Romero, Bulls shut down Charlotte at the DBAP
Enny Romero’s first start for the Durham Bulls Friday got away from him quick, saddling him and the team with a loss.
On Wednesday night, Romero faced a pivotal moment having walked the first two Charlotte hitters in the third inning.
He took a moment to himself and vowed to stop the rally.
“I lost my release point,” Romero said. “After the two base on balls, I went behind the mound and said “OK. Let’s go now.”
Romero induced three consecutive ground balls to escape the inning, finished his night with eight strikeouts and picked up the win as Durham battered Charlotte’s bullpen in an 8-1 win at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
The left-handed Romero (1-1) has been in high-pressure situations. He started one game for the Tampa Bay Rays Sept. 22 at Baltimore as the Rays were battling for the wild-card playoff berth they eventually won.
Last Friday night, in his first start for Durham this season, Romero allowed six runs (four earned) on six hits with three walks over four innings in a 12-7 loss to Gwinnett.
Working with Bulls pitching coach Neil Allen from that night to Wednesday made a difference, Romero said.
He struck out two Knights batters during a perfect first inning, throwing nine strikes on the 10 pitches he needed to record three outs.
“He was throwing more strikes,” Bulls manager Charlie Montoyo said. “A guy with that good of stuff, whenever he throws strikes he’s going to have games like that. That’s why sometimes when you see a kid with that kind of stuff its tough to see him throwing balls because you know whenever he gets it, the sky’s the limit.”
Romero worked around a one-out single in the second inning before the Bulls gave him a 1-0 lead when consecutive singles by Vince Belnome, Mikie Mahtook and Mike Fontenot delivered a run.
The Charlotte third started off rocky for Romero as he issued walks to the last two hitters in the batting order. After collecting himself, he retired lead-off batter Tyler Saladino on a ground ball to second base that advanced the runners to second and third with one out.
Romero was able to keep Charlotte off the board by getting Carlos Sanchez and Josh Phegley on consecutive ground balls to third base.
He showed he had truly found his groove again in the fourth inning when he struck out the side. He also fanned two Charlotte batters in the fifth inning.
“When he can stay around the zone, 94-95 (mph) with a good slider and changeup, he can be very good,” Montoyo said.
Romero pitched 5 2/3 innings allowing three hits and one unearned run. His sixth-inning throwing error led to Charlotte’s lone tally of the game.
When he left, the Bulls had built a 4-1 advantage. Justin Christian smacked a solo home run for Durham in the fifth inning and Jerry Sands doubled in Kevin Kiermaier later in the frame.
After Durham loaded the bases on three walks in the seventh inning, Mahtook drove in a run with a two-out single.
In the eighth inning, Kiermaier lined a triple up the gap in right-centerfield that drove in two. Sands, who was 3-for-4 with two doubles and two RBIs, singled in Kiermaier for an 8-1 Durham lead.
Notes — The Bulls and Knights close their four-game series today with a matinee game that starts at 11:05 a.m. Right-hander Matt Andriese will start for Durham against Charlotte’s Erik Surkamp.
Durham Bulls (4-3) 8, Charlotte Knights (4-3) 1
April 9, 2014
|Sanchez, C, 2B||3||1||0||0||1||0||2||.185|
|Black, Da, DH||4||0||1||0||0||3||3||.222|
|Gimenez, H, 1B||3||0||0||0||1||2||2||.000|
|Thompson, Ta, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
2B: Tekotte (3, Romero).
TB: Tekotte 2; Black, Da; Phegley.
RBI: Phegley (1).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Phegley 2; Saladino; Black, Da.
Team RISP: 1-for-8.
Team LOB: 7.
E: Saladino (2, fielding).
Outfield assists: Liddi (Betemit at 2nd base).
2B: Sands 2 (6, Rienzo, Rienzo).
3B: Kiermaier (1, Thompson, Ta).
HR: Christian (2, 5th inning off Rienzo, 0 on, 0 out).
TB: Fontenot; Betemit 2; Kiermaier 4; Sands 5; Olmedo; Christian 4; Mahtook 2.
RBI: Fontenot (1), Christian (6), Sands 2 (6), Mahtook (2), Kiermaier 2 (7).
2-out RBI: Mahtook.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Betemit; Christian 2; Mahtook 3; Fontenot 2.
Team RISP: 4-for-14.
Team LOB: 10.
E: Romero (1, throw).
PB: Solis (2).
Outfield assists: Mahtook (Black, Da at 2nd base).
|Rienzo (L, 0-1)||4.0||7||4||3||2||5||1||3.00|
|Romero (W, 1-1)||5.2||3||1||0||2||8||0||3.72|
|Riefenhauser (H, 1)||1.2||0||0||0||2||3||0||2.45|
|Yates (S, 3)||1.2||0||0||0||1||3||0||0.00|
Rienzo pitched to 3 batters in the 5th.
WP: Rienzo, Thompson, Ta 2.
Pitches-strikes: Rienzo 89-53, Kussmaul 25-16, Purcey 30-14, Thompson, Ta 33-17, Romero 94-65, Riefenhauser 30-17, Yates 28-16.
Groundouts-flyouts: Rienzo 4-1, Kussmaul 3-0, Purcey 1-0, Thompson, Ta 0-1, Romero 7-1, Riefenhauser 0-2, Yates 1-0.
Batters faced: Rienzo 21, Kussmaul 6, Purcey 7, Thompson, Ta 8, Romero 23, Riefenhauser 7, Yates 5.
Inherited runners-scored: Kussmaul 1-0, Riefenhauser 1-0, Yates 2-0.
Umpires: HP: Jon Saphire. 1B: Ben May. 3B: Joseph Born.
Weather: 64 degrees, partly cloudy.
Wind: 9 mph, Out to CF.
Venue: Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
April 9, 2014