BULLS ROUST KNIGHTS
Merrill Kelly (4-0, 1.50) allowed seven hits and a run while striking out seven over seven innings and a rode a 12-hit attack to an 8-4 win at Charlotte’s new BB&T Ballpark Tuesday night.
Mike Fontenot (3-4, 2 doubles) and Justin Christian (2-4, home run) each drove in three runs for the Bulls (15-5), who have the best record in the International League.
The Bulls managed only a two-out single through the first two innings off Charlotte starter Dylan Axelrod, but used a hit batter and a pair of extra base hits to grab a 3-0 lead in the top of the third.
Axelrod hit No. 9 hitter Eddie Rodriguez with one out, Kevin Kiermaier followed with a double and Justin Christian tacked on a three-run home run moments later.
Christian extended his personal hitting streak to 10 games with that blast.
The Bulls made it 4-0 behind starter Merrill Kelly in the fourth. Mikie Mahtook and Mike Fontenot singled with one out and Mahtook scored on an error on Kiermaier’s two-out ground ball. A walk to Christian loaded the bases, but Cole Figueroa flied out to end that threat.
Charlotte got a run back in the bottom of the fourth when Kelly gave up three straight two-out singles to Dan Black, Blake Tekotte and Tyler Saladino. Saladino drove in Black but was thrown out by rightfielder Mahtook as he tried to advance to second on the play, ending the inning.
The Knights closed to within 4-3 in the bottom of the seventh against reliever Steve Geltz who replaced Kelly. Tekotte singled leading off and Saladino followed with a two-run homer. Geltz struck out the next three batters.
The Bulls got both runs back in the top of the eighth. A no-out double by Mahtook plated Vince Belnome who’d been hit by a pitch leading off. Fontenot followed with an RBI double.
Brad Boxberger, recently arrived from parent Tampa Bay, as was Geltz, relieved Geltz with an efficient 1-2-3 eighth.
The Bulls tacked on a pair of insurance runs in the ninth. Wilson Betemit and Jerry Sands singled with one out and Belnome walked to load the bases. With two outs, Fontenot doubled Betemit and Sands home.
Saladino’s second homer of the game, this one off Boxberger (SV, 1) with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, closed out the scoring.
NOTES — The Bulls entered Tuesday’s game tied for the most wins in all of Minor League Baseball with Triple-A Las Vegas and Advanced-A Dunedin. ... The Bulls and Knights meet in game two of their four-game set in Charlotte at 11:05 a.m. (WDNC AM-620) today. Bulls righthander Nathan Karns (2-1, 5.59) will start against Knights’ lefty Charlie Leesman (0-2, 1.59). ... The Bulls roster was in flux Monday and early Tuesday. Reliever Juan Carlos Oviedo completed an injury rehab stint with the Bulls and was recalled to the parent Tampa Bay Rays on Monday night. To make room, the Rays optioned pitcher C.J. Riefenhauser back to Durham. The Rays on Tuesday activated infielder Hak-Ju Lee from the disabled list to Durham. ... Bulls catcher Mayo Acosta and infielder Robby Price were transferred from Durham to extended spring training. Lee, one of the Rays’ top prospects, opened last year at shortstop for the Bulls but blew out a knee early and was lost for the year. He hit .422 in 15 games for the Bulls.
Durham Bulls (15-5) 8, Charlotte Knights (6-13) 4
April 22, 2014
|Figueroa, C, SS||4||0||1||0||1||1||3||.351|
|Rodriguez, E, C||4||1||0||0||0||2||6||.100|
|Kelly, M, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
2B: Kiermaier (3, Axelrod), Mahtook (3, Boggs), Fontenot 2 (5, Boggs, Boggs).
HR: Christian (3, 3rd inning off Axelrod, 2 on, 1 out).
TB: Betemit 2; Fontenot 5; Kiermaier 2; Sands; Figueroa, C; Christian 5; Mahtook 3.
RBI: Christian 3 (13), Mahtook (7), Fontenot 3 (6).
2-out RBI: Fontenot 2.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Figueroa, C 2; Mahtook; Christian; Rodriguez, E 2.
Team RISP: 4-for-15.
Team LOB: 10.
SB: Belnome (1, 2nd base off Boggs/Gimenez, H).
PO: Figueroa, C (1st base by Gimenez, H).
Outfield assists: Mahtook (Saladino at 2nd base).
|Hernandez, Go, CF||4||0||2||0||1||1||0||.222|
|Sanchez, C, 2B||4||0||1||0||0||2||3||.254|
|Gimenez, H, C||4||0||0||0||0||2||3||.107|
|Black, Da, DH||4||1||2||0||0||1||0||.207|
|Mitchell, J, LF||3||0||0||0||1||2||0||.190|
2B: Hernandez, Go (2, Kelly, M).
HR: Saladino 2 (3, 7th inning off Geltz, 1 on, 0 out; 9th inning off Boxberger, 0 on, 2 out).
TB: Sanchez, C; Hernandez, Go 3; Saladino 9; Black, Da 2; Tekotte 2.
RBI: Saladino 4 (12).
2-out RBI: Saladino 2.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Davidson; Gimenez, H; Sanchez, C.
SAC: Sanchez, C.
Team RISP: 1-for-6.
Team LOB: 7.
E: Wilkins (1, fielding), Tekotte (1, fielding).
Outfield assists: Tekotte (Christian at 3rd base).
Pickoffs: Gimenez, H (Figueroa, C at 1st base).
|Kelly, M (W, 4-0)||6.0||7||1||1||0||7||0||1.50|
|Geltz (H, 3)||1.0||2||2||2||0||3||1||2.45|
|Boxberger (S, 2)||2.0||1||1||1||2||4||1||2.08|
|Axelrod (L, 1-2)||5.0||7||4||3||3||1||1||4.71|
HBP: Rodriguez, E (by Axelrod), Belnome (by Boggs).
Pitches-strikes: Kelly, M 91-60, Geltz 15-11, Boxberger 42-24, Axelrod 98-56, Purcey 30-18, Boggs 48-27.
Groundouts-flyouts: Kelly, M 6-2, Geltz 0-0, Boxberger 2-0, Axelrod 7-3, Purcey 3-0, Boggs 3-2.
Batters faced: Kelly, M 24, Geltz 5, Boxberger 9, Axelrod 25, Purcey 7, Boggs 13.
Umpires: HP: Travis Carlson. 1B: Jonathan Bailey. 3B: Jeff Gosney.
Weather: 68 degrees, cloudy.
Wind: 6 mph, Out to CF.
Venue: BB&T Ballpark.
April 22, 2014
Compiled by MLB Advanced Media