Bulls bats back Paduch in win over Scranton
It was Chris Archer turn to pitch in the Durham Bulls rotation Friday night against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, but the parent Tampa Bay Rays had other plans.
Instead, Archer joined the Rays in Cleveland and is scheduled to start today against the Indians today.
That's the way it goes in Triple-A baseball.
So Jim Paduch took the mound against the RailRiders and put together his best performance of the season, as the Bulls pounded out 14 hits in an 8-4 victory in International League action at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
"Paduch had his best game of the year," Bulls manager Charlie Montoyo said. "He threw strikes. He got ahead (of hitters) and stayed ahead.
"It's almost like somebody throwing a no-hitter, because you don't dare say a word — just inning by inning, inning by inning."
Paduch (2-3) retired the first six batters he faced before Thomas Neal's leadoff homer in the third, then sat down the next eight hitters before Neal homered again in the fifth.
"I know I'm capable of doing that," Paduch said after recording six strikeouts while giving up seven hits. "It's probably the best I've thrown overall, so far. Physically, mechanically — it's right up there.
"I threw mostly fastballs tonight, in and out. If you do that and locate it, that's the best part of pitching."
Cole Figueroa led the Bulls (35-20) with three hits, while Rich Thompson, Brandon Guyer, Wil Myers and Tim Beckham had a pair of hits each.
"What I like about it is that it's different guys," Montoyo said of the Bulls hitting proficiency. "It's not somebody carrying the whole team. I sat (Leslie) Anderson and (Vince) Belnome, and the other guys pick them up.
"The more people have fun, the better your numbers and the more people on base."
The Bulls got on the board with a two-out rally in the first inning, as Jason Bourgeois tripled to center field and scored on a single to right by Myers to set the tone for RailRiders starter Chris Bootcheck (5-1).
The RailRiders' first hit landed in the restaurant patio beyond the Blue Monster in left field, a leadoff homer by Neal in the third. But Paduch bounced back to strike out the next four batters looking.
Durham regained the lead in the third, as Thompson singled, stole second, went third on an infield single by Guyer and eventually scored on a groundout by Myers for a 2-1 advantage.
The Bulls added a run in the fourth on back-to-back triples to right by Beckham and Figueroa on 0-2 counts for a 3-1 lead.
Neal ripped his second homer of the night, this one to right-center, in the fifth to pull to within 3-2.
"Two mistakes," Paduch said of the home-run pitches to Neal. "It was a fastball over the middle, and he put a good swing on it."
In the fifth, Bourgeois reached on an error, stole second went to third on an infield single by Myers and scored on a single to right by Shelley Duncan. Myers scored on a sacrifice fly for a 5-2 lead.
Guyer ripped a two-run homer, his fifth blast of the season, to left field in the sixth to build the margin to 7-2.
"We're swinging the bats great and we had a lot of big hits, but the one Guyer hit in the seventh — that was big," Montoyo said.
Zoilo Almonte opened the seventh inning with a homer to center field, then Ronnier Mustelier notched an infield single. Dan Johnson followed with a bloop single to left, and Neal ripped a one-out single to left to end the night for Paduch. Mustelier scored on a fielder's choice by Jeff Farnham, but Bulls reliever Matt Buschmann struck out Alberto Gonzalez to maintain a 7-4 lead.
"I didn't want (Paduch) to run out of gas and get killed, because he already did his job," Montoyo said. "We were hoping for four (innings), because Buschmann threw 93 pitches three days ago. ... He had two days off, but it's been day-to-day."
Buschman pitched the final 2.2 innings to record his first save as a professional pitcher, striking out three batters without giving up a hit.
Beckham doubled with two out in the bottom of the seventh, then managed to score on a single to center by Figueroa. The throw to the plate by center fielder Melky Mesa was in time to get the out, but Beckham circled past Farnham, jumped to his left, then dove to tag the plate for an 8-4 Bulls lead.
"The whole team is hitting, swinging it really well," Beckham said. "We're vibing off each other."
NOTES — The teams play game 2 of the four-game series today at 7:05 p.m. with either Alex Torres (2-2, 3.52 ERA) or Jake Odorizzi (4-0, 3.83) on the mound for the Bulls. Odorizzi just returned to Durham after posting two no-decisions during a call-up to the Tampa Bay Rays. Chien-Ming Wang (3-4, 2.65) is scheduled to pitch for the RailRiders. ... Archer is the fourth Bulls pitcher to spend time in Tampa Bay this season, joining Odorizzi, Alex Torres and Alex Colome, who started Thursday's game for the Rays and recorded the win in his Major League debut.
Scranton/WB |AB |R |H |RBI || Durham |AB |R |H |RBI ||
Joseph, C, 2B |4 |0 |0 |0 | Thompson,CF|5 |1 |2 |0 |
Mesa, CF |4 |0 |0 |0 | Guyer, LF |5 |1 |2 |2
Almonte, LF |4 |1 |1 |1 | Bourgeois,DH|4 |2 |1 |0 |
Mustelier, RF |4 |1 |1 |0 | Myers, RF |5 |1 |2 |2 |
Johnson, 1B |4 |0 |1 |0 | Duncan, 1B |4 |0 |1 |1 |
Bell, J, 3B |4 |0 |0 |0 | Fontenot, 2B |3 |0 |1 |1 |
Neal, DH |3 |2 |3 |2 | Beckham, SS |4 |2 |2 |0 |
Farnham, C |3 |0 |0 |1 | Figueroa, 3B |4 |0 |3 |2 |
Gonzalez, SS |3 |0 |1 |0 | Apodaca, C |4 |1 |0 |0 |
Totals |33 |4 |7 |4 | Totals |38 |8 |14 |8 |
Scranton/WB|001|010|200 -- |4
Durham|101|122|10x – 8
E -- Joseph, C 2, Farnham. DP – Durham 1. SB – Thompson (17), Bourgeois (14). LOB – Scranton 2, Durham 8. 2B: Fontenot (13), Beckham, T (10). 3B: Bourgeois (3), Beckham, T (3), Figueroa, C (2). HR: Neal 2 (2), Almonte (5),Guyer (5).
Scranton/WB |IP |H |R |ER |BB |SO ||
Bootcheck (L, 5-1) |4.1 |9 |5 |3 |0 |6 |
Whitley |2.2 |4 |3 |3 |1 |1 |
Eppley |1.0 |1 |0 |0 |0 |2 |
Durham |IP |H |R |ER |BB |SO ||
Paduch (W, 2-3) |6.1 |7 |4 |4 |0 |6 |
Buschmann (S, 1) |2.2 |0 |0 |0 |0 |3 |
T: 2:32. Att: 8,667.