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G-Braves' offensive woes continue in another loss

LAWRENCEVILLE — The Gwinnett Braves' offensive woes continued Monday in a 5-1 loss to Pawtucket.

During their season-long nine-game losing streak, the G-Braves have been outscored 43-13 and haven't mustered more than two runs in any outing.

Gwinnett (12-20) struck out 11 times in the opener of its four-game series against the Red Sox.

“We're not operating on all cylinders offensively, that's for certain,” manager Randy Ready said. “But we continue to grind them out. We just haven't had that right combination. The solid pitching and the defense has been good, but offensively we've kind of fallen into a little bit of a funk recently.”

Pawtucket jumped out to a 2-0 lead on Mark Hamilton's opposite field home run in the first inning. Hamilton launched a two-out bomb over the fence in far left field to put the G-Braves and starter Omar Poveda (L, 2-2) in an early hole.

The Red Sox added another run in the fourth inning before Gwinnett finally got on the board.

Jordan Parraz sent his fourth home run of the season sailing over the wall in nearly the same spot as Hamilton in the fifth inning.

The run, which cut the lead to 3-1, came after Pawtucket starter Jose De La Rosa left the game. De La Rosa allowed just three hits, walked none and struck out six in four shutout innings.

“We're just not stringing quality at-bats together,” Ready said. “And we're definitely lacking the timely hit with runners in scoring position.

“We seem to get them out there, but it's always with two outs right now. That's the unfortunate thing because as a hitter, you're putting all the pressure on yourself to really come through — and that's not easy to do.”

The Sox pushed their lead to 5-1 on a pair of runs in the seventh, the first of which scored on a wild pitch from reliever Wirfin Obispo.

“We've got guys that are in the league for the first time and we're playing clubs that have a lot more experience than we do,” Ready said. “But we don't want to get buried so early where we don't have time for our progress to really catch up with some of our young players. That being said, we have a good blend and some guys that have good history. We're just not being consistent right now.”

Tuesday is “Boston Strong Night” with first pitches thrown out by some of the cities athletic luminaries and portions of ticket sales benefitting the victims of the marathon bombing.

Atlanta Falcons and former Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan, former Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek, former New England safety Rodney Harrison and former Celtics guard Dee Brown will all be on hand for first pitches at Coolray Field.

For every ticket sold via the online link gwinnettbraves.com/boston using the promo code STRONG, $5 will be donated to OneFundBoston.org. Game time is 6:05 p.m.