Bulls score three on just four hits, but it's enough to top Braves
Brandon Boggs struck out looking, and then snapped his bat with his hands while walking back to the dugout.
It’s been a season of frustration for Gwinnett against Durham, and Bulls starter Mike Montgomery made sure that continued Wednesday night.
Montgomery pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings, capping his night with the strikeout of Boggs, as the Bulls defeated the Braves 3-1 at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
Montgomery (5-4) gave up seven runs in 3 1/3 innings in his last start, his shortest stint of the season and his third straight loss. But the 23-year-old lefty gave up just three singles and a walk on Wednesday, striking out six and throwing 63 of his season-high 102 pitches for strikes.
“He threw strikes, he got ahead, and that’s big for him,” Durham manager Charlie Montoyo said. “He had a couple of rough outings, so he needed something like this.”
Reliever Ramon Ramirez struck out Stefan Gartrell with the bases loaded in the sixth, and Josh Lueke recorded a six-out save to complete Durham’s ninth win over Gwinnett in 11 games.
Cole Figueroa and Brandon Guyer, the Bulls’ top two hitters, each went 2 for 3 — the team’s only hits of the game. Figueroa scored twice and Guyer stole three bases.
Brandon Beachy (1-4), who had a 2.00 ERA in 13 starts with the Atlanta Braves last year before undergoing Tommy John surgery, took the loss after giving up two runs (one earned) in six innings.
Durham (66-39), which has outscored opponents 88-43 in the first inning this season, took another early lead with some help from Gwinnett (45-60).
Figueroa led off with a single, and Guyer followed with a grounder to Tyler Pastornicky. The second baseman tried flipping to second to get the lead runner but his throw was wide, allowing both runners to advance an extra base.
Leslie Anderson then grounded out to the right side to score Figueroa for his team-leading 60th RBI.
Durham’s again got the leadoff man on in the third when Jason Bourgeois walked, stole second, was bunted to third by Figueroa. He scored on a single up the middle by Guyer.
The Bulls got another insurance run in the seventh against reliever Wirfin Obispo. With two outs, Figueroa and Guyer each got their second singles of the game and Leslie Anderson walked to lead the bases. Obispo then committed a balk, scoring Figueroa, before Ryan Roberts grounded out to first.
Gwinnett finally got one back in the eighth inning after Sean Kazmar and Todd Cunningham hit back-to-back singles against Ramirez. But Lueke came in, and after an RBI groundout from Pastornicky, struck out Boggs and Mejia — the latter on a 10-pitch at-bat.
“When you come in with guys on base, that’s the worst thing in the world to give up somebody else’s runs,” Lueke said. “The last stint I had in the big leagues, I think I gave up 7-of-9 inherited runners, which I hate doing more than anything. So I try to work on that more than anything.”
Lueke completed the six-out save with a 1-2-3 ninth to lower his ERA to 0.60 and ensure that the Bulls would maintain the best record in professional baseball.
NOTES — Durham completes a two-game homestand today at 7:05 p.m. with Merrill Kelly (4-1, 2.57) squaring off against Gwinnett’s Cody Martin (2-1, 2.94). The Bulls will then embark on an eight-game road trip. … Infielder Tim Beckham is to come off the temporary inactive list today, but Montoyo said he didn’t know when the former No. 1 overall pick will return. Beckham was placed on the list Monday with an undisclosed personal issue. … Kevin Kiermaier was called up from Double-A Montgomery while fellow outfielder Evan Frey was sent down. Kiermaier led the Southern League in triples (9) and was second in batting average (.307), runs (65) and total bases (161). Frey hit .224 with five RBI in 19 games as a Bull since coming over as a minor league free agent.
Durham Bulls (66-39) 3, Gwinnett Braves (45-60) 1
July 24, 2013
|Cunningham, T, CF||3||0||2||0||1||1||0||.287|
|Mejia, E, 1B||3||0||0||0||1||1||2||.246|
|a-Lined out for Nunez in the 9th.|
TB: Kazmar; Cunningham, T 2; Pastornicky 2.
RBI: Pastornicky (26).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Gartrell 2; Mejia, E.
Team RISP: 0-for-5.
Team LOB: 6.
SB: Cunningham, T (17, 3rd base off Ramirez, R/Gimenez), Pastornicky (9, 2nd base off Ramirez, R/Gimenez).
E: Pastornicky (7, throw).
DP: (Kazmar-Pastornicky-Mejia, E).
|Figueroa, C, SS||3||2||2||0||0||0||0||.303|
|Anderson, Le, LF||3||0||0||1||1||1||3||.324|
|Roberts, R, 2B||3||0||0||0||1||0||3||.269|
|Montgomery, M, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Ramirez, R, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|1-Ran for Anderson, Le in the 7th.|
TB: Guyer 2; Figueroa, C 2.
RBI: Anderson, Le (60), Guyer (39).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Belnome 2; Anderson, Le; Roberts, R 2.
SAC: Figueroa, C.
Team RISP: 1-for-8.
Team LOB: 7.
SB: Bourgeois (20, 2nd base off Beachy/Pagnozzi), Guyer 3 (22, 2nd base off Beachy/Pagnozzi, 3rd base off Beachy/Pagnozzi, 2nd base off Beachy/Pagnozzi).
|Beachy (L, 1-4)||6.0||2||2||1||4||3||0||3.00|
|Montgomery (W, 5-4)||5.2||3||0||0||1||6||0||4.15|
|Ramirez (H, 1)||1.1||2||1||1||1||2||0||1.80|
|Lueke (S, 13)||2.0||0||0||0||0||3||0||0.60|
Ramirez, R pitched to 2 batters in the 8th.
Pitches-strikes: Beachy 86-51, Obispo 32-16, Montgomery, M 102-63, Ramirez, R 34-21, Lueke 32-25.
Groundouts-flyouts: Beachy 9-5, Obispo 2-1, Montgomery, M 5-3, Ramirez, R 2-0, Lueke 1-1.
Batters faced: Beachy 25, Obispo 9, Montgomery, M 21, Ramirez, R 7, Lueke 6.
Inherited runners-scored: Ramirez, R 2-0, Lueke 2-1.
Umpires: HP: Toby Basner. 1B: Andy Dudones. 3B: Sean Barber.
Weather: 88 degrees, partly cloudy.
Wind: 1 mph, Out to CF.
Venue: Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
July 24, 2013