Anderson, Bulls break skid against Red Wings
A four-game losing streak isn't unusual in minor league baseball. That is, unless you're with the 2013 Durham Bulls.
Facing being swept in a four-game series for the first time this season, the Bulls put together an 11-hit performance highlighted by Leslie Anderson's three-run homer in the first inning of their 7-3 win over the Rochester Red Wings on Thursday night at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
"He found the seats for me," Bulls manager Charlie Montoyo said Anderson's home run. "It was changeup and he was in front, but he got the (barrel) on it. That was a big part of the game."
Durham starter Mike Montgomery (7-5) pitched five innings, giving up six hits and two earned runs while striking out seven. Jeff Beliveau came on in relief and pitched two scoreless innings, striking out three while yielding two hits.
"(Beliveau) could be almost the player of the game because he did that," Montoyo said. "Montgomery gave us five, and Beliveau a great two."
Kevin Kiermaier, Vince Belnome and Shelley Duncan had a pair of hits for Durham.
After struggling at the plate during their season-high four-game losing streak, the Bulls (74-46) came out swinging in the series finale. Kiermaier singled to open the inning, Cole Figueroa doubled and Tim Beckham followed with an RBI single — his fifth consecutive hit after a 4-for-4 performance in Wednesday night's 5-4 loss.
Anderson's 14th home run of the season capped the rally for 4-0 lead off Rochester starter Virgil Vasquez (4-7).
The Bulls threatened again in the second when Evan Frey led off with a single and stole second, but Vasquez got Kiermaier to pop out, then struck out Figueroa and Beckham to get out of the inning.
"Vasquez found a way go after that first inning," Montoyo said. "He was throwing (curveballs) for strikes. ... He made an adjustment, I guess."
The Red Wings cut the margin in half in the third on a two-run double by Jeff Clement, his third of the series.
The Bulls missed an opportunity in the sixth when Mike Fontenot ripped a one-out double to right-center, then went to third on a passed ball. But Rochester reliever Cody Eppley got Chris Gimenez and Frey to ground out to end the inning.
Durham cushioned the lead in the seventh inning, plating three runs with three hits. Kiermaier opened the rally with a double, Figueroa drew a walk and Belnome ripped a one-out double off the Blue Monster in left to drive in Kiermaier. Leslie Anderson walked, then Shelley Duncan's single drove in Figueroa. A groundout by Fontenot drove in Belnome for the final run.
"It was good to see Belnome go the other way like he did before he got in that little slump," Montoyo said. "When they're playing that good against you, you need those extra runs. That four-run lead at the end — that was great."
Rochester closed the scoring with a solo homer by Deibinson Romero in the eighth.
NOTES — Frey broke an 0-for-14 skid at the plate with his second-inning single. ... The Bulls open a three-game series against Charlotte today (7:05 p.m.) with Merrill Kelly (6-2, 2.59 ERA) scheduled to start for the Bulls against the Knights' Jason Berken (9-11, 4.15). ... Matt Buschman (5-1, 3.21) will be on the mound for Durham on Saturday, while Charlotte will have Nick McCully (2-1, 7.88) as its starter.
Bulls 7, Red Wings 3
Escobar dh|5|1|1|0|Kiermaier cf|4|2|2|0
Farris lf|5|0|2|0|Figueroa 3b|4|2|1|0
Parmelee rf |4|1|0|0|Beckham ss|4|1|1|1
Clement 1b |4|0|1|2|Belnome 1b|4|1|2|1
Romero 3b |4|1|1|1|Anderson lf|3|1|1|3
Pinto c|4|0|3|0|Duncan dh|3|0|2|1
Olmedo ss|4|0|0|0|Fontenot 2b|4|0|1|1
Beresford 2b|3|0|0|0|Giminez c|4|0|0|0
Mitchell cf|4|0|2|0|Frey rf|4|0|1|0
DP—Rochester 0, Durham 1. LOB—Rochester 10, Durham 7. 2B—Escobar, Clement, Figueroa, Duncan, Fontenot, Kiermaier, Belnome. HR—Romero (9), Anderson (14). SB—Clement (1), Frey (4).
Vasquez (L, 4-7)|5.0|7|4|4|0|5
Montgomery (W, 7-5)|5.0|6|2|2|2|7
WP—Vasquez. HBP—Duncan (by Vasquez). Umpires: HP: Joey Amaral. 1B: Kelvin Bultron. 2B: Clint Fagan. 3B: Travis Carlson. T—3:11. A—10,125.