Mahtook, Fontenot key 16-hit Bulls attack in 9-0 win
Mikie Mahtook and Mike Fontenot each had four hits and Ray Olmedo three to key a 16-hit attack as the Durham Bulls defeated the Rochester Red Wings 9-0 late Thursday at Frontier Field.
With IL strikeout leader Alex Meyer on the mound for Rochester, runs figured to be tough to come by and they were early, as the Bulls managed just two in the first seven innings.
But that was enough for Bulls’ starter Merrill Kelly (7-4), who shut out the Red Wings on two hits, striking out five through six innings before giving way to the bullpen to close it out.
Durham exploded for three runs in the eighth and tacked on four in the ninth to put the Red Wings away.
Two errors by shortstop Hak-Ju Lee gave the Wings a great opportunity to jump ahead in the first, but Rochester couldn’t take advantage against Kelly.
In the second, still tied at 0-0, the Wings put runners at second and third with two out, but Kelly fanned Doug Bernier to end the threat.
Lee made up for his errors in the third inning, taking Meyer deep for a solo home run, his third, and the eventual game winner.
Later in the inning, Mahtook drove in a run on a hard hit ground ball that ricocheted off Meyer’s foot. That was it for the Bulls at Meyer struck out Jeremy Moore, Tim Beckham and Wilson Betemit to retire the side.
Meyer (6-6) gave up four hits, two runs, and three walks and struck out seven in 3 2/3 innings. Following a walk to Olmedo in the fourth, Meyer was replaced by A.J. Achter.
Achter shut down the Bulls for the next 2 1/3 innings. Deolis Guerra pitched a perfect seventh, but gave up three runs in the eighth — on Betemit’s 18th homer and two-out RBI singles by Mahtook and Olmedo.
In the ninth, Betemit doubled home Tim Beckham, then scored on a single by Olmedo. Fontenot dropped a two-run single into left-center to cap the four-run inning off Aaron Thompson.
Kelly (7-4) gave way to C.J. Riefenhauser in a one-out, two-on situation and Riefenhauser slammed the door. Bulls’ reliever Josh Lueke came on to close out the four-hit shutout.
Guerra allowed a home run to Betemit in the eighth inning, his eighteenth homer of the season. The Bulls added two more runs that inning with two outs RBI hit. Aaron Thompson relieved Guerra and got the final out of the inning.
The Bulls picked up four more runs in the ninth off Thompson.
NOTES — The parent Tampa Bay Rays recalled RHP Brandon Gomes before Thursday’s game and he was replaced on the Bulls’ roster by former Bulls’ RHP Doug Mathis, who had been playing at Short-Season Hudson Valley. ... The Bulls matched a season-high with their 16 hits. Fontenot closed out the final three games of the series with 10 hits in 14 at-bats. Olmedo reached base five times in the leadoff spot, scoring three runs. Mahtook went 4-6 with two RBI. ... The Bulls were a man short Thursday thanks to a three-game league suspension handed down to Justin Christian after Wednesday night’s bench-clearing incident.
Durham Bulls (65-61) 9, Rochester Red Wings (68-58) 0
August 14, 2014
|Beckham, T, 2B||5||1||1||0||0||2||6||.455|
|Lee, H, SS||5||1||1||1||0||2||4||.206|
|Kelly, M, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
2B: Fontenot (22, Meyer, A), Betemit (17, Thompson, A).
HR: Lee, H (3, 3rd inning off Meyer, A, 0 on, 0 out), Betemit (18, 8th inning off Guerra, D, 0 on, 0 out).
TB: Moore; Betemit 6; Fontenot 5; Olmedo 3; Lee, H 4; Beckham, T; Mahtook 4.
RBI: Lee, H (20), Mahtook 2 (57), Betemit 2 (50), Olmedo 2 (23), Fontenot 2 (42).
2-out RBI: Olmedo 2; Mahtook; Fontenot 2.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Beckham, T; Betemit 2; Fontenot 2; Belnome; Moore.
Team RISP: 5-for-18.
Team LOB: 12.
SB: Olmedo (9, 2nd base off Achter/Pinto).
E: Lee, H 2 (16, fielding, fielding).
|Ramirez, W, DH||4||0||1||0||0||1||0||.273|
|Herrmann, C, RF||3||0||1||0||1||2||1||.286|
|Romero, D, 3B||3||0||0||0||0||0||4||.272|
|Meyer, A, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Guerra, D, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Thompson, A, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
TB: Hicks 2; Herrmann, C; Ramirez, W.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Ortiz; Bernier 3.
Team RISP: 0-for-5.
Team LOB: 7.
E: Pinto (2, throw).
|Kelly, M (W, 7-4)||6.0||2||0||0||1||5||0||3.06|
|Riefenhauser (H, 9)||1.1||2||0||0||0||3||0||1.61|
|Meyer, A (L, 6-6)||3.2||5||2||2||3||7||1||3.37|
WP: Meyer, A, Guerra, D.
Pitches-strikes: Kelly, M 101-69, Riefenhauser 27-18, Lueke 19-13, Meyer, A 84-45, Achter 35-24, Guerra, D 39-22, Thompson, A 29-18.
Groundouts-flyouts: Kelly, M 5-8, Riefenhauser 0-1, Lueke 1-1, Meyer, A 3-1, Achter 1-1, Guerra, D 2-1, Thompson, A 1-1.
Batters faced: Kelly, M 23, Riefenhauser 6, Lueke 5, Meyer, A 19, Achter 10, Guerra, D 10, Thompson, A 9.
Inherited runners-scored: Achter 2-0, Thompson, A 2-0.
Umpires: HP: Chad Whitson. 1B: Ian Fazio. 3B: Brian De Brauwere.
Weather: 63 degrees, overcast.
Wind: 10 mph, L to R.
Venue: Frontier Field.
August 14, 2014
Compiled by MLB Advanced Media
BULLS OPEN HOMESTAND FRIDAY (7:05 p.m.) AT DBAP; 12 HOME GAMES REMAIN
The first place Durham Bulls return to the DBAP Friday, Aug. 15 to begin the final lengthy homestand of 2014. The ten-game home slate will feature visits from all three International League South Division rivals as the Bulls close in on their seventh division title in eight seasons. The final four fireworks shows of the regular season, an appearance by Brobee from Nick Jr.'s Yo Gabba Gabba!, and Bark in the Park highlight the promotional calendar.
On Friday, the Bulls begin a three-game set with the Charlotte Knights to kick off the homestand. The 7:05 p.m. opener against the top White Sox affiliate is presented by Got to be NC Peanuts. Fans who bring a jar of peanut butter to the game will receive a free bag of peanuts. Peanut Butter will be donated to the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina. Friday Night Fireworks, presented by Duke Energy, will follow the game.
Both remaining Saturday home games, August 16 and 23, will feature post-game fireworks. The 7:05 p.m. Saturday game on the 16th, presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC, will also include a visit from Brobee - a character from the immensely popular Nick Jr. show Yo Gabba Gabba! The last Camp Out Night of the season also takes place on August 16, as Great Outdoor Provision Company presents a post-game sleepover for scout groups.
Brobee returns to take photos with kids on Sunday, August 17. The 5:05 p.m. series finale with Charlotte is the fourth and final Bike to the Ballpark event of the season, presented by GoTriangle. Fans who ride their bicycle to the DBAP and park it in the secure bike valet will be able to purchase a $10 ticket which includes $5 in food credit. Additionally, the first 200 fans to park their bikes will receive a Bulls gift bag with goodies from partners including GoTriangle, Great Outdoor Provision Company, the City of Durham, and Dick's Sporting Goods. Following the game, Kids Run the Bases thanks to Nature's Twist.
After an off day on Monday, August 18, the Bulls open up a three-game set with the Norfolk Tides on Tuesday, August 19. The 7:05 p.m. game presented by Bronto Software features the 2-for-1 ROOsdays offer where fans can get two Terrace Reserved tickets for the price of one when they show or mention the Kangaroo Express app at the DBAP box office.
Fans are invited to bring their dogs to the DBAP on Wednesday, August 20 for the last Bark in the Park event of 2014. Four-legged Bulls fans and their owners can get tickets for $11.99 in a special pet section of the Outfield Reserved, or $25 tickets that include a 2-hour all-you-can-eat buffet. $5 of each Bark in the Park ticket purchase goes to benefit Second Chance Pet Adoptions. Tickets for the pet section at Bark in the Park can be ordered online here using the promo code BARK. The 7:05 p.m. game with the top affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles is presented by Beacham & Russ, PLLC.
The final Thursday night home game of the season, presented by the North Carolina Education Lottery, occurs at 7:05 p.m. on August 21. The Bulls will celebrate the year in fan photos with "The InstaGrammys," a tribute to fans who have shared their DBAP experiences on Instagram. That night, the Bulls will unveil the Top 10 fan photos taken in 2014, culled from pictures tagging @DurhamBulls or using the official #DurhamBulls hashtag. Each winner will receive four tickets for a first round playoff game and the top photo will receive a custom printed version of their picture. Throughout the game on the 21st, fans at the DBAP will be encouraged to use the Photofy app to enhance pictures taken of their Bulls experience. Of those photos posted to Instagram during the event, one chosen winner will have the opportunity to take over the Bulls' official Instagram account for a day during the offseason.
The series finale with Norfolk will be the last time fans can enjoy $1 Bright Leaf hot dogs, popcorn and fries. In addition, Thursdays are College Nights where students can get a Terrace Reserved ticket and $5 in Bulls Bucks for just $11 or an Outfield Reserved ticket for only $5.99 by entering the promo code COLLEGE (and using a valid .edu email address) when purchasing tickets online at durhambulls.com. Finally, fans take advantage of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC True Blue Thursday promotion, where they can get a game ticket and exclusive cap for just $11.
The Bulls open a four-game series with the Gwinnett Braves on Friday, August 22 with a 7:05 p.m. contest presented by Booze It & Lose It. Duke Energy will once again present Friday Night Fireworks following the game.
UNC Rex Healthcare presents Field of Hope on Saturday, August 23. Fans can purchase special tickets for $12.99 to help support and raise money for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, which will receive $5 for each special Field of Hope ticket sold. Fans can purchase Field of Hope tickets HERE, using the special offer code PLAY4KAY. The first 1,000 fans to present their Field of Hope tickets at the Rex Mobile Mammography Unit that will be parked in the outfield concourse will receive a free gift. Fireworks will follow the 7:05 p.m. game.
On Sunday, August 24, MercuryGate International, Inc. presents a 5:05pm game between the Bulls and G-Braves. Following the game, kids will again have the opportunity to run the bases thanks to Nature's Twist. The ten-game homestand comes to a close on Monday, August 25 with a 7:05 p.m. game with the Atlanta Braves' Triple-A affiliate. Upon conclusion of this slate of home games, only two regular season games will remain at the DBAP.
The Governors' Cup Champion Durham Bulls begin a ten-game homestand Friday, August 15 at the DBAP. Tickets for all remaining regular season home games and the 2014 Governors' Cup playoffs are available at the DBAP box office, by phone at 919.956.BULL or online HERE at durhambulls.com.
GOVERNORS' CUP PLAYOFF PREVIEW AS OF FRIDAY, AUG. 15
With just over two weeks remaining in the 2014 International League regular season, Columbus and Durham are pulling away in the West and South Divisions while four teams from the North are left to fight for the two other Governors’ Cup playoff berths.
Intradivisional play concluded on Thursday. From here on out, IL teams will only play inside their own division as the regular season heads towards the finish line on Labor Day. Syracuse and Pawtucket were both winners Thursday, allowing the Chiefs to maintain their 1.0 game advantage over the PawSox while Rochester (4.0 GB) and Buffalo (5.5 GB) fell further behind the leaders. Pawtucket currently owns a 3.0-game edge over the Red Wings for the Wild Card.
Five International League teams have won more than 65 games so far this season, and four of them reside in the North Division. The only exception is Columbus, who pushed its records to 68-58 with a third straight victory over Lehigh Valley on Thursday. Newcomer James Ramsey led the way by going 5-for-5 with 4 RBI for the Clippers, who now enjoy a 6.0-game lead over the other three clubs in the IL West Division.
The first team to clinch its postseason berth could be the defending Governors’ Cup champion Durham Bulls. Thanks to a 9-0 shutout of Rochester last night, the Bulls have a 8.0-game edge in the South over Norfolk. Durham’s magic number to clinch its seventh South Division title in the last eight seasons is now down to eleven over the Tides. Nine games still remain between Durham and Norfolk head-to-head, including six games over the final five days of the regular season.
If the playoffs began today (Friday, Aug. 15), the four entries would belong to Columbus, Durham, and Pawtucket, who have combined to win the last five Governors’ Cups, along with Syracuse, the franchise that owns the League’s longest current championship drought at 38 years.
It appears that once again in 2014, the top two finishers from the six-team North Division will reach the postseason. Dating back to 1998 when the League’s current three-division format went into effect, the North will now have won the Wild Card in 11 of the past 17 seasons. The majority of the Governors’ Cup titles over the same period however have gone to the West and South teams, who have each captured six Governors’ Cups since 1998 while the North Division has won four.
Neither Rochester nor Syracuse has ever won the North Division under its current format. If Pawtucket can pull off the repeat this year, it would mark nine seasons since a New York-based team has won the division.
IL Playoff Schedule/First Round Series (Best of Five):
September 3,4 South Division Winner at West Division Winner, North Division Winner at Wild Card Winner
September 5,6*,7* West Division Winner at South Division Winner, Wild Card Winner at North Division Winner
IL Playoff Schedule/Governors’ Cup Finals (Best of Five):
September 9,10 South/West Division Series Winner at North/Wild Card Series Winner
September 11,12*,13* North/Wild Card Series Winner at South/West Division Series Winner
* If Necessary