Hellickson regaining form
Jeremy Hellickson still doesn’t resemble the pitcher who earned the 2010 International League Most Valuable Pitcher award. But his performance Thursday was good enough to get his first win with the Durham Bulls since that dominating season.
Hellickson (1-4) allowed two runs on seven hits in 5.2 innings as the Bulls defeated the Gwinnett Braves 5-3 in front of 9,549 at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
Hellickson is on a rehab assignment with the Bulls while he recovers from January surgery to his right elbow. The 27-year-old righty lost his first four starts with Durham coming into Thursday, allowing 18 runs (13 earned) in 13 innings, and left his previous appearance after three innings because of elbow soreness.
The Braves had their chances against Hellickson, getting a runner in scoring position in five of his six innings, but their only runs came on an RBI groundout in the second and an infield single in the sixth.
Gwinnett left 13 runners on base in the game and went 2 for 15 with runners in scoring position.
Hellickson allowed just 54 runs in 30 starts during his previous stint with the Bulls. He was the MVP of the 2009 Triple-A National Championship Game and was the first Bull to win the IL Most Valuable Pitcher award in 2010, despite being called up to Tampa Bay in early August.
This rehab assignment marks his first appearances with the Bulls since that award-winning season, when he led the IL in the Triple Crown pitching categories (wins, ERA and strikeouts) at the time of his promotion.
Hellickson threw a season-high 86 pitches, 55 for strikes. His win was also the third straight victory for the Bulls (48-41), who lead the IL South by seven games over the struggling Braves (40-47). Gwinnett has the worst record in Triple-A baseball since June 1 at 11-22.
Justin Christian had two doubles and Mikie Mahtook went 2 for 4 with a double and an RBI for the Bulls, who scored three times in the second inning and twice more in the seventh.
Jeremy Moore led off the second with a walk against Gus Schlosser (4-4), advanced to third on a double by Wilson Betemit and scored on a wild pitch. Ray Olmedo’s RBI single scored Betemit, and Durham added a third run when Robby Price grounded into a double play.
The Bulls added to their lead after a surprising decision by Gwinnett in the seventh. The Braves intentionally walked Mike Fontenot with runners on second and third and one out to get a lefty/righty matchup with cleanup hitter Mikie Mahtook, who leads the team in average and RBIs.
Mahtook stroked a single to left to put the Bulls ahead 4-2, and Moore lined a single to right for the final margin.
NOTES – Catcher Mayo Acosta was assigned to Durham from short-season Hudson Valley when infielder Vince Belnome was recalled to Tampa Bay. Acosta entered in the third inning after starting catcher Ali Solis was hit in the hand while attempting to bunt. … The Bulls start a two-game road series at Gwinnett today at 7:05 p.m. IL All-Star Mike Montgomery (8-1, 3.28) faces Braves righty Aaron Northcraft (0-1, 12.46). Durham returns to the DBAP Sunday for a two-game series against Norfolk.
Durham Bulls (48-41) 5, Gwinnett Braves (40-47) 3
July 3, 2014
|Hamilton, M, DH||3||0||1||0||0||1||4||.246|
|Cunningham, T, CF||4||2||2||1||1||1||4||.271|
|a-Walked for Hamilton, M in the 7th.|
TB: Hamilton, M; Boggs; Salcedo; Pastornicky 3; Constanza; Cunningham, T 2; Terdoslavich 2.
RBI: Yepez (3), Constanza (24), Cunningham, T (36).
2-out RBI: Constanza.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Hamilton, M 2; Constanza; Cunningham, T 2; Gosselin; Boggs 2.
Team RISP: 2-for-15.
Team LOB: 13.
SB: Cunningham, T (12, 3rd base off Hellickson/Solis), Boggs (3, 2nd base off Hellickson/Solis).
DP: 2 (Pastornicky-Reyes-Terdoslavich, Reyes-Terdoslavich).
|Nix, J, 1B||3||1||2||0||1||1||3||.227|
|Acosta, M, C||2||0||0||0||1||1||0||.133|
|Kelly, M, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
2B: Christian 2 (23, Schlosser, Hoyt), Betemit (12, Schlosser).
TB: Solis; Moore; Betemit 2; Olmedo; Price; Christian 4; Nix, J 2; Mahtook 2.
RBI: Olmedo (16), Mahtook (51), Moore (10).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Mahtook; Fontenot 2; Olmedo; Nix, J 2.
GIDP: Price, Moore.
Team RISP: 4-for-11.
Team LOB: 9.
SB: Christian (11, 2nd base off Schlosser/Yepez).
CS: Nix, J (2, 2nd base by Schlosser/Yepez).
E: Moore (1, fielding), Price (3, throw).
Outfield assists: Christian (Salcedo at 3rd base).
|Schlosser (L, 4-4)||6.0||7||3||3||4||3||0||4.33|
|Hellickson (W, 1-4)||5.2||7||2||2||2||4||0||7.23|
|Kelly, M (H, 1)||0.2||2||0||0||1||1||0||3.13|
|Riefenhauser (H, 6)||1.1||0||0||0||2||0||0||1.97|
|Lueke (S, 2)||1.1||2||1||0||0||0||0||1.46|
WP: Schlosser, Hellickson.
IBB: Fontenot (by Hoyt).
Pitches-strikes: Schlosser 100-61, Hoyt 31-15, Jaime 17-8, Hellickson 86-55, Kelly, M 25-11, Riefenhauser 26-15, Lueke 15-12.
Groundouts-flyouts: Schlosser 10-2, Hoyt 1-0, Jaime 2-0, Hellickson 6-5, Kelly, M 1-0, Riefenhauser 1-2, Lueke 3-1.
Batters faced: Schlosser 26, Hoyt 8, Jaime 4, Hellickson 26, Kelly, M 5, Riefenhauser 6, Lueke 6.
Inherited runners-scored: Kelly, M 1-1, Riefenhauser 1-0, Lueke 1-0.
Umpires: HP: Doug Vines. 1B: Nick Lentz. 3B: Brad Myers.
Weather: 83 degrees, cloudy.
Wind: 6 mph, In from CF.
Venue: Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
July 3, 2014
Compiled by MLB Advanced Media