three-run double by shortstop Julio Lugo.

“We got to him, we just got to him too late,” Brundage said.

Durham reliever Mike Ekstrom, who ended the sixth inning with two strikeouts, both looking, halted the Gwinnett rally.

Then Durham reclaimed the momentum with a two-out, two-run single in the seventh.

“We thought the momentum maybe had switched to our side,” Brundage said.

In the second game of his rehabilitation assignment left fielder Nate McLouth, who batted third, was 1-for-3 with a walk. On Thursday, he was 2-for-3 with an RBI and run scored. McLouth is trying to return to Atlanta after an oblique strain last month.

“Running was my only concern,” McLouth said. “But I felt fine.”

Brundage said all he could report to Atlanta was that McLouth was healthy, although he didn’t get many plays in left field.

McLouth said he hoped the rehab is over, but that it ultimately wasn’t his call.

“They might have other plans,” he said of the Atlanta Braves’ management. “But I’m going to tell them that I feel good, and feel ready to go. I think I passed any hesitation I might have had, and mentally I’ll be at 100 percent when I’m on the field.”