LAWRENCEVILLE — Tyler Pastornicky singled in his first at-bat back with Gwinnett on Monday night. Unfortunately, the G-Braves already trailed.
Brandon Guyer homered to lead off the game for Durham and the Bulls went on to a 7-0 victory at Coolray Field behind a masterful pitching performance by J.D. Martin.
Martin, who leads the International League with a 12-4 record, allowed four hits over eight innings and retired 18 batters in a row over one stretch while lowering his ERA to 2.82.
The 30-year-old right-hander struck out six and walked none, throwing 70 of his 101 pitches for strikes.
Guyer, meanwhile, finished a double short of the cycle. He was 3-for-4, scored twice and drew an intentional walk.
The Durham right fielder hit Joe Bisenius’ sixth pitch over the center field fence for his seventh homer of the season to give Martin the quickest possible lead.
Then Guyer singled as the Bulls took a 2-0 lead in the third inning. Bisenius fumbled a dribbler by Evan Frey prior to Guyer’s hit and Cole Figueroa drove in the run with a single.
Guyer struck again in the fifth inning against Bisenius, smacking a leadoff triple and scoring on a Figueroa’s sacrifice fly.
Bisenius (3-3) worked six innings and allowed five hits. He walked two and struck out three, throwing 107 pitches.
In was the second victory for Martin against Gwinnett in has many starts. He allowed just two hits over five scoreless innings at Durham on July 14.
Joe Leonard and Matt Pagnozzi singled with two outs in the third inning, but the G-Braves didn’t have another hit until Luis Nunez doubled with two outs in the eighth and he was thrown out trying to stretch it into a triple.
Durham then broke the game open with four runs in the ninth, all charged to G-Braves reliever Mark Lamm. Frey had a two-run single, Figueroa an RBI hit and Vince Belnome a bases-loaded walk after Juan Cedeno replaced Lamm.
The Bulls (65-38) have the best record in the minors and lead last-place Gwinnett (44-59) by 21 games in the International League’s South Division.
The teams will play again on Tuesday night at Coolray Field before heading to Durham for a pair of games. Tampa Bay No. 3 prospect Jake Odorizzi (7-3, 3.49 ERA) will start for the Bulls. Johan Flande (4-6, 5.29) is likely to pitch for Gwinnett, replacing Alex Wood.
Wood will return to Atlanta and start for the Braves in New York against the Mets on Thursday after it was determined that Paul Maholm would have to go onto the disabled list with a wrist contusion.
Notes: G-Braves CF Todd Cunningham missed his sixth straight game because of a hip flexor. He was hurt at Durham on July 13. … After their four games this week, the G-Braves and Bulls play nine times in August. … Durham has won eight of nine games between the teams so far, going 6-0 at home. … Brandon Beachy (1-3, 3.38 ERA) will make another rehab start for Gwinnett at Durham on Wednesday, with Cody Martin (2-1, 2.94) scheduled to pitch on Thursday.