The Durham Bulls won their eighth game in nine tries, defeating the Norfolk Tides 3-2 Thursday night behind RHP Merrill Kelly.
A seven-game win streak can drain a team. Or at least in the case of the Durham Bulls, their streak, five of which came on the road, has drained their pitching staff as they fell 9-6 to the lowly Norfolk Tides Wednesday at Durham Bulls Athletic Park. With the scored tied at six in the top of the eighth, the Bulls put in backup catcher Mayo Acosta to face the top of the Tides lineup. Acosta had never pitched at any level in the minor leagues.
Jerry Sands drove in four runs with a pair of home runs and four RBI to back a strong start from winning lefthander Enny Romero (2-1) as the Durham Bulls completed a perfect five-game road trip Tuesday night with their seventh straight win, 9-2 over the Charlotte Knights.
Nate Karns fanned seven over five innings in leading the Durham Bulls their fifth straight victory, a 3-1 win over the Gwinnett Braves Sunday at Coolray Field.
The Durham Bulls took advantage of a quality start from Merrill Kelly and six walks issued by Gwinnett pitching to grab and early 4-0 lead and hang on through some shaky moments late for a 4-3 win.
Mike Montgomery and three relievers combined on a five-hitter and leftfielder Justin Christian drove in a pair of runs as the Durham Bulls opened their first road trip of the season with a 5-1 win over the Gwinnett Braves here Friday night.
The Durham Bulls wrapped up their eight-game homestand Thursday with a 5-4 win over the Charlotte Knights at Durham Bulls Athletic Park. The Bulls erupted for five runs in the first four innings, then hung on as the pitching staff rang up 16 strikeouts.
Three Durham Bulls pitchers combined on a three-hitter, as the home side crushed the Charlotte Knights 8-1 at the DBAP on Wednesday night.
The Charlotte Knights took an 8-2 decision over the Durham Bulls Tuesday night at the DBAP, evening the four-game series at one game apiece as the home side managed just four hits.
A bittersweet — mostly sweet — homer for Justin Christian in 8-1 win for the Durham Bulls.
Durham earns series split behind solid pitching
BULLS FALL BELOW .500 FOR 1ST TIME SINCE 2012, NOW 1-2
The Durham Bulls fell to the Gwinnett Braves 4-1 Saturday evening at the DBAP, falling below .500 for the first time since 2012.
After playing the entire 2013 season above the .500 mark, Durham fell to Gwinnett (2-1) behind a pair of home runs. After three no-hit innings, the Braves finally got to Bulls starter Matt Andriese with three straight hits in the fourth, the final one a three-run dinger off the bat of Mark Hamilton.
Durham (1-2) scored its first run of the contest in the fifth frame, when Jerry Sands walked and Kevin Kiermaier singled. After a sac bunt from Ray Olmedo, Eddy Rodriguez notched his first RBI of the season on a groundout to second base, scoring Sands for a 3-1 tally.
However the Braves took back a three-run lead in the eighth when Ernesto Mejia cracked his league-leading fourth dinger of the season, a solo shot, over the left field wall.
Daniel Rodriguez (1-0) earned the win, surrendering one run on two hits in five innings while striking out nine. DEVELOPING STORY ...
As in Thursday night's opener, Bulls fall far behind and rally to make it interesting in the sixth but unlike that 7-6 comeback win, a 3-run Gwinnett eighth is too much for the Bulls on Friday in 12-7 defeat.
BULLS THUNDER BACK FROM 6-2 DEFICIT ON 3 HRS TO WIN OPENER
Last September, when Jerry Sands’ last played in Durham, he wore a different uniform and the ballpark that looked distinctly different.
Success via the long ball, though, bracketed both games.
In his first game with the Bulls Thursday night after playing with Indianapolis last season, Sands reached base four times and blasted a home run as Durham rallied to beat Gwinnett 7-6 at the renovated Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
A season-opening night crowd of 9,483 watched Sands, a former star at Smithfield-Selma High School, go 3 for 3 with a homer, double, single and a walk while scoring three times.
“If he comes through, he’s going to help us a lot,” Durham manager Charlie Montoyo said. “He struggled last year in Indy but he has a history of hitting. I know he’s happy playing here because he’s from the area.”
A .207 hitter with Pittsburgh’s Triple-A team in Indianapolis last season, Sands did have one shining night in an Indians uniform. It came Sept. 5 in the second game of Durham’s three-game International League playoff sweep of Indianapolis when Sands smacked two home runs and collected three hits.
When the Bulls play Gwinnett tonight in their season-opening game at 6:05 p.m. tonight (Thursday, April 3), guys like Vince Belnome, Kevin Kiermaier and Cole Figueroa will be surrounded by new teammates as they aim to win another International League championship.