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G-Braves give their all in 6-0 win over Syracuse

LAWRENCEVILLE -- The Gwinnett Braves' outing against the Syracuse Chiefs on Friday night was truly a total team effort.

The offense pounded out 11 hits, three from Rusty Ryal and two each from Lyle Overbay and Jose Constanza, while four pitchers combined to shut out the visiting Chiefs on seven hits and 10, seven from starter Randall Delgado, and the defense played errorless ball.

The result was a 6-0 win before a season-best crowd of 9,372 at Coolray Field as the G-Braves won their fourth game in their last six tries in an attempt to end the season on a high note.

"We scored runs early and we added on a couple runs," G-Braves manager Dave Brundage said. "And certainly the bullpen in back-to-back nights pitched well. It was a good all-around night."

Terry Tiffee put Gwinnett in front 1-0 with his first-inning RBI single, and the G-Braves' bats really got going two innings later after Jose Yepez and Rusty Ryal led off the inning with back-to-back singles.

Delgado couldn't advance the runners, with Syracuse catcher Carlos Maldonado fielding the G-Braves' pitcher bunt and gunning down Yepez at third.

But Constanza picked up his teammate by lining an RBI double over a shallow-playing outfield to extend the lead to 2-0.

One out later, Overbay, in his second game in Gwinnett since being signed by the Atlanta organization earlier this week, split the gap in left-center to driving in two more runs, and balloon the G-Braves' lead to 4-0.

It was a big night for the left-handed hitting first baseman, who was back on track after going 0-for-4 in his Gwinnett debut Thursday by finishing Friday 2-for-3 with two walks and two RBIs.

"I saw the pitches (Thursday) night," said Overbay, who was hitting .292 with two home runs and 10 RBIs in the majors before being designated for assignment by the Arizona Diamondbacks on July 30. "It was just a matter of putting a swing on it. (Friday) night, it seemed like I put a little better swings on (pitches), took the left-center gap and I was taking the off-speed pitches. It's getting there."

The lead reached 5-0 on Ryal's RBI double in the bottom of the third, but seemed somewhat in jeopardy when Delgado began to struggle in the top of the fourth.

The 22-year-old right-hander went to a full count on all but one Syracuse hitter in the inning, walking two of them, and got another bad break when three G-Braves fielders lost Zach Walters' pop fly to shallow left in the lights to load the bases with one out.

But Delgado struck out Brett Carroll and got pinch-hitter Jesus Valdez to ground out to short to get out of the marathon half-inning unscathed.

"Delgado struggled with command," Brundage said. "(He) just (threw) a lot of pitches trying to find himself. One thing's for sure is that he competed."

But having thrown 41 pitches in the inning and 95 for the game, Delgado couldn't continue into the fifth.

No matter, as the G-Braves tacked on another run on Felix Pie's RBI single to push the lead to 6-0, and the bullpen shut the door.

Lefty Dusty Hughes shut down the Chiefs on just two hits with three strikeouts over three shutout innings, while Peter Moylan and Andy Hughes each added a scoreless inning to put the game away.