Myers, Bulls smack Scranton
The Durham Bulls played home run derby on Sunday and, in the middle of it, Wil Myers came close to history.
On a day when the Bulls slammed four home runs, with Myers smacking a two-run homer, Myers missed hitting for the cycle by a double as Durham beat Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 7-4 before a crowd of 7,483 at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
The top-rated prospect in the Tampa Bay Rays organization, Myers hit his two-run home run in the first inning to put Durham (36-21) on top for good.
He added a single in the third inning before lining a run-scoring triple off the ball in right field in the fourth inning.
He batted in the sixth inning looking for the double which would have completed the cycle. Instead, he hit a routine fly ball to right field for the inning’s final out.
Myers was on deck in the bottom of the eighth inning looking for one final shot at the achievement. Vince Belnome made a bid to keep the inning alive with a sharp groundball toward right field. But RailRiders second baseman Alberto Gonzalez made a diving stop and threw Belnome out to end the inning.
Still, missing the cycle did little to diminish a fine day at the plate for Myers and the Bulls. Durham collected nine hits off RailRiders pitchers, with five going for extra bases.
Myers finished 3-for-4 with three RBIs.
“He’s getting there,” Bulls manager Charlie Montoyo said. “Those balls that he hits, they go far. There is a different sound off his bat and he is getting more comfortable. That’s to be expected. He’s just a kid.”
After Myers’ two-run homer in the first inning, Shelley Duncan extended the Bulls’ lead to 3-0 with a lead-off home run in the second inning. On Duncan’s majestic shot, the ball hit the iconic Snorting Bull sign above the left-field wall. He wins a steak dinner, becoming the first Durham player this season to qualify for in the ‘Hit Bull, Win Steak’ promotion.
The Bulls broke the game open with a four-run, fourth-inning rally to lead 7-1. The inning was highlighted by back-to-back home runs from Cole Figueroa and Juan Apodaca, the No. 8 and No. 9 hitters in the Durham batting order.
Neither had hit a home run this season before Figueroa’s two-run shot and Apodaca’s solo home run. It was the first time the Bulls had hit back-to-back home runs at the DBAP since last Aug. 20, which is also the last time Durham had a four-homer game at home.
Later in the inning, Belnome singled and scored on Myers’ triple.
“That was a good inning right there,” Montoyo said. “That gave (Mike) Montgomery more room to pitch.”
Making his second start for the Bulls, Montogomery allowed six hits over six innings. But Scranton/Wilkes-Barre managed only three runs off him as Montgomery walked one and struck out four.
He was aided significantly by shortstop Tim Beckham’s stellar defensive play in the fifth inning.
After the Bulls had built their 7-1 lead, the RailRiders immediately started chipping away at it. Addison Marusak singled, Bobby Wilson doubled and Gonzalez drove in a run with a single, putting runners at first and third with no outs.
Thomas Neal smacked a hard-hit ground ball up the middle, but Beckham made a diving play to grab it and throw the ball to second to start a 6-4-3 double play. While a run scored, the play slowed the rally.
Montgomery struck out the next batter to maintain a 7-3 lead.
“That play Beckham made? To me that was the game,” Montoyo said. “I don’t know if they were going to score more but that double-play ball stopped that rally right there. That was the play of the game for sure.”|
Notes: The Bulls face Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in the finale of the home stand today at 1:05 p.m. Matt Buschmann will start for Durham with Kelvin Perez (0-3, 6.06) on the mound for the RailRiders…The Bulls head to Indianapolis and Louisville during an eight-game road swing. Durham’s next home game is June 13 against Indianapolis at 7:05 p.m…Former Bulls pitcher Jim Paduch has indicated he will retire rather than accept his assignment to Double-A Montgomery. The 30-year-old Paduch was 2-3 with an 7.54 ERA in 12 games for the Bulls this season. Last season, the right-hander was 6-10 with a 5.65 ERA.
Scranton/WB |AB |R |H |RBI || Durham |AB |R |H |RBI ||
Neal, RF |4 |0 |0 |0 | Thompson,CF|4 |0 |0 |0|
Mesa, CF |3 |0 |0 |0 | Guyer, LF |4 |0 |0 |0 |
Almonte, LF |4 |0 |2 |0 | Belnome, 3B |4 |2 |1 |0 |
Mustelier, 3B |4 |0 |1 |0 | Myers, RF |4 |1 |3 |3 |
Johnson, 1B |4 |0 |0 |0 | Anderson, DH|4 |0 |0 |0 |
Murton, DH |4 |0 |0 |0 | Duncan, 1B |3 |1 |1 |1 |
Maruszak, SS |3 |1 |1 |0 | Beckham, SS |4 |1 |1 |0 |
Wilson, Bo, C |4 |3 |3 |1 | Figueroa, 2B |4 |1 |1 |2 |
Gonzalez,, 2B |4 |0 |1 |1 | Apodaca, C |3 |1 |2 |1 |
Totals |34 |4 |8 |2 | Totals |34 |7 |9 |7 |
E: Marshall, B. LOB: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 5, Durham 8. DP: Durham 1. 2B: Wilson, Bo 2, Mustelier.3B: Myers. HR: Wilson, Bo (3), Myers (10), Duncan (3) Figueroa, C (1), Apodaca (1).
Scranton/WB |IP |H |R |ER |BB |SO ||
Marshall, B (L, 2-4) |3.2 |7 |7 |5 |2 |3 |
Miller, Ji |2.1 |2 |0 |0 |1 |0 |
Spence |2.0 |0 |0 |0 |1 |2 |
Durham |IP |H |R |ER |BB |SO ||
Montgomery, M (W, 2-0) |6.0 |6 |3 |3 |1 |4 |
Sandoval |1.2 |1 |0 |0 |1 |0 |
Yates |1.1 |1 |1 |1 |0 |4 |
WP: Marshall, B, Montgomery, M, HBP: Guyer (by Spence). T: 2:30.