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G-Braves can't complete sweep of Indians

LAWRENCEVILLE — The Gwinnett Braves are still waiting for their first series sweep since May and Aaron Poveda still hasn’t won a game since mid-June.

Both came close to ending Sunday, but Indianapolis and Tony Sanchez made sure the frustration continued.

Sanchez, the MVP of the AAA All-Star Game on Wednesday, homered while going 3-for-3 and the Indians avoided a four-game sweep with a 2-1 victory before a crowd of 5,312 at Coolray Field.

The game was stopped in the top of the eighth inning because of lightning and called after a 72-minute rain delay.

Poveda (5-6) pitched six solid innings, but remained winless since a home victory over Columbus on June 11. He is 0-3 with four no-decisions since then, giving up 17 earned runs over 39 innings in the seven starts.

The G-Braves have swept just two four-game series this year and one was the season opening set against Charlotte. The other, also at home, was against Toledo on May 23-26.

Gwinnett has been swept eight times, but half were in series of less than four games. The G-Braves lost four straight in Indianapolis at the end of April.

The G-Braves conclude their homestand with games against Durham on Monday and Tuesday. J.D. Martin, who leads the International League with an 11-4 record, will start for the Bulls in the 6:05 p.m. opener against Joe Bisenius (3-2).

The G-Braves (44-58) had outscored the Indians (62-41) 16-6 in the first three games of the series and were hoping to avenge the sweep in Indianapolis, when they scored just seven runs.

Early on, it looked good as the G-Braves jumped to an early lead.

Poveda had one of Gwinett’s four hits in the second inning, with Phil Gosselin getting the two-out RBI. But the G-Braves left the bases loaded and Indianapolis tied the game in the fifth on Sanchez’s leadoff homer.

Sanchez’s drive hit the top of the fence in left-center field and bounced over for his 10th home run. It came on a 2-1 pitch after the Indianapolis catcher had to duck Poveda’s first pitch.

Sanchez hit a three-run homer in the AAA All-Star Game at Reno to give the International League a victory over the Pacific Coast League.

Poveda worked out of a bases-loaded jam that followed, but Indianapolis took the lead in the sixth on three straight one-out singles. Felix Pie, who played with Gwinnett last season, drove in the run with an opposite-field hit.

Poveda allowed seven hits, walked two and struck out seven. He threw 96 pitches, 62 of them strikes.

Indianapolis starter Graham Godfrey (7-6) went five innings, giving up six hits, walking none and striking out three. Duke Welker pitched two innings for his fifth save.

Alden Carrithers and Joe Leonard each had two hits for Gwinnett.

Notes: G-Braves LHP Sean Gilmartin, sidelined since mid-June because of shoulder tendonitis threw a simulated game Sunday and now heads to Florida to continue his rehab in the Gulf Coast League. He hopes to rejoin Gwinnett in August. Atlanta’s first-round draft choice in 2011 was 3-7 with a 5.83 ERA in 13 games as he battled shoulder issues. … Former Atlanta Braves Sid Bream and Mark Wohlers tossed out ceremonial first pitches Sunday and then signed autographs for a long line of fans. … CF Todd Cunningham remains out of action for the G-Braves because of a hip flexor. He was hurt at Durham on July 13. … The G-Braves had just two bench players available for each of the final three games against Indianapolis.