BULLS TIE IT UP
With the exception of facing a knuckleball pitcher, it was a familiar scene for the Durham Bulls in game 2 of the Governors’ Cup championship series against the Pawtucket Red Sox on Wednesday night.
The Bulls rode strong pitching and opportunistic hitting to even the Governors’ Cup championship series with a 2-1 victory over Pawtucket at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
J.D. Martin, C.J. Riefenhauser and Kirby Yates combined for a four-hitter, and Kevin Kiermaier ripped a double to drive in the go-ahead run in the seventh inning to send the series to Pawtucket tied 1-1.
“Our pitching has been outstanding,” Bulls manager Charlie Montoyo said. “Even if we had lost, what am I going to say. We’re 30 games over .500 — our pitching has taken us all this way, so they’re going to have to keep taking us all the way to the end.”
Pawtucket knuckleball pitcher Steven Wright threw 6.2 innings, yielding five hits while striking out six. The Bulls finished with seven hits, including two each by Jason Bourgeois and Vince Belnome.
“You could tell (he was pitching well) in the first two innings; it was ‘Oh no,’” Montoyo said. “He was on; that thing was moving all over the place.
“The guy was tough to hit, so we got the nasty one — but we won.”
Bulls catcher Craig Albernaz scored the eventual winning run in the seventh after reaching second on a throwing error by Pawtucket shortstop Heiker Meneses, and Kiermaier’s double to left-center gave the Bulls a 2-1 lead. Kiermaier was out at third when he attempted to stretch his hit to a triple.
“My previous three at-bats, I think I was stressed out too much because I was trying to pull it, and his pitches were going away,” Kiermaier said. “That last at-bat, I don’t know what I was thinking, so that’s probably why I hit it well. ...
“I thought for sure, I was 100 percent on that for a triple. I kind of came around second weird and tried to make up for it and had a bad slide and got thrown out. I’m glad that didn’t come back to haunt us.”
The Red Sox got to Martin in the third inning, as Dan Butler and Justin Henry opened the rally with back-to-back singles. Meneses dropped a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners, and Butler scored on a groundout by Jonathan Diaz. Martin got Brock Holt to fly out to end the inning.
“J.D. Martin — you’re almost ready for him to struggle, but it’s amazing,” Montoyo said. “He was awesome again. He goes to the seventh inning, and he’s got no room for error — no room for error at all.”
Durham missed one scoring opportunity in the fifth when Albernaz doubled off the Blue Monster in left field with one out and went to third on a groundout by Kiermaier. But after Cole Figueroa walked, Tim Beckham grounded out to end the inning.
The Bulls evened the score in the sixth inning when Bourgeois singled to center, advanced on a walk to Belnome, took third on a double-play by Brandon Guyer and scored on a passed ball by Pawtucket catcher Dan Butler.
Durham didn’t allow a runner past first base through the sixth inning, when Martin left after giving up four hits and one walk while striking out three.
“J.D. was like usual — just out there dialing,” Albernaz said. “I’ve never (caught) a pitcher who’s more competitive than him.”
Riefenhauser came on to pitch the seventh and struck out the side on 10 pitches, and he finished two hitless innings for work with four strikeouts. Kirby Yates pitched the ninth inning, walking the first batter before retiring the next three to record a save.
“Riefenhauser was huge tonight, of course,” Montoyo said. “That was his best outing of the year. We sent him for that inning, and then he was so good, I said, ‘He’s going back.’
“Of course, it’s never easy at the end. We’ve got to walk the leadoff guy.”
NOTES — Infielder Ryan Roberts, who was injured in pregame workouts Tuesday, went on the disabled list with a pulled rib muscle. ... The Bulls boarded a pair of charter buses after Wednesday night’s game for the 670-mile trip to Pawtucket and will take today off to rest for Game 3 on Friday at McCoy Stadium. ... Matt Buschmann (8-2, 2.97 ERA regular season) is scheduled to pitch game 3 against Pawtucket’s Matt Barnes (0-1, 9.00 postseason). ... Wednesday marked the 10-year anniversary of the Bulls clinching the Governors’ Cup title at Pawtucket.
Durham Bulls (1-1) 2, Pawtucket Red Sox (1-1) 1
September 11, 2013
|Diaz, J, 3B||4||0||1||1||0||0||2||.136|
|Hamilton, M, 1B||3||0||0||0||1||2||2||.182|
|a-Thomas, T, PH-DH||2||0||0||0||0||2||1||.000|
|Butler, D, C||2||1||1||0||0||1||0||.313|
|Henry, Ju, CF||3||0||1||0||0||1||1||.429|
|Wright, S, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Martin, C, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-Struck out for Hazelbaker in the 7th.|
TB: Diaz, J; Butler, D; Hassan; Henry, Ju.
RBI: Diaz, J (2).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Holt; Hazelbaker.
Team RISP: 0-for-3.
Team LOB: 5.
E: Meneses (3, throw).
PB: Butler, D 3 (3).
Outfield assists: Hassan (Kiermaier at 3rd base).
DP: (Meneses-Holt-Hamilton, M).
Pickoffs: Wright, S (Figueroa, C at 1st base).
|Figueroa, C, 3B||2||0||0||0||2||1||0||.316|
|Beckham, T, SS||4||0||1||0||0||2||4||.381|
|Martin, J, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
2B: Albernaz (1, Wright, S), Kiermaier (2, Wright, S).
TB: Albernaz 2; Belnome 2; Beckham, T; Bourgeois 2; Kiermaier 2.
RBI: Kiermaier (1).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Duncan; Beckham, T 2.
Team RISP: 1-for-7.
Team LOB: 7.
CS: Figueroa, C (1, 2nd base by Wright, S/Butler, D), Beckham, T (1, 2nd base by Martin, C/Butler, D).
PO: Figueroa, C (1st base by Wright, S).
DP: (Fontenot-Beckham, T-Belnome).
|Wright, S (L, 1-1)||6.2||5||2||0||3||6||0||0.00|
|Riefenhauser (W, 1-0)||2.0||0||0||0||0||4||0||0.00|
|Yates (S, 3)||1.0||0||0||0||1||2||0||0.00|
HBP: Butler, D (by Martin, J), Albernaz (by Wright, S).
Pitches-strikes: Wright, S 104-63, Martin, C 14-11, Martin, J 96-65, Riefenhauser 18-15, Yates 16-10.
Groundouts-flyouts: Wright, S 9-4, Martin, C 1-1, Martin, J 7-5, Riefenhauser 1-0, Yates 0-1.
Batters faced: Wright, S 28, Martin, C 5, Martin, J 23, Riefenhauser 6, Yates 4.
Umpires: HP: Brad Myers. 1B: Jon Byrne. 2B: David Soucy. 3B: Chad Whitson.
Weather: 85 degrees, partly cloudy.
Wind: 5 mph, R to L.
Venue: Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
September 11, 2013
Compiled by MLB Advanced Media