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Batista struggles as Tides soak G-Braves

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Things went bad for Miguel Batista in a hurry.

After two solid, five-inning outings, the pitcher, signed by the Braves to a minor league contract July 28, didn't make it to the fourth inning Wednesday, setting the stage for a 9-4 G-Braves rout by the Norfolk Tides.

In his three innings, Batista allowed hits to the first four batters he faced in a three-run Norfolk first inning. Then, in the third, he allowed three more runs, this time off two hits and a walk. Five of the six hits he allowed were for extra bases, four doubles and a two-run home run by Jamie Hoffmann.

In Batista's first two starts, the right hander went 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA. He pitched five innings both times out, allowing two runs.

The two three-run innings were broken up by a 23-minute rain delay, with neither team pulling its starter. The Tides starter, Eric Beaulac, was an emergency addition after the Baltimore Orioles called up Steve Johnson on Wednesday. Beaulac was promoted from Class A Frederick and has spent this season as a reliever.

In his three innings against the Gwinnett lineup, it didn't show. Beaulac allowed just one hit and walked three in a scoreless outing. He didn't strike out a batter in a 53 pitch outing.

Batista left after the third, giving way to Cole McCurry, the 26-year-old lefty who the Orioles traded to the Braves in June. McCurry went three innings, and allowed his only hit and runs on a two-run bomb to Bill Hall in the fifth inning that made it 8-0. He struck out three and walked two in the one-hit outing.

Gwinnett finally got on the board in the bottom of the fifth with a sacrifice fly by Josh Wilson and Felix Pie followed with his 44th RBI when he singled to make it 8-2.

Peter Moylan, after struggling his last time out, pitched a perfect seventh, getting two ground balls and a strikeout. He was a rarity for the G-Braves pitching.

Billy Bullock followed and allowed the third home run of the game by the Tides, this one a solo shot off the bat of Brandon Waring. Bullock loaded the bases in the inning, but escaped more trouble with a strikeout of Carlos Rojas. Bullock allowed a single in the ninth, but the second double play of the game erased the hit in a three-batter inning.

Josh Kroeger went 3-for-3 with a walk, run and RBI and Luis Durango had two hits in a 2-for-4 night.