Bulls send RailRiders packing
It’s been nine years and seven baseball organizations since Jason Bourgeois had a day at the plate like he experienced Monday for the Durham Bulls.
Bourgeois’ first five-hit day since 2004 highlighted a big day for the Bulls at the plate, as Durham reached a season-high in runs during a 15-2 shellacking of Scranton/Wilkes-Barre at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
The 31-year-old Bourgeois was 5-of-6 as Durham amassed 16 hits off six RailRiders pitchers. His last five-hit day came in 2004 when, as a Texas Rangers farmhand, he played for Double-A Frisco.
“I remember because I went 5-for-5,” Bourgeois said. “I called my mom and she told me, ‘Good job, but (Alfonso) Soriano went 6-for-6. So keep swinging it.’”
Perhaps Soriano, who was with the Texas Rangers then but now plays for the Chicago Cubs, won’t upstage Bourgeois this week.
Bourgeois mixed speed with power to lead the Bulls attack on Monday.
His first two hits, in the first and fourth innings, were infield singles. He slammed a solo home run in the sixth inning, one of two Durham homers in the game.
He drove in a run with a line-drive single to right in the seventh, and finished his day with another single in the eighth inning.
“Those first two hits were kind of hustle hits,” Bourgeois said. “I was able to get a hold of one (in the sixth inning), and that kind of got me in the groove for the next two (hits).”
Rich Thompson, Wil Myers and Craig Albernaz had two hits each for Durham, as all nine Bulls in the lineup collected at least one hit.
“That was fun to watch,” Bulls manager Charlie Montoyo said. “All those guys swinging the bats. All those different guys. Everybody is doing it now.”
As they have done so often this season, the Bulls (37-21) jumped on top in the first inning. Thompson’s double and Bourgeois’ infield single got the rally going. Vince Belnome’s sacrifice fly and a double by Myers put the Bulls up 2-0.
Durham has outscored its opponents 60-27 in the first inning this season.
The double for Myers, who was named the IL Player of the Week on Monday, was notable because he nearly hit for the cycle in Sunday’s game. Myers collected a single, triple and home run in that 7-4 Durham win over the RailRiders, missing the achievement by a double.
Having never hit for the cycle in his career, he had two doubles on Monday.
“Right now, I feel good at the plate and I have a lot of confidence,” said Myers, who is batting .283 this season. “It feels good to hit every day.”
After the RailRiders responded with a run in the second inning off Durham starting pitcher Matt Buschmann, the Bulls broke the game open with four runs in the second inning. After Mike Fontenot walked and Tim Beckham and Albernaz singled to load the bases, Thompson’s triple into the right-field corner cleared the bases, and he later scored on a wild pitch for a 6-1 Durham lead.
The Bulls benefited from a tough day by New York Yankees prospect Kevin Perez. Before leaving with an injury, Perez lasted only 1.1 innings, allowing seven hits and six earned runs with two walks and no strikeouts.
Conversely, Buschmann and three Durham relief pitchers combined to stifle the RailRiders. Bushmann struck out six over his four innings of work as he was on a 75-pitch limit.
Jeff Beliveau, Will Inman and Corey Wade covered the final five innings, allowing only three hits.
NOTES — The Bulls begin an eight-game road trip today with a game at Indianapolis. After playing four games with the Indians and four at Louisville, the Bulls return home June 13. ... Myers received the IL honor Monday after hitting .423 with four home runs and 15 RBIs over the previous seven days. Myers is the fourth Bulls player to win an IL weekly award this season. Belnome, Jake Odorizzi and Alex Colome preceded him. ... Bulls relief pitcher Will Inman left the game in the eighth inning with a groin muscle injury.
Bulls 15, RailRiders 2
Neal rf|5|0|0|0|Thompson cf|5|3|2|4
Mesa cf|4|1|1|1|Bourgeois lf|6|3|5|2
Almonte lf|3|0|0|0|Belnome 3b|2|1|1|2
Mustelier 3b|4|1|2|1|Myers rf|5|0|2|1
Johnson dh|4|0|0|0|Anderson 1b|4|0|1|1
Bell 1b|3|0|0|0|Duncan dh|4|1|1|2
Maruszak ss|4|0|2|0|Fontenot 2b|3|3|1|0
Gonzalez 2b|4|0|1|0|Beckham ss|4|2|1|0
Farnham c|3|0|0|0|Albernaz c|4|2|2|2
E—Albernaz. DP—Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 1. LOB—Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 8, Durham 10. 2B—Mustelier, Thompson, Fontenot. 3B—Thompson. HR—Mustelier (4), Mesa (7), Duncan (4), Bourgeois (2). SF—Belnome, Albernaz. SB—Bourgeois (15), Thompson (18).
Perez (L, 0-4)|1.1|7|6|6|2|0
Beliveau (W, 1-1)|2.0|1|0|0|1|2
Inman pitched to 2 in the 8th.
WP—Whitley, Montgomery. PB—Albernaz. HBP—Anderson (by Demel). Umpires—HP, Will Little; 1B, David Soucy; 3B, Max Guyll. T—3:19. A—4,549.