Myers leads the way as Bulls outslug Buffalo
Baseball’s top minor-league prospect has already accomplished plenty at the plate during his brief career. But Wil Myers said he’d never had an inning like he did on Monday.
The reigning Minor League player of the year had five RBIs in Durham’s nine-run first inning, leading the Bulls to an 11-7 win over the Buffalo Bisons at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
“I’ve been up twice in the same inning,” Myers said. “Just never done anything like that.”
Myers hit a two-run homer to center in his first at-bat off a fastball from Ricky Romero, a member of the 2011 American League All-Star team. He followed that with a bases-clearing double off the Blue Monster against reliever Chad Beck.
“I said he was going to get hot,” Durham manager Charlie Montoyo said. “I didn’t know when it was going to happen, but he’s one of those guys who when he gets hot he can carry a team, and he did it today. He’s going to get going now, I believe.”
Myers, 22, joined the Rays organization this season as one of 10 players in the past 50 years who hit 35 or more home runs above Single-A before turning 22. He got off to a slow start, but he’s hitting. 391 with three home runs and 11 RBIs in his past five games.
“Nothing really different,” said Myers, who went 2-for-5. “I’m just feeling a lot a better at the plate. My confidence is coming back; my swings are a little better now.”
The Bulls (31-20) needed that against Buffalo (28-21), which leads the International League in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. Sure enough, the Bisons got within 11-7 in the seventh after a second two-run homer by Mauro Gomez.
Alex Torres, who needed 98 pitches to get through 4.1 innings, wasn’t able to qualify for the win, and Jason Beliveau walked two of the three batters he faced. But Steve Geltz (3-0) allowed two runs in 2.1 innings and Kirby Yates allowed just one baserunner in the final two innings.
“We need to swing it against this club,” Montoyo said. “We did what we needed to do to win this game. I don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow or the next day, but today that was huge to get out to a big lead like that.”
Brandon Guyer went 2 for 3 with two walks and two RBI and Jason Bourgeois went 2 for 5 with a double for the Bulls, who are now tied for first in the IL South with Norfolk for the first time since May 5.
NOTES – The four-game series continues today at 7:05 p.m. It will be the DBAP debut for Mike Montgomery (1-0, 4.15), who came from Kansas City along with Wil Myers and Bulls starter Jake Odorizzi in a December trade with Tampa Bay but missed a month and a half due to an arm injury. The lefthander is scheduled to face Buffalo righty Justin Germano (3-4, 7.16).
Bulls 11, Bisons 7
McCoy 2b|4|1|1|0|Guyer cf|3|2|2|2
Velez lf|3|1|1|0|Bourgeois lf|5|2|2|1
Sierra cf|5|1|1|3|Myers rf|5|1|2|5
LJimenez dh|4|1|0|0|Anderson dh|3|1|1|1
Gomez 1b|4|2|2|4|Duncan 1b|3|1|1|0
Laroche 3b|4|0|0|0|Fontenot 2b|4|1|1|1
Langerhans rf|4|0|0|0|Beckham ss|3|0|1|1
Goins ss|3|0|1|0|Figueroa 3b|2|2|1|0
Nickeas c|3|1|1|0|Apodaca c|3|1|0|0
DP—Buffalo 2. LOB—Buffalo 9, Durham 4. 2B—Sierra, Duncan, Myers, Guyer, Bourgeois. HR—Myers (7), Gomez 2 (10). SF—Beckham, Anderson. SB—Velez 2 (9).
Romero (L, 0-1)|0.2|5|8|8|3|0
Geltz (W, 3-0)|2.1|1|2|2|2|2
WP—Beck. Umpires—HP, Seth Buckminster; 1B, Ian Fazio;’ 3B, Brad Myers. T—3:06. A—7,406.