Triple play, Belnome grand slam lead Bulls past Mud Hens
Well, you don’t see that every day — or even every season.
The Durham Bulls got a grand slam by Vince Belnome in the third inning to take the lead for good, but it was an around-the-horn triple play in the sixth that everyone was talking about after their 5-4 victory over the Toledo Mud Hens at Durham Bulls Athletic Park on Friday night.
“When you’ve been in the game for a long time like I have, I don’t even remember seeing one,” Bulls manager Charlie Montoyo said of the triple play. “Maybe on a line drive, but not on a ground ball. That was huge; of course it was huge.
“When that ball was hit that way, it’s up to the third baseman. If he gives a good feed to the second baseman, which he did, you have a chance ... if it’s perfect.”
Ben Guez slapped a leadoff double off the wall when Bulls reliever Steve Geltz entered the game, and Danny Dorn walked before Bryan Holaday’s grounder to Cole Figueroa, who relayed to Belnome at second before his throw to Chris Gimenez at first base ended the inning.
“Every single time somebody gets on first and second, I think ‘Triple play,’” Figueroa said. “It’s just something that I always thought in my mind, ... especially if it’s a slow runner. If it’s a fast runner, then I’ll just turn a regular double play. But the catcher was hitting, so I figured we would have time.
“Everyone else was super excited, but ... (since) I kind of go over it in my head that I’m going to do it, ... when it happened, I was kind of like, ‘Oh, that’s cool; it actually worked.’”
It was the first triple play by the Bulls since Aug. 2, 2005, in the sixth inning to get reliever Steve Geltz out of trouble.
“As soon as the ground ball was hit to him, my first thought was, ‘OK, there’s one, there’s two and I looked and I saw him (out at first) and that was awesome,’” Geltz said. “Way to pick me up (after) a leadoff double and a walk. ...
“I was hoping for two, but that was an extra bonus. ... I was freaking out. We were going nuts in the dugout; a good momentum shifter.”
Bulls starter Alex Torres (2-0) went five innings, recording 10 strikeouts while giving up five hits and two unearned runs.
Toledo got back-to-back singles by Dorn and Holaday in the second, then Argenis Diaz drew a walk from to load the bases with one out. But Torres struck out Gustavo Nunez and a fielder’s choice by Quintin Berry to get out of the jam.
In the third, Kevin Russo reached first on a throwing error by Bulls catcher Juan Apodaca, and after Torres recorded two more strikeouts before Ben Guez ripped his third homer of the season over the Blue Monster in left for a 2-0 lead by the Mud Hens.
Tim Beckham and Juan Apodaca singled and Rich Thompson walked to load the bases to open the bottom of the third, but Mud Hens starter Casey Crosby (1-4) retired Jason Bourgeois with a soft fly ball that second basebam Nunez chased down in right field and Wil Myers then struck out.
But Belnome’s third home run of the season cleared the bases for a 4-2 Bulls lead.
“I got a good pitch to hit,” Belnome said. “He’s a good lefthander on the mound. He just left one out over the plate a little bit, and I put a good swing on it.”
In the fourth, the Bulls had the bases loaded with one out when Bourgeois’ grounder to third was bobbled by Kevin Russo to allow Brandon Guyer to score for a 5-2 margin.
The Mud Hens closed the gap in the eighth with a pair of runs off Josh Lueke. Nick Castellanos, who had three hits, homered to greet Lueke. With one out, Guez walked, took second on a wild pitch and scored on a double by Dorn for a 5-4 margin.
“Torres battled; he went five innings,” Montoyo said. “And then Lueke has been light’s out. He struggled a little bit today, but that’s a good sign — he regrouped and got the job done.”
Lueke recorded his fifth save of the season despite giving up three hits and two runs.
The win gave the Bulls a 7-2 record during the 10-day, nine-game homestand. They head to Syracuse today for a four-game series, take Wednesday off, then go to Pawtucket for another four-game set.
“We’ve got a 4 a.m. bus to the airport,” Montoyo said. “Welcome to life in Triple-A.”
NOTES — Friday’s crowd of 9,655 was the Bulls’ largest of the season.
Durham Bulls (15-7) 5, Toledo Mud Hens (7-16) 4
April 26, 2013
|Castellanos, N, LF||5||1||3||1||0||2||2||.264|
|Diaz, A, SS||3||0||0||0||1||1||1||.232|
|Nunez, G, 2B||3||0||0||0||0||3||3||.227|
|Reed, E, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Villarreal, B, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-Struck out for Nunez, G in the 9th.|
2B: Guez (2, Geltz), Dorn (1, Lueke), Russo (4, Lueke).
HR: Guez (3, 3rd inning off Torres, A, 1 on, 2 out), Castellanos, N (3, 8th inning off Lueke, 0 on, 0 out).
TB: Guez 6; Russo 2; Castellanos, N 6; Berry; Holaday; Dorn 3.
RBI: Guez 2 (8), Castellanos, N (10), Dorn (7).
2-out RBI: Guez 2.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Berry 2; Russo; Diaz, A; Castellanos, N.
Team RISP: 1-for-8.
Team LOB: 8.
SB: Berry (8, 2nd base off Geltz/Apodaca).
E: Russo (3, fielding).
|Figueroa, C, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||0||2||.319|
|Beckham, T, SS||3||1||2||0||0||1||0||.276|
|Torres, A, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
HR: Belnome (3, 3rd inning off Crosby, 3 on, 2 out).
TB: Belnome 4; Apodaca; Beckham, T 2; Guyer; Myers.
RBI: Belnome 4 (13).
2-out RBI: Belnome 4.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Bourgeois; Myers 2.
Team RISP: 1-for-6.
Team LOB: 5.
SB: Guyer (4, 3rd base off Crosby/Holaday), Beckham, T (4, 2nd base off Crosby/Holaday).
E: Apodaca (2, throw).
TP: (Figueroa, C-Belnome-Gimenez).
|Crosby (L, 1-4)||4.0||6||5||4||2||5||1||5.32|
|Torres, A (W, 2-0)||5.0||5||2||0||1||10||1||1.29|
|Geltz (H, 1)||2.0||2||0||0||1||1||0||3.55|
|Lueke (S, 5)||2.0||3||2||2||1||3||1||1.29|
Pitches-strikes: Crosby 85-53, Reed, E 28-19, Villarreal, B 15-10, Hoffman 11-7, Torres, A 91-59, Geltz 21-13, Lueke 47-27.
Groundouts-flyouts: Crosby 6-1, Reed, E 1-1, Villarreal, B 1-0, Hoffman 1-1, Torres, A 3-3, Geltz 3-2, Lueke 0-3.
Batters faced: Crosby 21, Reed, E 6, Villarreal, B 3, Hoffman 4, Torres, A 22, Geltz 7, Lueke 10.
Umpires: HP: Doug Vines. 1B: Jon Byrne. 3B: Adam Hamari.
Weather: 70 degrees, partly cloudy.
Wind: 3 mph, Out to CF.