Bulls come back late, nip RailRiders
After 27 straight games, the Durham Bulls will enter their first day off of the season buoyed by the emotion of a late-inning comeback.
The Bulls scored three times in the eighth inning to beat Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 6-5 Tuesday afternoon at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
The winning RBI was by Robby Price, who started for the first time since April 21 and laced a single past a drawn-in infield to score Jerry Sands with one out.
Price had been put in “extended spring training” on April 22 when fellow infielder and top prospect Hak-Ju Lee was taken off the disabled list. Though he wasn’t on the 25-man roster, Price stayed with the club and was re-assigned to Durham on Monday when reliever C.J. Reifenhauser went on the DL with an oblique sprain.
“I approached every day like I was in there,” Price said. “Getting my work in, (batting practice), grounders before that, so when my number was called I could pop back in there.”
Vince Belnome started the eighth-inning rally with an 11-pitch at-bat that resulted in a double. Sands walked, and Mike Fontenot tied the game with a ground-rule double down the left-field line. Price’s single put Durham ahead 5-4, and Ray Olmedo added an insurance run with a safety squeeze.
“It’s nice to get in there and get in a situation in there like that — that’s pretty much why you play the game,” said Price, a 13th round pick out of the University of Kansas in 2010 who is in his first Triple-A season.
Price actually pitched for the first time since high school on Monday night when the Bulls lost to the RailRiders in 13 innings. About 11 hours later, the teams came back Tuesday for a special 11:05 a.m. start time.
“It’s one of those days you hit a little bit in the cage, strap it on and grind it out, and that’s what we did,” said Fontenot, who went 3 for 4 to extend his hitting streak to eight games.
The crowd of 9,076 included busloads of school groups that came out despite the drizzly weather. They saw Durham (18-9) take an early 3-1 lead when Olmedo hit a two-run triple and then scored on a single by Eddy Rodriguez. But Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (11-13) responded against starter Matt Andriese and went up 4-3 after six.
Doug Mathis (2-0), who came to the Bulls as a minor-league free agent on April 15, retired all six batters he faced to allow Durham to come back, and Kirby Yates pitched the ninth to record his professional baseball-leading ninth save in as many chances — though it wasn’t without suspense.
Yates gave up his first hit in 6-1/3 innings when Jose Pirela led off with a triple, and then allowed his first run of the season when Austin Romine grounded out. Yates walked two straight batters with two outs but struck out No. 3 hitter Dean Anna on a full count to end the game.
After taking three of four from the New York Yankees’ top affiliate, the Bulls now enter the first of only five scheduled off days this season (not including the three-day All-Star Break). Next up is Columbus, the Triple-A team of the Cleveland Indians, who come to the DBAP for a four-game series that starts Thursday (7:05 p.m., WDNC-AM 620).
NOTES — Outfielder Mikie Mahtook was headed to Florida Tuesday to see a specialist after he was hit by a pitch in the face on Monday. The doctor will determine if he could play with a protective helmet of if he will be out for up to four weeks. Outfielder Kevin Kiermaier (hamstring) is hoping to return Thursday after missing the past four games. … Durham’s Emmy Romero (2-3, 4.44) is scheduled to face Josh Tomlin (1-1, 2.77) on Thursday.
Durham Bulls (18-9) 6, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (11-13) 5
April 29, 2014
|Flores, R, RF||4||1||2||1||1||1||0||.280|
|Almonte, Z, LF||4||0||1||0||0||1||1||.261|
|Romine, A, C||4||0||0||1||0||1||3||.108|
|Joseph, C, 1B||4||0||1||1||0||2||0||.200|
2B: Almonte, Z (3, Andriese), Flores, R (8, Andriese), Mustelier (2, Andriese).
3B: Pirela (1, Yates).
HR: Richardson (1, 1st inning off Andriese, 0 on, 1 out), Flores, R (1, 5th inning off Andriese, 0 on, 1 out).
TB: Mustelier 3; Joseph, C; Almonte, Z 2; Richardson 4; Flores, R 6; Anna; Pirela 3; Canzler.
RBI: Richardson (5), Flores, R (7), Anna (1), Joseph, C (8), Romine, A (1).
2-out RBI: Joseph, C.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Canzler; Anna 2; Romine, A.
Team RISP: 2-for-10.
Team LOB: 7.
SB: Richardson (8, 2nd base off Andriese/Rodriguez, E).
CS: Joseph, C (1, 2nd base by Andriese/Rodriguez, E).
E: Anna (2, fielding).
|Lee, H, SS||4||0||0||0||0||1||2||.059|
|Figueroa, C, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||2||1||.338|
|Rodriguez, E, C||4||0||1||1||0||0||3||.140|
2B: Christian (9, Greene), Belnome (3, Whitley), Fontenot (9, Whitley).
3B: Olmedo (1, Greene).
TB: Fontenot 4; Rodriguez, E; Olmedo 4; Belnome 3; Price; Christian 2.
RBI: Olmedo 3 (7), Rodriguez, E (4), Fontenot (8), Price (6).
2-out RBI: Olmedo 2; Rodriguez, E.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Sands; Rodriguez, E 2; Figueroa, C.
Team RISP: 4-for-12.
Team LOB: 6.
SB: Price (1, 2nd base off Whitley/Romine, A), Olmedo (2, 2nd base off Whitley/Romine, A).
|Whitley (L, 2-2)||4.0||4||3||3||1||4||0||3.38|
|Mathis (W, 2-0)||2.0||0||0||0||0||1||0||3.86|
|Yates (S, 9)||1.0||1||1||1||2||2||0||0.69|
Pitches-strikes: Greene 47-34, Whitley 78-49, Cabral 7-4, Andriese 99-59, Mathis 19-12, Yates 32-17.
Groundouts-flyouts: Greene 6-1, Whitley 6-3, Cabral 2-0, Andriese 8-2, Mathis 3-1, Yates 1-0.
Batters faced: Greene 16, Whitley 18, Cabral 2, Andriese 27, Mathis 6, Yates 6.
Inherited runners-scored: Whitley 1-0, Cabral 2-1.
Umpires: HP: Carlos Torres. 1B: Joey Amaral. 3B: David Soucy.
Weather: 55 degrees, drizzle.
Wind: 7 mph, In from CF.
Venue: Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
April 29, 2014
Compiled by MLB Advanced Media