Clippers top Bulls on costly error
On a night when Durham pitchers gave up just six hits, one wild throw is all the Columbus Clippers needed to survive with a 5-4 victory over the Bulls on Monday night at Huntington Park.
Bulls starter Mike Montgomery (5-5) gave up five hits and five walks in 6.2 innings before giving way to Frank De Los Santos, whose errant pickoff attempt at first allowed Ezequiel Carrera to circle the bases for the eventual winning run.
Former major-leaguer Daisuke Matsuzaka (3-6) scattered seven hits and one walk in eight innings, while Nick Hagadone came on in the ninth to record his second save before 11,544 spectators.
Leslie Anderson and Mike Fontenot had a pair of hits each to lead the Bulls.
The Bulls (69-41) took the lead twice against the Clippers (52-59), with Vince Belnome blasting his eighth homer of the season in the first inning off Matsuzaka. Tim Beckham had singled with one out but was thrown out at second on a steal attempt.
Durham made it 2-0 in the top of the second when Mike Fontenot ripped his third home run of the season, but Columbus evened the score in the bottom of the inning.
Chun-Hsu Chen singled to center, Juan Diaz drew a walk and Mat Carson followed with an RBI single that put runners on first and third. A one-out groundout by Roberto Perez plated Diaz for a 2-2 tie.
The Bulls regained the lead in the fourth, as Belnome drew a leadoff walk and Leslie Anderson doubled before a two-run, two-out single by Fontenot for a 4-2 advantage. Chris Gimenez followed with a double, but Kevin Kiermaier grounded out to end the inning.
Montgomery struggled through the bottom of the fourth, giving up a walk to Chen and a two-run homer by Juan Diaz to tie the score at 4-4.
Columbus went ahead to stay in the seventh with a two-out rally. Luis Hernandez walked with one out, then was thrown out by Gimenez when he tried to steal second. Ezequiel Carrera drew a walk to end Montgomery’s night, as he was replaced by reliever Frank De Los Santos.
But when De Los Santos made a pickoff attempt at first, the wild throw allowed Carrera to circle the bases for the go-ahead run.
Hagadone needed just four pitches to strike out Anderson in the ninth, then threw four consecutive balls to walk Shelley Duncan. Jason Bourgeois came on to pinch run for Duncan, but he was caught on a pickoff attempt and thrown out at second before Fontenot struck out to end the game.
NOTES — Durham starter J.D. Martin (13-4, 2.76 ERA) was named the International League pitcher of the week on Monday for the second time this season, becoming the first member of the Bulls rotation to win a pair in one season since Jeremy Hellickson in 2010. Martin won a pair of decisions during the week to give him the most wins in minor league baseball. ... The Bulls move up the road to Toledo, where they begin a four-game series today with Merrill Kelly (5-1, 2.63 ERA) on the mound against Kyle Lobstein (2-1, 3.34). Matt Buschmann (5-0, 3.23) is scheduled to pitch for Durham on Wednesday against the Mud Hens’ Jair Jurrjens (6-6, 4.18).
Clippers 5, Bulls 4
Figueroa 3b|4|0|0|0|Carrera dh|3|1|0|0
Beckham ss|4|0|1|0|Rohlinger 3b|4|0|2|0
Belnome 1b|3|2|1|1|Fedroff cf|4|0|0|0
Roberts dh|4|0|0|0|Chen lf|3|2|1|0
Anderson lf|4|1|2|0|Diaz ss|3|2|2|2
Duncan rf|3|0|0|0|Carson rf|4|0|1|1
Bourgeois pr|0|0|0|0|Spears 1b|2|0|0|0
Fontenot 2b|4|1|2|3|Perez c|3|0|0|1
Gimenez c|3|0|1|0|Hernandez 2b|2|0|0|0
E—Beckham, De Los Santos. DP—Durham 2. LOB—Durham 3, Columbus 4. 2B—Anderson, Gimenez. HR—Belnome (8), Fontenot (3), Diaz (8).
Montgomery (L, 5-5)|6.2|5|5|4|5|2
De Los Santos|1.0|1|0|0|0|0
Matsuzaka (W, 3-6)|8.0|7|4|4|1|4
Hagadone (S, 2)|1.0|0|0|0|1|2
Umpires—HP, Tom Honec; 1B, Max Guyll; 3B, David Soucy. T—2:41. A—11,544.