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'Tough-luck' loss for G-Braves

Photo: Makensie Cooper Gwinnett Braves' David Hale pitches to Buffalo on Wednesday at Coolray Field in Lawrenceville.

Photo: Makensie Cooper Gwinnett Braves' David Hale pitches to Buffalo on Wednesday at Coolray Field in Lawrenceville.

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Eventually, the doubles took their toll.

Buffalo's Kevin Pillar, who entered Wednesday's game with two doubles on the season, set a career-best mark with four straight two-baggers from the leadoff spot for the Bison. He was part of a two-run inning in the fifth that tied the game and his leadoff double in the eighth keyed the go-ahead run when he scored on Gwinnett Braves reliever Wirfin Obisbo, breaking a 3-3 tie and giving the Bison a 4-3 come-from-behind win.

"He had a pretty good run going," manager Randy Ready said of Obisbo. "He's been consistent and one got away from him. It was one of those tough-luck losses."

The earned run allowed by Obisbo was the first for the hard-throwing right hander in his last 17 innings.

The eighth-inning run completed a comeback for the Bison, who the G-Braves put in a hole in the first inning.

Gwinnett took advantage of three Buffalo errors to score three runs in the first inning.

Todd Cunningham led the game off with a single and stole second. He scored on a ground ball by Joey Terdoslavich and the G-Braves right fielder reached first base on an error. Another Buffalo error allowed Ernesto Mejia to reach base and with two outs Stefan Gartrell and Joe Leonard knocked the pair in, giving the G-Braves a 3-0 lead.

But that was it for the offense which mustered just two hits and three base runners over the next eight innings against Buffalo starter Thad Weber.

"They didn't help him out much in the first inning," Ready said. "But he settled in and worked off the corners. He's been pitching in the big leagues and it showed."

Matt Pagnozzi struck out to end the first and start a stretch of 10 straight retired by Weber. Sean Kazmar ended the drought with a single in the fifth, but was cut down on a double play allowing Weber to face the minimum batters from the second through seventh innings. He left the game after seven, allowing three runs (one earned) off of four hits with five strikeouts. Following Kazmar's single, Buffalo pitching retired 11 straight G-Braves, until a Terdoslavich single began the ninth. The G-Braves did put runners on first and second with one out in the final inning, but a strikeout by Gartrell and a groundout by Joe Leonard ended the threat.

G-Braves starter David Hale tried to hang on to the lead. The Marietta native stranded runners in the first three innings, escaping leadoff doubles in each. But in the fourth, Buffalo first baseman Luis Jimenez got the Bison on the board with a leadoff home run and in the fifth the Bisons struck for more. A walk, followed by Pillar's third straight double of the game set the table for Ryan Goins' two-RBI double. Goins was cut down on the play at third on a solid relay from Terdoslavich to Phil Gosselin to Leondard. Hale escaped the inning when he coaxed a fly-out by former Gwinnett Brave Mauro Gomez, but the damage was done and the game was tied 3-3.

Both the home run and the double came on change-ups.

"That's usually one of my good pitches," Hale said. "It was just one of those nights."

Hale didn't factor in the decision, leaving after six solid innings where he struck out a season high six batters, walked one and gave up six hits. It was his second straight outing of six innings after working his way back from a disabled list. Hale missed more than a month with a right shoulder strain.

"I feel really good," Hale said. "I am just kind of getting all my pitches back. Back in my routine."