DURHAM, N.C. — Behind the pitching of starter Matt Buschmann and a solid bullpen, the Durham Bulls (62-35) defeated the Gwinnett Braves (41-56), 8-1 on Saturday night in Game 2 of the three-game series at Durham Bulls Athletic Park. The win was the seventh straight for Durham, as well as the Bulls’ sixth win against Gwinnett in seven meetings this season.
The Bulls broke a scoreless tie with a run in the bottom of the second off of Gwinnett starter Joe Bisenius (L, 3-2). Leslie Anderson led off the half inning with a walk and was bunted to second by Brandon Guyer. Mike Fontenot then singled to center, scoring Anderson from second for a 1-0 lead.
In the third, Vince Belnome stroked a one-out single to center, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on a single to center by Anderson to make it 2-0.
Durham added to the lead in the bottom of the fourth with a four-run frame. Fontenot led off with a single off of Bisenius and Evan Frey followed with a single. Jesus Flores reached on a fielders’ choice scoring Fontenot from third to raise the lead to 3-0. An error on the play by Gwinnett shortstop Luis Nunez allowed Frey to move to third. Cole Figueroa followed with a double to right scoring Frey to make it 4-0. The G-Braves brought Yohan Flande in from the bullpen and he immediately gave up a single to Tim Beckham scoring Flores for a 5-0 Bulls’ lead. Belnome capped the scoring with a sacrifice fly to center scoring Figueroa from third. Durham held a 6-0 lead after four innings.
The Bulls added a run in the bottom of the fifth off of Flande and another off of Wirfin Obispo in the bottom of the sixth to build an 8-0 lead.
Gwinnett’s only run of the game came in the top of the seventh when Stefan Gartrell (6) hit a two-out solo home run. That would prove to be the only mistake for Buschmann (W, 5-0), who yielded a run on four hits over 7.0 innings, walked none and struck out seven.
Bisenius went 3.0 innings in the loss. He allowed six runs – four earned – on eight hits, walked two and struck out one. Flande worked 2.0 innings with three hits, one earned run, one walk and one strikeout. Obispo went 1.0 inning with one hit, one earned run and one walk. Joe Beimel worked a scoreless seventh inning with one walk. Cory Rasmus worked a scoreless eighth with two walks and two strikeouts.
Following Buschmann’s strong start, Ramon Ramirez and Frank De Los Santos combined on 2.0 scoreless innings in relief for the Bulls.
At the plate for Gwinnett, Gartrell’s seventh-inning homer was one of his three hits on a 3-for-4 night. Atlanta’s Evan Gattis, playing in his second minor league rehab game, went 1-for-4 with a ninth-inning double.