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G-Braves' defensive miscues costly in 3-2 loss to Bats

Staff Photo: John Bohn Gwinnett Braves second baseman Rusty Ryal (12) goes to his knees to field a ball hit by Louisville's Bill Rhinehart during the second inning at Coolray Field Friday. Ryal threw to first base in time to get the out.

Staff Photo: John Bohn Gwinnett Braves second baseman Rusty Ryal (12) goes to his knees to field a ball hit by Louisville's Bill Rhinehart during the second inning at Coolray Field Friday. Ryal threw to first base in time to get the out.

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Staff Photo: John Bohn Gwinnett Braves base runner Felix Pie (14) scores a run from third base on a sacrifice fly ball hit by teammate Ernesto Mejia during the first inning. Pie hit a triple to set up the run as the Braves play Louisville at Coolray Field Friday.

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Staff Photo: John Bohn Gwinnett Braves base runner Rusty Ryal (12) steals second base as Louisville second baseman Henry Rodriguez (39) drops the ball during the second inning at Coolray Field Friday. Uppire Brad Myers calls the play.

LAWRENCEVILLE -- The Gwinnett Braves had plenty of good pitching in Friday night's game with Louisville.

But so did the visiting Bats, who also had a little better defense.

An eighth-inning error opened the door for Louisville's second unearned run of the night as Henry Rodriguez broke a 2-2 tie with an RBI single to that lifted the Bats past the G-Braves 3-2 before 5,369 fans at Coolray Field.

The loss came despite a strong outing from four Gwinnett pitchers, including Jair Jurrjens, who went the first six strong innings in his first injury rehab assignment since being placed on the disabled list by Atlanta on Aug. 1.

The 6-foot-1, 200-pound right-hander gave up just four hits and two runs, only one earned, with two strikeouts and no walks through six innings.

"I thought J.J pitched well," G-Braves manager Dave Brundage said. "He kept a good pace, pitched to contact. I thought he threw the ball well. We made a couple of mistakes and (Louisville) capitalized. That was the difference in the ball game. ... It was a 3-2 ball game, and we wound up giving them the last two."

Jurrjens had a shaky second inning, giving up a solo home run to Neftali Soto and hitting Felix Perez to start the inning.

But a strikeout-throw out double play that included Jose Yepez gunning down Perez trying to steal second helped him escape further trouble.

And the 26-year-old settled down, giving up just three more hits and one more unearned run though the remainder of his 78-pitch outing.

"I threw a lot of strikes," Jurrjens said. "That's the main deal when you come back on your first rehab (start). I wish I would've gotten more ground balls, but it was the first time back after a couple of days without pitching. I still have a lot of proving to do, but I'm happy with how (Friday) went."

Louisville starter Chad Reineke was just as effective, scattering six hits and an earned run over six innings with two strikeouts over six innings.

Fellow right-handers Jordan Smith, Nick Massett and J.J. Hoover came out of the bullpen and combined to retire nine of the 10 batters they faced, with only Luis Durango's two-out walk off Smith the only blemish.

The Bats then jumped on a scoring opportunity with the game tied 2-2 in the eighth when Didi Gregorius reached, and then went to second, on Ernesto Mejia's error before coming home on Rodriguez's RBI single.

Hoover made that lead stand up by setting down Gwinnett in order in the bottom of the ninth to record his 12th save of the season.

INSTANT REPLAY

Bats 3, G-Braves 2

-- What happened: Henry Rodriguez's RBI single in the top of the eighth plated an unearned run that broke a 2-2 tie and gave Louisville the road win. Chad Reineke and three relievers scattered eight hits and one earned run and retired 15 of the final G-Braves hitters they faced. The loss came despite some equally good pitching from the G-Braves, including six strong innings from Jair Jurrjens, who began an injury rehab assignment Friday. Luis Durango went 2-for-3 with a stolen base and a run for Gwinnett. Ernesto Mejia and Terry Tiffee each drove in a run.

-- Pivotal moment: Didi Gregorius sent a roller toward second to start the top of the eighth that Rusty Ryal made a nifty pick-up on before throwing to first. But the ball tipped off Mejia's glove and rolled into the Louisville dugout, sending Gregorius to second, and the Bats' shortstop came home on Rodriguez's RBI single for what proved to be the winning run.

-- Web Gems: Mejia dove to his right to stab Rodriguez's grounder in the hole between first and second, and backhanded throw to Jurrjens covering the bag at first to end the top of the third.

-- Rehab reshuffling: While one Atlanta Braves player suffered a setback in his injury rehabilitation assignment with the G-Braves, another began his latest one. Jurrjens began a new rehab assignment for a strained groin muscle that placed him on the DL on Aug. 1. The right-hander gave up just four hits and two runs, only one earned, with two strikeouts and no walks over six innings. Meanwhile, Infielder Jack Wilson was still having trouble throwing with the dislocated pinkie finger on his right hand and was placed back on the disabled list by Atlanta after being recalled.

-- Up next: The weekend series with Louisville continues today at 7:05 p.m. at Coolray Field. Atlanta prospect left-hander Sean Gilmartin (0-1, 3.95) will get the start for the G-Braves, while Parkview grad and former G-Braves right-hander Tim Gustafson (4-3, 4.30 ERA) takes the mound for the Bats.