Bulls beat Braves 5-3

Jul. 02, 2014 @ 10:55 PM

Durham right fielder Justin Christian is not an International League All-Star but sure did hit like one Wednesday evening when the Bulls beat the Gwinnett Braves 5-3 at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.

Christian went 3 for 3 using a hot bat on a real warm night that for him included a first-inning home run to left field.

“You get lucky every once in a while,” Christian said. “I was able to get a pitch to hit.

“Fastball down and in.”

Four of Christian's teammates will represent the Bulls in the Cree Triple-A All-Star Game at the DBAP on July 16, the International League announced Wednesday: Outfielder Mikie Mahtook, infielder Wilson Betemit and pitchers Merrill Kelly and Mike Montgomery are on the roster of IL All-Stars who will be managed by Bulls skipper Charlie Montoyo, the reigning IL manager of the year.

Mahtook at the plate in the fifth-inning against the Braves hit a home run to center field that drove in two base runners to give Bulls starter Alex Colome (W, 4-1) something solid to work with.

Gwinnett got in the first lick when Phil Gosselin yanked Colome's 0-1 pitch over the center-field fence in the top of the first.

Christian answered that in the bottom of the first with his homer to left. He got all of it, too.

In the second, Jayson Nix hit one deep to the left-field corner, doubling and driving in Robby Price for a 2-1 Bulls lead.

The Braves tried to put together a little something in the bottom of the ninth, but Durham reliever Steve Geltz sealed the deal by striking out Ozzie Martinez. That was Geltz's first save of the season.

NOTE: Bulls first baseman Vince Belnome on Wednesday got the nod to join the Tampa Bay Rays, Durham's parent club.