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G-Braves leaves plenty of chances in second shutout

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Entering Tuesday's game against Buffalo, the Gwinnett Braves led all International League teams with 241 runners left on base.

And nothing changed in Game 2 in the series with the Bison.

Despite collecting seven hits and putting 10 runners on base, Gwinnett couldn't come up with a game-breaking hit. The G-Braves put the lead runner on base in three of the first four innings and five in all. It wasn't until the final inning that they didn't at least put one runner on base. They went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position.

The G-Braves dropped their fifth game in their last six with a 3-0 loss to the New York Mets' affiliate, the shutout just the second of the season.

"You say that a lot when you lose," manager Dave Brundage said of the runners left on base. "You start noticing it a lot more."

Even while allowing five hits, Bisons starter Matt Harvey struck out five in six scoreless inning for his third win of the season and third in his last four starts. The right hander dropped his ERA to 4.00, throwing 56 of his 96 pitches for strikes.

"We had a couple of guys up, a couple of RBI guys," Brundage said. "It seemed like we just needed a hit to get us back in the ballgame and we couldn't get it done."

Buffalo started scoring in the first inning.

An RBI single by Zach Lutz in the first gave Buffalo the early lead. On the play, Gwinnett's Luis Durango picked up his third outfield assist when he threw out the Bison's Josh Satin at home plate to save a second run.

The Bison took a 2-0 lead when shortstop Omar Quintanilla got the green light on a 3-0 pitch with two outs and knocked it just off the right field foul pole. It would have been more, but second baseman Drew Sutton made an awkward catch at second base for the first out in the second inning on a half bloop, half line drive shot by Dustin Martin. Sutton, backing up, had to adjust his glove across his body and above his head to make the catch.

"I thought we played well defensively," Brundage said.

Sutton, who was 2-for-4 with a double, led off the third with a single, but was thrown out at second on a strike-out throw-out double play started by a swinging third strike by Joey Terdoslavich. Terdoslavich struck out twice in the game, part of eight G-Braves to go down on strikes.

Buffalo added its third run in the third on a fielder's choice by Satin to shortstop. Josh Wilson flipped the ball to second and second baseman Sutton dropped the ball as he tried turn the double play, an error that allowed Bobby Scales to score and make it 3-0.

From there, starter Eric Junge finally settled in. After allowing one run in each of the first three innings, the right-hander faced the minimum over the next three, with four strikeouts and erased a walk with a 5-4-3 double play. Junge left after six innings, allowing three runs off five hits with three walks and six strikeouts, a solid outing after a rough start.

"I thought he pitched very well," Brundage said of Junge. "He pitched well and we made a couple of errors."

Gwinnett's bullpen, after allowing a late-game comeback the night before, allowed just one runner the rest of the way, a walk of Bobby Scales to lead off the eighth. But catcher Jose Yepez gunned down Scales, meaning Buffalo sent the minimum to the plate over the final six innings. Anthony Varvaro struck out two in one inning and Adam Russel didn't allow a hit, with two strikeouts in the final two innings.