BULLS BOOT ONE
Rochester and Durham kept answering each other.
Rochester got in the last word.
Red Wings shortstop Doug Bernier drove in two 11th-inning runs with a double over the head of Bulls third-baseman Robby Price.
The Bulls had no viable response to that and lost for the second night in a row at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
Rochester won 6-5 Wednesday in a game extended by five Bulls breaches.
The problem with the Bulls all season has been their inability to bring home base runners. Well, errors doomed them this time. The Bulls committed five of them.
“Our defense didn't play good. Big errors,” Bulls manager Charlie Montoyo said. “We've got to win by pitching and defense, and we didn't have it.”
Durham's not one of these teams that generates lots of runs, so it's about the Bulls being opportunistic on offense and just about perfect on defense, Montoyo said.
“That's what we do. We play close games, and the reason we win games is because we play good defense and our pitching is usually pretty good,” Montoyo said after his ball club wrestled with the Red Wings for four hours and three minutes.
Durham made some noise in the bottom of the 11th with two outs and runners on first and second for Mikie Mahtook, who drove in a run with a single to right field.
But Jeremy Moore, who earlier in the evening stretched his hitting streak to 14 games, struck out, checking his swing after getting fooled by the delivery of relief pitcher Lester Oliveros, who was on target.
In the 10th inning, what should have been a routine out put Wilkin Ramirez on third base for Rochester when Durham relief pitcher Josh Lueke threw the ball over the head of first-baseman Vince Belnome in an attempt to put out Bernier.
Rochester's Josmil Pinto came up with a single, scoring Ramirez to give the Red Wings a 4-3 lead.
Back came the Bulls on Wilson Betemit's home run that tied the game in the bottom of the tenth.
“Good job by the offense at the end coming back and making it a game every time they went ahead. That was pretty cool,” Montoyo said.
Red Wings starting pitcher Alex Meyer overpowered the Bulls from the get-go, Montoyo said.
“He had a pretty good arm,” Montoyo said.
Meyer struck out eight batters and gave up five hits in six innings. Rochester reliever Aaron Thompson picked up the win.
Nathan Karns started on the mound for Durham, striking nine batters and yielding five hits hits in seven innings. The loss was attached to Bulls reliever C.J. Riefenhauser.
Rochester put up the evening's first runs in the fifth when Nate Henson singled in Pedro Florimon. Henson was able to come home on a Ramirez single.
In the seventh, the Bulls had runners on second and third with one out. Ali Solis was at the plate facing reliever A.J. Achter.
Achter fanned him.
The home crowd had seen it before — stranded Bulls.
Hak-Ju Lee dug in at the plate and gave Bulls fans a different look, placing a pitch from Achter safely into right field, driving in Moore and Betemit. That tied the game, 2-2.
Lee, 23, is the No. 2 prospect in the Tampa Bay Rays' organization, according to “Baseball America.” He also was responsible for two of those errors against Rochester.
The score still was tied when the Bulls came to hit in the eighth. Mahtook settled in at the plate with runners on first and third and no outs. He singled to left field to load the bases for Moore and his hot bat.
The Bulls were primed to strike, and that was all for Achter, who was replaced by righty reliever Michael Tonkin.
Moore positioned himself at the plate and took some mighty cuts but struck out, unable to catch up to what Tonkin was throwing.
No business for Betemit, either. He struck out looking.
Tonkin was coming with steam.
Bulls second-baseman Mike Fontenot approached the plate and battled Tonkin to a full count. Tonkin delivered. Fontenot didn't swing. Umpire David Soucy declared ball four, walking Fontenot and moving Justin Christian home from third.
The Red Wings didn't lie down. Florimon singled to center to drive in a run. That made it a 3-3 game.
In the ninth, Lee walked and got to third on Robby Price's sacrifice bunt.
Tonkin intentionally walked Christian and took his chances with Belnome, who struck out.
Then Mahtook launched a rocket to right. It fizzled, though, landing in Ramirez's glove, forcing the extra innings.
NOTES — The finale of the four-game set between the Red Wings and the Bulls is at the DBAP tonight at 7:05 when Bulls’ righty Alex Colome (4-3, 3.55 ERA) faces Rochester righty Trevor May (8-5, 2.94) ... International League strikeout leaders Meyer (115) and Karns (113) lived up to their billings Wednesday night. Meyer fanned eight batters in six, five-hit shutout innings, and Karns struck out nine in seven innings of five-hit baseball. Karns trailed 2-0 after giving up a pair of unearned runs in the fifth, but the Bulls’ comeback got him off the hook.
Rochester Red Wings (57-48) 6, Durham Bulls (56-48) 5
|Romero, D, DH||5||0||0||0||0||2||5||.283|
|Ramirez, W, RF||4||1||2||1||0||1||0||.269|
|Meyer, A, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Thompson, A, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Ibarra, E, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Oliveros, L, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
2B: Florimon (9, Karns), Bernier (18, Riefenhauser).
TB: Florimon 3; Hanson; Rahl; Pinto; Bernier 4; Ramirez, W 2; Beresford.
RBI: Hanson (10), Ramirez, W (31), Florimon (11), Pinto (9), Bernier 2 (44).
2-out RBI: Hanson; Ramirez, W; Bernier 2.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Romero, D 2; Bernier; Hanson; Farris; Beresford 2.
GIDP: Romero, D.
Team RISP: 5-for-17.
Team LOB: 8.
SB: Ramirez, W (6, 2nd base off Karns/Solis).
E: Ortiz (3, fielding).
|Lee, H, SS||2||0||1||2||2||1||1||.208|
|Kelly, M, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
HR: Betemit (15, 10th inning off Ibarra, E, 0 on, 1 out).
TB: Solis; Moore; Betemit 5; Lee, H; Belnome 2; Christian; Mahtook 2.
RBI: Lee, H 2 (16), Fontenot (33), Betemit (43), Mahtook (53).
2-out RBI: Lee, H 2; Fontenot; Mahtook.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Christian; Solis 2; Mahtook; Moore.
SAC: Lee, H; Fontenot; Price.
Team RISP: 3-for-12.
Team LOB: 12.
E: Belnome (5, fielding), Karns (1, pickoff), Lee, H 2 (13, throw, throw), Lueke (1, throw).
Outfield assists: Moore (Rahl at 2nd base), Christian (Florimon at 2nd base).
DP: (Lee, H-Fontenot-Belnome).
|Thompson, A (H, 7)||0.1||0||2||2||2||0||0||2.48|
|Achter (BS, 1)||0.2||2||1||1||1||1||0||2.05|
|Ibarra, E (BS, 3)(W, 5-0)||1.0||1||1||1||0||2||1||3.38|
|Oliveros, L (S, 2)||1.0||2||1||1||1||2||0||5.06|
|Lueke (BS, 2)||1.1||3||2||0||0||1||0||1.96|
|Riefenhauser (L, 1-3)||1.2||1||2||0||1||2||0||1.62|
Achter pitched to 3 batters in the 8th.
WP: Thompson, A, Karns.
IBB: Christian (by Tonkin).
HBP: Hanson (by Riefenhauser), Christian (by Achter).
Pitches-strikes: Meyer, A 86-57, Thompson, A 16-5, Achter 29-14, Tonkin 38-20, Ibarra, E 16-11, Oliveros, L 26-14, Karns 97-64, Kelly, M 16-13, Lueke 33-25, Riefenhauser 34-22.
Groundouts-flyouts: Meyer, A 7-2, Thompson, A 1-0, Achter 1-0, Tonkin 1-1, Ibarra, E 0-1, Oliveros, L 1-0, Karns 7-4, Kelly, M 1-1, Lueke 3-1, Riefenhauser 2-0.
Batters faced: Meyer, A 22, Thompson, A 3, Achter 6, Tonkin 9, Ibarra, E 4, Oliveros, L 6, Karns 26, Kelly, M 5, Lueke 8, Riefenhauser 8.
Inherited runners-scored: Achter 2-2, Tonkin 3-1, Riefenhauser 2-0.
Umpires: HP: David Soucy. 1B: Carlos Torres. 3B: Joey Amaral.
Weather: 91 degrees, partly cloudy.
Wind: 9 mph, R to L.
Venue: Durham Bulls Athletic Park.