by Mike Potter
It was a rough night all around for the Triangle’s two pro baseball teams.
The Bulls lost a 4-3 decision in the opener of their road series with the Gwinnett Braves while the Mudcats lost to the host Jacksonville Suns 7-2 and fell 9 ½ games out of first place.
Carolina’s next home game will be on Wednesday night against the Mobile BayBears, while Durham is on a long road trip and won’t be home again until an Aug. 24 meeting with the Norfolk Tides.
Gwinnett 4, Bulls 3
The Braves’ first four batters reached and scored against Heath Phillips (8-7), with the big blow a three-run homer from Barbaro Canizares.
Brandon Beachy (2-0) was the winning pitcher while Craig Kimbrel collected his 18th save.
Freddie Freeman had four hits including a double with an RBI for Gwinnett.
J.J. Furmaniak doubled twice for the Bulls, while Angel Chavez doubled and singled.
Jacksonville 7, Mudcats 2
Tom Koehler earned his Southern League-best 14th win of the season against two losses and was the beneficiary of a 15-hit attack.
Lorenzo Scott homered with two singles and four RBI for Jacksonville.
James Avery (0-2) took the loss.
Kris Negron homered and singled for the Mudcats, while Jose Castro had a double and two singles and Luis Terrero a pair of doubles with an RBI.
Bulls at Gwinnett, 6:05 p.m.
TBA vs. Scott Diamond (L, 2-0, 2.67)
Mudcats at Jacksonville, 7:05 p.m.
Matt Klinker (R, 5-6, 2.75) vs. Jose Rosario (R, 3-2, 2.89)