Bulls can't come up with clutch hit in 2-1 loss to Norfolk
The Durham Bulls had plenty of opportunities to put away the Norfolk Tides on Tuesday but couldn’t come up with the clutch hit.
Norfolk got that hit in the eighth inning, pulling out a 2-1 win at the DBAP and keeping alive its slim playoff hopes.
With the score tied at one, the Bulls put three runners in scoring position over two innings. Throw in a runner stranded at third earlier in the game, when Durham held the lead, and the Bulls went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position.
“We didn’t hit,” Bulls manager Charlie Montoyo said, but he thought the game was lost long before the Bulls began stranding runners.
“We didn’t take advantage of their starter, and we knew their bullpen was pretty good.”
Norfolk’s Josh Stinson entered the game with a 5.59 ERA, but he gave the Tides a strong five innings, allowing just one run and three hits while striking out a season-high eight.
“He did a good job of mixing up his pitches and keeping us off balance,” said Nick Franklin, who had half of the Bulls’ hits in a 2-for-3 night. “That’s what his job is.”
The Tides bullpen was as good as advertised. Robert Coello (6-1, 1.26) earned the win with two scoreless innings, his eleventh straight outing without allowing a run. Evan Meek earned the save with his tenth straight scoreless outing.
The Norfolk pitching performance overshadowed a strong outing by the Bulls staff.
Starter Enny Romero allowed just one run and struck out six in six innings. Reliever Cory Burns picked up his first loss as a Bull when Francisco Peguero singled in Dariel Alvarez in the eighth inning.
“Our pitchers did a great job,” Montoyo said. “Romero was fun to watch. Burns gave up a run, but that was a good lineup. When you hold that lineup to two runs, you’ve done your job.”
The Norfolk win cut the Bulls’ margin over the Tides to seven games with 14 remaining and kept the Bulls magic number for clinching the division at eight. Any combination of nine Durham wins and Norfolk losses will clinch the second straight I.L. South title for the Bulls. Tuesday’s game was the first of nine matchups between the Bulls and Tides over the last two weeks of the season.
Even more troubling for the Bulls is the prolonged stretch of mediocrity. Since July 6, Durham has gone just 19-19, but, thanks to the struggles of the other teams in the I.L. South, haven’t seen their lead drop below six games.
“We need to get hot somehow,” Montoyo said, “because we’ll have a good game and then we’ll struggle for a couple of games. When I make the lineup, it looks good, and I think, ‘Okay. Here we go.’ Maybe tomorrow we’ll do it.”
Norfolk Tides (60-70) 2, Durham Bulls (67-63) 1
August 19, 2014
|De Jesus, SS||5||0||1||0||0||1||3||.291|
|Peguero, F, LF||4||0||3||1||0||0||0||.282|
|Casilla, A, 2B||4||0||1||0||0||1||1||.279|
2B: Alvarez 2 (13, Romero, Burns).
TB: Urrutia; De Jesus; Borbon 2; Alvarez 4; Peguero, F 3; Casilla, A.
RBI: Alvarez (10), Peguero, F (32).
2-out RBI: Alvarez.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Ward; Urrutia.
Team RISP: 2-for-5.
Team LOB: 9.
SB: Borbon (29, 2nd base off Romero/Acosta, M).
CS: Alvarez (1, 3rd base by Romero/Acosta, M).
DP: (Ward-Casilla, A).
|Figueroa, C, 3B||3||1||0||0||1||0||2||.293|
|Beckham, T, 2B||3||0||1||1||0||0||1||.417|
|Lee, H, SS||3||0||0||0||1||2||0||.204|
|Acosta, M, C||3||0||0||0||0||3||1||.130|
|a-Grounded out for Acosta, M in the 9th.|
2B: Mahtook (31, Stinson).
TB: Beckham, T; Franklin 2; Mahtook 2.
RBI: Beckham, T (2).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Myers; Betemit 3; Figueroa, C.
SAC: Beckham, T.
Team RISP: 0-for-6.
Team LOB: 8.
SB: Mahtook (17, 3rd base off Coello/Ward), Christian (13, 2nd base off Coello/Ward).
CS: Beckham, T (2, 2nd base by Stinson/Ward).
|Coello (W, 6-1)||2.0||1||0||0||3||1||0||1.26|
|Webb (H, 4)||1.0||0||0||0||0||2||0||2.25|
|Meek (S, 14)||1.0||0||0||0||0||1||0||2.09|
|Burns (L, 1-1)||2.0||3||1||1||0||1||0||1.69|
Pitches-strikes: Stinson 92-52, Coello 45-27, Webb 13-9, Meek 10-7, Romero 96-58, Geltz 25-17, Burns 27-20.
Groundouts-flyouts: Stinson 5-0, Coello 2-1, Webb 0-1, Meek 2-0, Romero 6-1, Geltz 0-2, Burns 1-1.
Batters faced: Stinson 20, Coello 10, Webb 3, Meek 3, Romero 25, Geltz 4, Burns 9.
Umpires: HP: Ian Fazio. 1B: Brian De Brauwere. 3B: Chad Whitson.
Weather: 87 degrees, partly cloudy.
Wind: 3 mph, In from CF.
Venue: Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
August 19, 2014
Compiled by MLB Advanced Media