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Rochester edges G-Braves 3-2 in series opener

LAWRENCEVILLE — Despite two consecutive scoreless starts, Yunesky Maya was scheduled to be back in a relief role for the Gwinnett Braves on Saturday night.

Atlanta, though, decided to hold rehabbing reliever Jordan Walden back a day and Maya got to face Rochester from the first pitch after all.

Monday on the road, the 33-year-old Cuban went a season-best seven innings against the Red Wings and allowed just five hits and a walk while registering his season high of eight strikeouts.

That 6-1 victory in Rochester came in a match-up with Minnesota No. 3 prospect Alex Meyer. It was the 6-foot-9 right-hander and the Red Wings who came out on top this time.

Meyer (4-2) blanked the G-Braves on four hits over six innings while striking out eight and walking only one as Rochester took the series opener 3-2 before a crowd of 7,810 at Coolray Field.

The 24-year-old reached 98 mph with his fastball and retired 11 consecutive batters during one stretch.

Gwinnett’s runs came in the eighth inning on a two-out single by Christian Bethancourt.

Maya (2-1) allowed 11 hits and three runs over six innings, his scoreless streak ending at 15 1/3 frames. He struck out four, walked one and hit a batter.

The right-hander was a star in Cuba and received a four-year contract worth $8 million from the Washington Nationals in 2010 after defecting. But he pitched in only 16 major league games for the Nationals, going 1-5 with a 5.80 ERA, and spent most of the past three seasons for Syracuse in the International League before signing with Atlanta over the winter.

Walden was pushed back about an hour before the game and is now slated to work the first inning today against Rochester in what could be his last rehab outing before rejoining the Atlanta bullpen. The right-hander hasn’t pitched for the Braves since May 4 because of a strained left hamstring.

Walden allowed a two-run homer on Thursday against Columbus, but could have had a perfect inning if a third strike to the third batter had been stopped. He also struck out the first two batters.

Right-hander Zach Stewart (3-3, 4.07 ERA) will follow Walden to the mound in the second game of the four-game series. Left-hander Logan Darnell (1-3, 2.58 ERA) is the scheduled starter for Rochester in the 2:05 p.m. game.

The Red Wings outscored the G-Braves 16-5 while winning the first three games of the series at Rochester last week.