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Durham spoils opening Gwinnett Braves home series with sweep

LAWRENCEVILLE — When Gwinnett began the season by splitting a four-game series at Durham, it looked like the G-Braves might have better luck against the Bulls this season.

Then came the first series at Coolray Field.

Durham defeated Gwinnnett 3-1 on Sunday to complete a three-game sweep in which the G-Braves scored just five runs.

The only good news is that Gwinnett doesn’t have to play the Bulls again until July.

Durham took advantage of Gavin Floyd’s early wildness in the series finale and won despite stranding 16 runners.

The only run for Gwinnett came on Tyler Greene’s home run in the fifth inning off Durham starter Nate Karns (1-1). The right-hander allowed three hits and had seven strikeouts to two walks in five innings.

Floyd (0-1) worked 3 2/3 innings in his third rehab start and retired the final six batters he faced after finally settling down.

The veteran right-hander, who is coming back from Tommy John elbow surgery, threw 73 pitches, only 43 of them strikes, as he gave up three walks and hit a batter.

The Bulls, though, managed just two runs off Floyd and one was unearned. He struck out three and gave up three hits.

“Everything was going too fast,” Floyd said of his early wildness. “I kept jumping at the plate. So I refocused and took a breather. I was able to slow myself down a little bit and make pitches.”

Floyd, who hopes to be ready to join the Atlanta rotation by May, had been more effective in his previous start at Norfolk on Tuesday, allowing three hits and a run over four innings.

“I had a good start last time, and today is a little bump in the road,” Floyd said. “I had a tough two first innings, but I got a chance to figure it out. I need these things to get ready for when I do come back. I feel like being able to make an adjustment like that and being able to make good pitches will only help me out.”

Floyd has had no setbacks physically in his rehab.

“I feel good. Elbow is good. Stamina is too,” he said.

While Floyd pitched for the G-Braves, left-hander Mike Minor made a rehab start at Class A Rome and blanked Savannah on one hit over five innings. He stuck out four and walked one.

Minor, who had shoulder tendonitis in spring training, may need just one more rehab start before being ready to join the Atlanta rotation. He is tentatively scheduled to pitch for the G-Braves at Charlotte on Friday.

Gwinnett, which had gone 4-3 on the opening road trip, will host Norfolk in a two-game series beginning Monday. Both games start at 6:35 p.m.

Notes: Zach Stewart, who had a no-decision at Norfolk, will make his first start at Coolray Field as a member of the G-Braves in the series opener against the Tides. The right-hander formerly pitched in the International League for Pawtucket and Charlotte. … Right-hander Mike Wright will make his second start for the Tides. … The G-Braves took two of three games at Norfolk, with one postponed because of rain. … After the Norfolk series, Gwinnett plays six straight games against Charlotte, the first three at the Knights’ new ballpark.