Road Preview: Gwinnett Braves (45-59) at Durham Bulls (65-39)
Thu: RHP Brandon Beachy (1-3, 3.38) vs. LHP Mike Montgomery (4-4, 4.52)
FRI: RHP Cody Martin (2-1, 2.94) vs. RHP Merrill Kelly (4-1, 2.57)
The Gwinnett Braves and the Durham Bulls continue their home-away series tonight in Durham, NC. After splitting two at Coolray Field, the teams will travel seven hours north to finish off their series.
Batters: Tyler Pastornicky is back with the G-Braves and is 3-for-7 since returning to Gwinnett lineup. In his last contest, he went 2-for-3 with a run scored. On the season, the right-handed batter is hitting .313 (75-for-240) with 12 doubles, two triples, four homers and 25 RBI… Joe Leonard finished the Braves homestand hitting .333 (7-for-21) with two doubles and five RBI. He is currently on a three-game hitting streak, collecting five hits in his last ten at bats. On the season, he is hitting .228 (63-for-276) with 17 doubles, three triples and 21 RBI…
Pitchers: Disregarding Monday night’s 7-0 loss, the Braves staff allowed eight runs in the other five games during the homestand. Lefties Alex Wood and Yohan Flande picked up wins, while right-handers Brandon Beachy and David Hale added a tally to the win column… Beachy will go in game one of the series. In his last start, he matched a season-high going 5.0 innings. He allowed five hits, one earned run and struck out three, picking up his first Triple-A victory of the season. Martin hasn’t started since 7/10, but picked up a save on 7/18 against the Indianapolis Indians, as he tossed four one-run innings in relief of Wood. On the season, he is 2-1 with a 2.94 ERA, while fanning 37 in 33.2 innings.
The Tampa Bay Rays affiliate is just as hot as their big club, winners of 14 of their last 21, batting a combined .278 and posting a 2.98 ERA as a staff.
Batters: Cole Figueroa has been tough to get out. The left-handed infielder is batting .366 (15-for-41) with three doubles, one triple, one homer and seven RBI against Gwinnett. He has fared well against everyone, hitting .300 (99-for-330) with 17 doubles, three triples, three homers and 47 RBI on the season… All-Star Vince Belnome continues to have a monster season for the first-place Bulls. In 93 games, he is hitting .330 (106-for-321) with 29 doubles, three triples, seven homers and 59 RBI. He leads the team in hitting, hits, doubles and RBI, while coming in second in runs (62)…
Pitchers: Both Bulls’ starters have faced the Gwinnett offense in 2013. On 7/6, Montgomery went 4.2 innings, allowing two runs on four hits. He struck out four and took the loss… Kelly on the other hand, is a perfect 2-0 with 0.00 ERA. In 13 innings against the G-Braves, the right-hander has not allowed a run, scattering eight hits and striking out seven….
Bull-Headed: The Durham Bulls have owned the season series vs. Gwinnett, taking eight of 10 from the G-Braves in 2013.