Bulls come out swinging in regular-season home finale
The Durham Bulls struggled at the plate in Monday night's loss to the Charlotte Knights.
That wasn't an issue in their regular-season home finale, as the Bulls pounded out nine extra-base hits in a 13-6 victory over the Knights on Tuesday at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
The Bulls pounded out 17 hits in all, with Kevin Kiermaier, Brandon Guyer and Tim Beckham leading the way with three hits each. Kiermaier, who joined the Bulls on July 24, added his seventh double and sixth triple of the season, while Cole Figueroa, Jason Bourgeois and Chris Gimenez added a pair of hits each.
"Our hitting coach had a meeting with our hitters — it worked out pretty good," Bulls manager Charlie Montoyo said. "We had a good approach at the plate today. It was good to see. (We were) getting the right pitch to hit."
The Bulls took control of the game with five runs in the fifth inning by batting around and four two-out hits. Bourgeois and Fontenot walked, and Gimenez followed with an RBI single to left. After Kiermaier grounded into a force play to erase Gimenez for the second out, Beckham laced a two-run single to left.
Figueroa doubled down the line in right field to drive in Beckham, and Guyer's single to center plated Figueroa for an 8-3 lead by the Bulls.
The long inning ended the night for Bulls starter Matt Buschmann (8-1), who gave up four hits and two walks while striking out three.
"That's why we didn't send Buschmann back," Montoyo said of his pitcher's extended time in the dugout during the long rally. "There was no reason, with a five- or six-run lead, to send him back after he had been on the bench for that (long). He only had like 86 pitches, but it was a hard 86 pitches."
Charlotte wasted no time getting on the scoreboard in the first when Marcus Semien drew a leadoff walk, stole second and scored on a single by Travis Ishikawa.
Durham responded in the bottom of the inning Figueroa reached first on a force out, went to second when Brandon Guyer drew a walk and scored on a single by Bourgeois to even the score.
The Bulls took the lead in the second with back-to-back doubles by Gimenez and Kiermaier for a 2-1 advantage.
Durham added a run in the fourth when Beckham doubled with one out, stole third and scored on a sacrifice fly by Figueroa for a 3-1 lead.
The Knights evened the score in the top of the fifth on a two-run triple by Semien.
After Durham regained the lead in the fifth, Charlotte plated pair of runs in the sixth when Brent Morel and Ishikawa singled and Steve Tolleson delivered a two-out double to trim the margin to 8-5.
Leslie Anderson ripped a leadoff double for Durham in the sixth and scored on a sacrifice fly by Gimenez for a 8-5 lead.
Charlotte's Bryan Anderson opened the seventh with a triple off Durham reliever Brandon Gomes and scored on sacrifice fly by Semien.
But Guyer doubled with one out in the bottom of the inning, then scored on a double down the line in right by Bourgeois for a 10-6 lead.
Montoyo pointed to a two-out, three-run spurt in the eighth inning as one of the most positive aspects of the game.
Kiermaier and Beckham beat out infield singles, and Figueroa singled and took second on an error. Guyer followed with a fielder's choice that was misplayed to allow Beckham to score.
Vince Belnome, who was struggling at 1-for-10 in the series, followed with an RBI double to drive in Figueroa with the game's final run.
"One little thing that we did today was Figueroa, that last inning, he didn't take it for granted," Montoyo said. "He went hard (to second), and then he was safe and got Belnome that hit that he needed. ... He got his teammate a chance to hit, and now Belnome feels better about himself."
NOTES — Starting pitch Jake Odorizzi was promoted to the Tampa Bay Rays after Tuesday night's game. ... Bourgeois cleared waivers and accepted an outright assignment to Durham on Tuesday. Pitcher Cory Wade was released by the Rays after Monday night's game. ...
Bulls 13, Knights 6
CHAR|AB |R |H |RBI | DUR |AB |R |H |RBI ||
Semien, SS |3 |1 |1 |3 | Beckham, SS |5 |3 |3 |2 |
Tekotte, CF |4 |0 |0 |0 | Figueroa, 3B |4 |3 |2 |3 |
Morel, 3B |4 |1 |1 |0 | Guyer, RF |5 |1 |3 |1 |
Ishikawa, RF |4 |1 |2 |1 | Belnome, 1B |4 |0 |1 |1 |
McDade, 1B |4 |0 |0 |0 | Bourgeois, DH |4 |1 |2 |2 |
Wilkins, DH |4 |1 |1 |0 | Anderson, LF |5 |1 |1 |0 |
Tolleson, LF |4 |0 |1 |2 | Fontenot, 2B |4 |1 |0 |0 |
Sanchez, 2B |3 |0 |0 |0 | Gimenez, C |4 |1 |2 |2 |
Anderson, C|3 |2 |2 |0 | Kiermaier, CF |5 |2 |3 |1 |
Totals |33 |6 |8 |6 | Totals |40 |13 |17 |12 |
Charlotte|100|022|100 – 6
Durham|110|151|13x – 13
E – Anderson (2), Semien (7). DP – Charlotte 0, Durham 1. SB – Semien (2), Kiermaier 2 (7), Figueroa (10), Beckham 2 (17), Bourgeois (22). LOB – Charlotte 4, Durham 13. SAC – Semien, Figueroa, Gimenez. 2B – Wilkins, Tolleson, Gimenez, Kiermaier, Beckham, Figueroa, Anderson, Guyer, Bourgeois, Belnome. 3B – Semien, Anderson, Kiermaier.
Charlotte |IP |H |R |ER |BB |SO |
McCully |4.0 |5 |3 |3 |5 |1 |
McCray (L, 0-3) |0.2 |4 |5 |5 |3 |0 |
Pena |1.1 |2 |1 |1 |0 |2 |
Thompson |1.2 |6 |4 |2 |0 |0 |
Rodriguez |0.1 |0 |0 |0 |0 |1 |
Durham |IP |H |R |ER |BB |SO ||
Buschmann (W, 8-1) |5.0 |4 |3 |3 |2 |3 |
De Los Santos |0.2 |3 |2 |2 |0 |1 |
Gomes (H, 5) |1.1 |1 |1 |1 |0 |2 |
Lueke |1.0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |1 |
Yates |1.0 |0 |0 |0 |1 |1 |
WP – McCully, Buschmann, Gomes. T – 3:37. A – 8,071.