PITCHING & HITTING
Just in the nick of time.
Starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi gave up just two hits in six innings, and Tim Beckham and Jesus Flores provided the offensive firepower to give the Durham Bulls a 5-1 win over the Charlotte Knights in International League baseball Wednesday night at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
The win puts the Bulls at 59-35 atop the South Division standings and came just before heavy rain hit the area, with reliever Josh Lueke getting Angel Sanchez to fly out to center field and end the game at 9:55 p.m.
“It was amazing,” Bulls manager Charlie Montoyo said of completing the game minutes before the drizzle that began late in the game turned into a downpour. “We didn’t want to wait for a couple of hours or whatever. ... We got it done.”
Odorizzi (7-2) recorded six strikeouts while giving up a pair of walks on a season-high 109 pitches as the Bulls tied Indianapolis for the best record in Triple-A baseball.
“All in all, I think everything went good,” said Odorizzi, who picked up his second win since returning from a stint with the parent Tampa Bay Rays. “I felt real strong. That last inning, I really had to give it everything I’ve got.”
Odorizzi struggled a bit in the sixth, walking leadoff batter Jim Gallagher before making an errant throw that put runners on the corners with no outs. But Odorizzi battled through a 12-pitch at-bat by Jordan Danks to notch his final strikeout, then got a pair of pop flies to end the inning with only one unearned run scoring.
“Another good performance by our starter,” Montoyo said. “I think that’s tremendous. ... I can’t remember the last game that our starter struggled and hasn’t gone five innings. That doesn’t happen.
“That’s the reason we’re hanging in there and winning games, the starters, because we’re not really swinging the bats but we’re playing good defense and getting enough runs to win games.”
Beckham’s second home run of the season came on a 2-0 pitch by Knights starter Jason Berken (7-9) for an early Durham lead.
The Bulls added a run in the second, as Leslie Anderson opened with a single to center, went to third on a base hit by Shelley Duncan and scored on a sacrifice fly by Mike Fontenot for a 2-0 lead.
The Knights had base runners in only the second and fifth innings before getting on the board in the sixth. Gallagher, who entered the game as a defensive substitution in the bottom of the fifth, drew a leadoff walk , then went to third when Odorizzi’s throw on a bunt attempt by Carlos Sanchez sailed into center field for an error. A one-out sacrifice fly to left by Mike McDade trimmed the margin to 2-1.
“As soon as I slipped my arm down, I knew — it started out at the corner of the base and tailed just past (Beckham’s) glove,” Odorizzi said of the play that cost him a shutout. “It’s one of those that gives you false hope that he can make a play on it. That’s kind of worse than throwing it immediately into center field. At least you know you messed up (right away); this kind of had me (hanging) on a wire.”
Bulls reliever Steve Geltz came on to pitch the seventh inning, escaping trouble with a pair of strikeouts after a one-out walk by Lars Anderson and a ground-rule double by Bryan Anderson.
The Bulls put the game away in the seventh when Mike Fontenot led off with a double to left and went to third on a bunt single by Evan Frey before Flores’ second home run of the season cleared the bases.
“It was good to see Flores’ (homer),” Montoyo said. “It was good for him mentally and just to see (because) he needed that.”
NOTES — The Bulls played with only nine healthy fielders, as Ryan Roberts sat out the game with a hamstring issue and Brandon Guyer was out sick. ... Former Bulls manager Bill Evers, a minor league field coordinator for the parent Tampa Bay Rays, was at Wednesday night’s game at the DBAP. Evers, who led the Bulls to IL championships in 2003 and ’03, will help Bulls coach Dave Myers direct the team while Montoyo and Durham pitching coach Neil Allen are away to guide the World team in the All-Star Futures Game on Sunday. ... The Bulls are scheduled to have lefthander Mike Montgomery (4-3, 3.62) on the mound Thursday at 7:05 p.m. against Charlotte’s Zach Stewart (5-10, 4.99) in the finale of the two-game set. ... Durham will host Gwinnett in a three-game series beginning Friday before a two-day break for the Major League All-Star Game on Tuesday night.
Durham Bulls (59-35) 5, Charlotte Knights (41-53) 1
July 10, 2013
|Sanchez, C, SS||4||0||1||0||0||1||1||.244|
|Danks, Jd, RF-CF||4||0||0||0||0||3||3||.279|
|Anderson, La, LF||3||0||0||0||1||1||3||.200|
|Anderson, B, C||4||0||2||0||0||2||3||.246|
|Sanchez, Ag, 2B||4||0||0||0||0||1||4||.202|
2B: Anderson, B (8, Geltz).
TB: Sanchez, C; McDade; Tolleson; Anderson, B 3.
RBI: McDade (37).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Anderson, B; Sanchez, Ag 2; Wilkins; Gallagher 2.
Team RISP: 0-for-10.
Team LOB: 8.
SB: Tolleson (6, 2nd base off Odorizzi/Flores, J), Sanchez, C (13, 2nd base off Odorizzi/Flores, J).
DP: (Sanchez, Ag-Sanchez, C-Wilkins).
|Figueroa, C, 3B||4||0||1||0||0||0||0||.299|
|Beckham, T, SS||4||1||2||1||0||1||1||.273|
|Anderson, Le, LF||4||1||1||0||0||0||1||.319|
|Flores, J, C||3||1||1||3||0||1||0||.181|
2B: Gimenez (9, Berken), Fontenot (23, Berken).
HR: Beckham, T (2, 1st inning off Berken, 0 on, 1 out), Flores, J (2, 7th inning off Berken, 2 on, 0 out).
TB: Flores, J 4; Beckham, T 5; Duncan; Gimenez 2; Fontenot 2; Figueroa, C; Anderson, Le; Frey.
RBI: Beckham, T (32), Fontenot (29), Flores, J 3 (9).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Gimenez; Duncan.
Team RISP: 2-for-5.
Team LOB: 4.
E: Odorizzi (2, throw).
|Berken (L, 7-9)||6.0||9||5||5||1||3||2||3.89|
|Odorizzi (W, 7-2)||6.0||2||1||0||2||6||0||3.20|
|Geltz (H, 5)||1.0||1||0||0||1||3||0||3.78|
Berken pitched to 3 batters in the 7th.
Pitches-strikes: Berken 100-58, Septimo 19-13, Odorizzi 109-72, Geltz 27-15, Liberatore 14-9, Lueke 14-13.
Groundouts-flyouts: Berken 8-4, Septimo 1-1, Odorizzi 5-6, Geltz 0-0, Liberatore 0-1, Lueke 1-1.
Batters faced: Berken 27, Septimo 6, Odorizzi 23, Geltz 5, Liberatore 4, Lueke 4.
Umpires: HP: Carlos Torres. 1B: Jeff Gosney. 3B: Ben May.
Weather: 86 degrees, partly cloudy.
Wind: 9 mph, R to L.
Venue: Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
July 10, 2013