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Pawtucket pitching out-duels G-Braves

LAWRENCEVILLE — Jair Jurrjens returned to the mound for the first time since Aug. 15 and was a bit shaky in his two innings with the Gwinnett Braves.

Jurrjens allowed two runs off two hits with a walk and a strike out in his two frames. The right-hander threw 15 of his 25 pitches for strikes.

And while the G-Braves bullpen held the deficit low, Pawtucket starter Nelson Figueroa carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning. The PawSox right hander walked just two and struck out three before allowing his first hit with one out in the seventh. The G-Braves scored a run in the inning, but fell 3-1 to open the series with Wild Card chasing Pawtucket.

Jurrjens gave up his runs in the second inning on Dan Butler's first home run of the season. The two-run shot went over the left field wall and scored Tony Thomas who walked earlier in the inning. It was the ninth home run allowed by the former All-Star starter in Class AAA this season. He has allowed eight big league home runs this year in Atlanta.

Jurrjens left after two and newly-acquired Daniel Rodriguez entered. Rodriguez joined the G-Braves Monday and before Jurrjens was OK'd to pitch was listed as the day's starter. The lefty, who was pitching in the Mexican league before joining the G-Braves, pitched three innings and allowed one run off of three walks and three strikeouts. He did not allow an official hit in a two-error game for the Gwinnett defense.

The run came in the fourth inning when Thomas walked again crossed home for the second time on a sacrifice fly by Dan Butler.

With one out in the seventh, Ernesto Mejia finally broke through with a single to centerfield. Figueroa, seemingly rattled by the hit, threw back-to-back wild pitches allowing Mejia to advance all the way to third. Two pitches later, he allowed his second hit and the G-Braves only run on an RBI-single by Josh Kroeger.

Figueroa left in the eighth after allowing a hit to Luis Durango. The right-hander threw 7 1/3 innings, allowed one run off three hits, walked two and struck out four. Rich Hill followed and pitched a hitless inning and Chris Carpenter did the same to ensure the Pawtucket win.

For Gwinnett, the bullpen of Buddy Carlyle and Andy Russell didn't allow a run over the final four innings. Carlyle gave up three hits in 2 2/3 and Russell walked one and struck out two in a hitless inning and 1/3.

The G-Braves play Pawtucket again Tuesday with an updated 2 p.m. first pitch to avoid potential rain from Hurricane Isaac.