Red Wings thwart Bulls' comeback
It wasn't a formula for winning, but the Durham Bulls' rally in the ninth inning of a 4-2 loss to the Rochester Red Wings on Monday night was a reason for optimism.
After having just four base runners through eight innings, the Bulls finally got on the scoreboard in the ninth while sending eight batters to the plate.
Rochester lefthander Pat Dean, making his first International League start, went seven innings and gave up just two hits for the victory.
"I don't know how much credit I want to give that guy, but we're just not swinging the bats real good," Bulls manager Charlie Montoyo said after his team's second consecutive loss. "A lot of guys don't hit on the same day, and I'm saying that two days after we scored 11 (runs).
"We're not making adjustments. In the minor leagues, you're going to play against a lot of guys you haven't seen before. After a couple of at-bats, you should know what he does."
Jeff Clement and Josmil Pinto had three hits each for the North Division leading Red Wings (64-54), while Chris Parmalee had a pair. Bulls starter Matt Buschmann (5-1) took the loss despite scattering five hits and striking out nine.
"Buschmann pitched good, gave us a chance," Montoyo said. "He did his job. He's pitching with no room for error, and that's not easy."
Durham (73-44) had just five hits, and three of those came in the ninth. Cole FIgueroa walked, Tim Beckham singled and Vince Belnome beat out an infield hit to load the bases. Jason Bourgeois grounded out to force in Figueroa and break up the shutout, and Beckham scored on a single to right by Leslie Anderson.
But after Shelley Duncan reached first on an error by Rochester closer Shairon Martis, who picked up his 10th save, Chris Gimenez struck out and Jesus Flores grounded into a fielder's choice to end the game.
"We always battle back," Montoyo said. "This team is going to battle, so I'm not surprised. I just wish we had hit a little earlier. I mean, we're only one hit away from tying the game."
Buschmann, who had six strikeouts through three innings, helped himself in the fourth with a pair of pickoffs at first base — both coming after issuing his first two walks of the game.
"We made really good plays (on defense) to keep us in the game," Montoyo said. "Buschmann picking off two guys at first (was huge)."
The Red Wings got a leadoff single and a one-out hit in the fifth, but Buschmann struck out Ray Olmedo and Eric Farris to end the threat.
He wasn't as fortunate in the sixth, as Eduardo Escobar drew a leadoff walk, moved to third on a one-out double by Parmalee and scored on a single to center by Clement. Parmalee, whose double off the top of the wall in right led to a prolonged discussion by the umpires, was thrown out at the plate attempting to score on Clement's hit.
A bunt single by Durham's Kevin Kiermaier leading off the bottom of the sixth broke up Dean's bid for a no-hitter, but Beckham later grounded into an inning-ending double play.
Rochester added a run in the seventh when Pinto led off with a single, was safe at second on a sacrifice bunt by Olmedo, moved to third on a bunt by Eric Farris and scored on a sacrifice fly by Escobar for a 2-0 lead.
The Red Wings added a pair of runs in the eighth on back-to-back RBI singles by Deibinson Romero and Pinto.
"This team has been bouncing back all year, and we expect to bounce back tomorrow," Bourgeois said. "We're a real confident team. We've definitely got enough experience and confidence that we can bounce back."
NOTES — Tickets for potential first-round games of the Governors' Cup playoffs are on sale for $10 through the ticket office at Durham Bulls Athletic Park, by phone at 919-956-BULL or online at durhambulls.com. ... The Bulls are scheduled to have J.D. Martin (14-4, 2.70 ERA) on the mound today in the second game of the series against Rochester lefthander Scott Diamond, who does not have a record in Triple-A. ... Durham went into the game leading the IL in batting and pitching. The most recent team to finish the season leading both categories was Tidewater in 1988, and only three other teams have accomplished the feat in the past 50 years.
Red Wings 4, Bulls 2
ROC|ab|r |h |bi|DUR|ab|r|h|bi|
Escobar, SS |3 |1 |1 |1 | Kiermaier,CF |4 |0 |1 |0 |
Hicks, CF |4 |0 |0 |0 | Figueroa, 2B |3 |1 |0 |0 |
Parmelee,RF1B |3 |1 |2 |0 | Beckham, SS |3 |1 |1 |0 |
Willingham, DH |3 |0 |0 |0 | Belnome, 3B |2 |0 |1 |0 |
Clement, 1B |4 |0 |3 |1 | Bourgeois,LF |4 |0 |1 |1 |
Mitchell, PRRF0 |0 |0 |0 | Anderson, 1B |4 |0 |1 |1 |
Romero,3B |4 |1 |1 |1 | Frey, PR |0 |0 |0 |0 |
Pinto, C |4 |1 |3 |1 | Duncan, DH |4 |0 |0 |0 |
Olmedo, 2B |3 |0 |0 |0 | Fontenot, PR-DH |0 |0 |0 |0 |
Farris, LF |3 |0 |0 |0 | Gimenez, RF |4 |0 |0 |0 |
||||Flores, J, C |4 |0 |0 |0 |
Totals |31 |4 |10 |4 | Totals |32 |2 |5 |2 |
E: Martis (1). LOB: Rochester 8, Durham 7. SAC: Olmedo; Farris.
SF: Escobar, E. 2B: Parmelee 2 (6), Clement (17).
Rochester |IP |H |R |ER |BB |SO|
Dean (W,1-0) |7.0 |2 |0 |0 |3 |4 |
Tonkin |1.0 |1 |2 |2 |1 |2 |
Ibarra, E |0.1 |2 |0 |0 |0 |0 |
Martis (S, 10) |0.2 |0 |0 |0 |0 |1 |
Buschmann (L, 5-1) |5.2 |5 |1 |1 |4 |9 |
Wade |1.2 |2 |2 |2 |0 |1 |
De Los Santos, F |1.2 |3 |1 |1 |0 |1 |
HBP—Parmelee (by Wade). T—3:15. A—4,040.