Bulls rip Rochester as Montoyo sets franchise wins mark
DURHAM — Durham Bulls manager Charlie Montoyo became the winningest manager in the history of the storied baseball franchise with a 5-1 win over Rochester Monday night, but he was more interested in cracking jokes about it than thumping his chest.
“I have to win 614 to be player of the game,” he said.
“I’m very humbled by it, but you know me. I don’t like talking about me because this is all about player development here,” he said of the record that Bill Evers had held. It took Montoyo 43 fewer games than Evers to reach 613 wins heading into Monday’s game.
Before the season he didn’t even know he was this close to history.
“In spring training Bill Evers told me you need to get this many to get me. That’s when I knew, more or less, but I wasn’t counting how many wins I got until I got to 600,” he said.
His players gave him an inspired round of applause when he came into the locker room.
“When somebody does something and you know they mean it that’s pretty cool,” Montoyo said.
Winning pitcher Enny Romero might have looked on paper to be an unlikely candidate for Montoyo to get the record.
Romero was on a five-game losing streak coming into Monday’s game. He had not won since a 4-2 victory June 1 against Lehigh Valley.
“He’s the one we were waiting for to do better,” Montoyo said of his big left hander. “That was good to see. That was his best outing of the year.”
“I think my control is back,” Romero said. He changed his delivery and used a better mix of his cutter and change-up to complement his fastball, he said.
“If we keep winning this season we can go to the playoffs and maybe make another championship,” he said.
Romero said he felt no extra pressure being in a losing streak and pitching for Montoyo’s record.
“I feel I need to throw strikes and stay ahead of the hitters” and the rest would fall into place, he said.
Romero, 4-10, faced 25 batters, and threw 60 strikes in 95 pitches. He yielded six hits and three walks, and struck out four.
Red Wings starter Sean Gilmartin took the loss, and is now 8-5.
After being set down in order the first three innings, the Bulls jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the fourth. Third baseman Jayson Nix lashed a one-out single to center, and scored when right fielder Jeremy Moore slammed an RBI double to the wall in left center. Moore has now hit safely in 17 of his first 19 games with the Bulls.
But Moore made an ill-advised attempt to stretch it into a triple and was easily thrown out at third by center fielder Eric Farris’ relay toss to shortstop Pedro Florimon.
The Red Wings tied it in the top of the fifth. Shortstop Pedro Florimon walked, putting the leadoff runner on base the fourth time in the first five innings. But first baseman Nate Hanson hit into fielder’s choice, eliminating Florimon.
After catcher Dan Rohlfing flied out to first, second baseman Doug Bernier slapped a two-out double to left-center, advancing Hanson to third. Center fielder Eric Farris dribbled an RBI single to shortstop, scoring Hanson and pushing Bernier to third before third baseman Deibinson Romero flew out to first to end the threat.
The Bulls plated another run to retake the lead in the bottom of the 5th.
First baseman Vince Belnome led off with a single to left. He has now hit safely in 20 of his last 24 games. He moved up to third when designated hitter Ali Solis swatted his fourth double of the season, off the left field wall.
Shortstop Hak-Ju Lee hit into a fielder’s choice, scoring Belnome. Solis advanced to third on the play, but catcher Mayo Acosta whiffed on a bad pitch, ending the inning with the Bulls up 2-1.
The Bulls went up 5-1 in the seventh inning, with the catalyst being a leadoff single by center fielder Mikie Mahtook. First baseman Vince Belnome then laced a shot to first baseman Nate Hanson, who misplayed the ball. Mahtook raced to third on the error, putting runners on the corners with no outs.
Second baseman Mike Fontenot went down for a pitch and slapped a 2-run double to left center, scoring Mahtook and Belnome. Fontenot now has reached base safely in 83 of his last 95 International League games.
Lee then lined a double down the right field line, scoring Fontenot to make it 5-1. But relief pitcher Deolis Guerra caught Lee leaning off second on a steal attempt, and trapped him in a rundown for the second out. Catcher Mayo Acosta was caught looking at a third strike to end the inning.
Durham Bulls (56-46) 5, Rochester Red Wings (55-48) 1
July 21, 2014
|Romero, D, 3B||4||0||1||0||0||0||3||.287|
|Ramirez, W, DH||4||0||0||0||0||3||2||.266|
|Guerra, D, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
2B: Hanson (4, Romero), Bernier (17, Romero), Rohlfing (16, Geltz).
TB: Farris; Bernier 2; Ortiz; Rohlfing 2; Hanson 3; Rahl 2; Romero, D.
RBI: Farris (33).
2-out RBI: Farris.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Ramirez, W; Romero, D; Farris.
GIDP: Ortiz, Farris.
Team RISP: 1-for-8.
Team LOB: 9.
E: Hanson (2, fielding).
Outfield assists: Farris (Moore at 3rd base).
Pickoffs: Guerra, D (Lee, H at 2nd base).
|Nix, J, 3B||4||1||1||0||0||2||0||.262|
|Lee, H, SS||3||0||1||2||0||0||1||.205|
|Acosta, M, C||3||0||0||0||0||2||1||.125|
2B: Moore (5, Gilmartin), Solis (4, Gilmartin), Fontenot (17, Guerra, D), Lee, H (8, Guerra, D).
TB: Solis 2; Moore 2; Fontenot 2; Lee, H 2; Belnome; Nix, J; Mahtook.
RBI: Moore (21), Lee, H 2 (14), Fontenot 2 (32).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Acosta, M.
Team RISP: 2-for-5.
Team LOB: 1.
CS: Lee, H (5, 3rd base by Guerra, D/Rohlfing).
PO: Lee, H (2nd base by Guerra, D).
DP: 2 (Fontenot-Lee, H-Belnome, Nix, J-Fontenot-Belnome).
|Gilmartin (L, 1-2)||6.0||5||4||3||0||9||0||4.19|
|Romero (W, 4-10)||6.0||6||1||1||3||4||0||5.34|
|Geltz (H, 8)||2.0||2||0||0||0||3||0||2.49|
Gilmartin pitched to 2 batters in the 7th.
Pitches-strikes: Gilmartin 87-59, Guerra, D 30-24, Romero 95-60, Geltz 30-24, Lueke 19-16.
Groundouts-flyouts: Gilmartin 5-2, Guerra, D 0-2, Romero 8-0, Geltz 2-1, Lueke 0-0.
Batters faced: Gilmartin 23, Guerra, D 7, Romero 25, Geltz 8, Lueke 4.
Inherited runners-scored: Guerra, D 2-2.
Umpires: HP: Carlos Torres. 1B: Joey Amaral. 3B: David Soucy.
Weather: 77 degrees, cloudy.
Wind: 2 mph, In from CF.
Venue: Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
July 21, 2014