G-Braves hurlers combine to two-hit Tides

NORFOLK, Va. — The Gwinnett Braves used solid pitching from starter Yohan Flande and three relievers to blank the Norfolk Tides in Game 1 of the three-game series at Harbor Park in Norfolk by a 1-0 score on Monday night.

G-Braves’ pitchers did not allow a hit until the bottom of the eighth, when reliever Cory Gearrin gave up a lead-off bloop single to Norfolk third baseman Matt Antonelli. The Tides would put two on base in that half inning, but fail to score.

The only run of the game came in the top of the seventh. The Tides brought left-hander Dontrelle Willis in from the bullpen to begin the inning, and after one out, he gave up a single to Braves’ center-fielder Luis Durango. Willis later threw the ball away trying to pick Durango off of first, enabling the Braves leadoff batter to go to third. Durango would then score on a single to center by left-fielder Jordan Parraz. Prior to that inning, the Braves had squandered many chances to score, putting runners on in five of the previous six innings.

Along with the averted rally in the bottom of the eighth, the Braves stopped the Tides short in the bottom of the ninth as well. A throwing error by Braves third baseman Joey Terdoslavich and a single by Norfolk right-fielder Jai Miller put two on with none out. However, Gearrin settled down to get the next three in order to pick up his first save of the season.

Flande worked three scoreless innings in his first start of the season. Right-hander Buddy Carlyle (1-0) picked up the win in relief with three scoreless, hitless innings, three walks and four strikeouts. Right-hander Adam Russell pitched a scoreless seventh, while Gearrin worked a scoreless eighth and ninth.

Willis (0-1) got the loss in relief while working the seventh and eighth innings, allowing one run on two hits over two innings. Right-hander Jason Berken started for Norfolk and worked four scoreless innings. Right-handers Willie Eyre and Jon Link also gave Norfolk scoreless innings of relief.

With the win, the Braves are 2-3; the loss drops Norfolk to 2-3. The win by Gwinnett also spoiled the home opener for the Tides, who were celebrating their 20th season at Harbor Park.

The G-Braves and Tides continue the three-game series Tuesday night in Norfolk. Right-hander Todd Redmond (0-0, 2.25) gets his second start of the season for Gwinnett. Norfolk pitches left-hander Chris George, who will be making his first start of the season.