Bulls top Mud Hens; Montoyo expected back today
The Toledo Mud Hens have the best ERA (2.58) and worst batting average (.204) in the 14-team International League. That wasn’t obvious on Wednesday.
The Mud Hens scored eight runs, including three home runs in the first two innings against Durham’s top pitching prospect, Jake Odorizzi. But the Bulls recorded 11 of their 16 hits against Toledo opening day starter Shawn Hill and came away with a 9-8 win at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
The victory ensured hitting coach Dave Myers would finish with a winning record (7-5) in his stint as acting manager in place of Charlie Montoyo, whose 5-year-old son Alex underwent open-heart surgery on April 15. Montoyo is scheduled to be back in the dugout today.
The Bulls (14-6) scored five straight runs to break a 4-4 tie, and then allowed four runs in the eighth inning to ensure that Myers would have to sweat out his final game in charge.
“That’s why they make Coors Light,” Myers said.
In Tuesday’s series opener, the Bulls tied the game in the ninth inning and won in 11.
Myers said the experience of managing so many close games rekindled his desire to lead a club again. He previously spent 12 years managing in the Seattle Mariners system, including five in Triple-A.
Vince Belnome went 4-for-5 with two doubles, and Cole Figueroa went 3-for-5 with a double and three RBIs to lead the offense for the Bulls, who improved to 10-2 at home.
Durham scored four runs in the first inning against Hill (0-2), who started 44 games in the majors between 2004-10. But after hitting nine home runs in their first 20 games, Toledo’s offense tied the game on three home runs against Odorizzi (1-0), including a two-run tying shot by Brad Davis that hit the awning on the sports bar behind the Blue Monster.
Odorizzi appeared to be in even more trouble when he walked the first three batters in the third inning, but he recovered to strike out the side. He allowed just one walk to his final 10 batters and, despite needing 99 pitches to get through five innings, was able to qualify as the pitcher of record.
“The first two innings, I didn’t really have a good feel for any pitches and that’s going to happen from time to time,” Odorizzi said. “It’s about trying to get through the game with what you’ve got. Getting through five right there was kind of a miracle, honestly — 100 pitches through five’s terrible, but you have to make the best of a bad situation.”
Belnome doubled in the bottom of the third and scored the go-ahead run a groundout by Rich Thompson to put Odorizzi in line for his first win of the season.
Belnome appeared headed for Double-A to start the season because the Bulls were expecting to have infielders Robinson Chirinos, Stephen Vogt and Shelly Duncan. But Duncan was called up the Rays and Chirinos and Vogt were traded, clearing the way for the 25-year-old Pennsylvania native.
Belnome now is leading the team with a .353 average.
“This should be a very good park for him to hit in because he can pepper that left-field wall,” said Myers, who is the team’s hitting coach.
A two-run double by Tigers top prospect Nick Castellanos, who went 3-for-3 with two walks, capped a four-run eighth for Toledo (6-15). But Frank De Los Santos recorded the final four outs to record his first save.
NOTES — The Bulls have two more games left in the homestand. Chris Archer (1-0, 1.69) faces Toledo’s Pat Misch (0-3, 5.21) today at 7:05 p.m., while Alex Torres (1-0, 1.69) goes against Casey Crosby (1-3, 4.58) on Friday at 7:05 p.m. ... Durham’s Wil Myers went 2-for-4 to extend his IL-best on-base streak to 17 games.
Bulls 9, Mud Hens 8
Berry cf|4|0|0|0|Bourgeois cf|5|0|0|0
Nunez ss|4|0|0|0|Fontenot 2b|5|1|1|0
Castellanos lf|3|1|3|3|Myers rf|4|2|2|0
Lennerton 1b|4|0|0|0|Anderson dh|4|3|3|1
Lindsey dh|5|1|1|1|Belnome 1b|5|3|4|1
Guez rf|3|1|1|0|Figueroa 3b|5|0|3|3
Diaz 3b|5|2|2|0|Beckham ss|3|0|1|2
Davis c|4|2|2|3|Thompson lf|4|0|0|2
Douglas 2b|4|1|1|1|Apodaca c|5|0|2|0
E—Diaz. DP—Durham 1. LOB—Toledo 8, Durham 12. 2B—Diaz, Castellanos, Fontenot, Figueroa, Belnome 2, Apodaca. 3B—Beckham. HR—Castellanos (2), Lindsey (2), Davis (1). SF—Thompson. SB—Figueroa (1), Beckham (3).
Hill, S (L, 0-2)|5.0|11|7|5|1|5
Odorizzi (W, 1-0)|5.0|4|4|4|4|5
Beliveau (H, 1)|1.0|0|0|0|1|1
De Los Santos (S, 1)|1.1|1|0|0|0|0
WP—Odorizzi. HBP—Myers (by Hill). Umpires—HP, Chad Whitson; 1B, Jon Saphire; 2B, David Rackley; 3B, A.J. Johnson. T—2:53. A—3,658.