Kevin Kiermaier lifts Bulls in 1st at-bat after return from Rays
Kevin Kiermaier’s two-out, two-run, ninth-inning double off rehabbing Indians reliever Vinnie Pestano snapped a 5-5 tie and lifted the Durham Bulls past the Columbus Clippers 7-5 Thursday night.
Fans watching the nationally televised (CBS Sports Network) International League Game of the Week got more than they bargained for in a seesaw battle not decided until Kiermaier’s big hit in his first Bulls’ at-bat since being optioned back from the parent Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday.
The Bulls got on the board in a hurry Thursday night.
Hak-Ju Lee led off the game with a single and Jayson Nix and Mike Mahtook followed with back-to-back doubles, Mahtook driving in both runners for a 2-0 first inning lead.
Mahtook was picked off second for the first out, wasting an opportunity for a big inning as Jerry Sands singled and Wilson Betemit walked before Columbus’s Kyle Davies — a former Atlanta Brave and Kansas City Royal — escaped further damage.
The Clippers got even in a hurry off Bulls’ starter Enny Romero. Carlos Moncrief’s two-run blast off Romero in the second scored Matt Carson who had walked leading off.
Durham made it 4-2 in the top of the fourth on sacrifice flies by Vince Belnome and Curt Casali around a leadoff double by Sands, an infield single and stolen base by Justin Christian and a single by Mike Fontenot.
Romero was gone by the fifth inning as Brandon Gomes, in his first game back with the Bulls after a stint with parent Tampa Bay, came on to open the frame.
Gomes gave up three runs after two were out in the bottom of the sixth. A leadoff walk and a wild pitch set the stage for Ryan Rohlinger’s RBI single and George Kottaras followed with a two-run blast to right for a 5-4 Columbus lead.
The Bulls pulled even off new Clippers pitcher C.C. Lee in the eighth.
Mahtook singled and Betemit walked leading off. Belnome followed a Sands’ strikeout with the game-tying single. But the Bulls were unable to come up with a key hit to bring home Kevin Kiermaier, pinch-running for Betemit, from second as Christian lined out and Fontenot struck out.
After pitching a scoreless seventh, Bulls’ reliever C.J. Riefenhauser got in trouble in the eighth, walking leadoff hitter Matt Carson who was sacrifice to second and stole third with one out.
That ended Riefenhauser’s night as the Bulls brought in Jake Thompson to face Rohlinger. Thompson (2-0) was brilliant, getting Rohlinger on strikes for the second out and Kottaras on a popup to strand Carson at third.
The Bulls got their own rally going in the top of the ninth as Casali singled leading off and went to second on Nix’s one-out base hit, forcing a pitching change with Lee (0-1) giving way to Vinnie Pestano, on a rehab assignment from the parent Cleveland Indians.
Mahtook was out on a deep fly to center that allowed the runners to move up to second and third with two down. Kiermaier followed with his two-run double.
Durham relief ace Kirby Yates picked up his 12th save striking out three in a one-hit ninth.
NOTES — In a flurry of roster moves Thursday, the Tampa Bay Rays optioned righthander Gomes and outfielder Kiermaier back to the Bulls. To make room, lefty Jim Patterson was sent back to Double-A Montgomery and righty Doug Mathes was transferred to extended spring training. ... Game 2 of the Bulls’ eight-game road trip will be at Columbus at 7:15 tonight. Righty Matt Andriese (3-3, 4.93) gets the start for the Bulls against Clippers righty Travis Banwart (3-0, 3.35).
Durham Bulls (27-21) 7, Columbus Clippers (22-23) 5
May 22, 2014
|Lee, H, SS||5||1||1||0||0||2||2||.205|
|Nix, J, 3B||5||2||2||0||0||0||0||.412|
|Gomes, B, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|1-Ran for Betemit in the 8th.|
2B: Nix, J (3, Davies), Mahtook (13, Davies), Sands (11, Davies), Kiermaier (7, Pestano).
TB: Casali; Sands 3; Belnome; Christian; Kiermaier 2; Fontenot 2; Lee, H; Nix, J 3; Mahtook 3.
RBI: Mahtook 2 (20), Belnome 2 (16), Casali (2), Kiermaier 2 (12).
2-out RBI: Kiermaier 2.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Christian; Fontenot; Sands.
SF: Belnome; Casali.
Team RISP: 4-for-10.
Team LOB: 7.
SB: Christian (7, 2nd base off Davies/Kottaras).
CS: Mahtook (2, 3rd base by Davies/Kottaras).
PO: Mahtook (2nd base by Davies).
E: Lee, H (3, throw).
|Ramirez, J, SS||5||0||1||0||0||1||3||.313|
|Johnson, E, LF||5||0||0||0||0||3||2||.286|
|Carson, M, CF||2||1||0||0||2||0||1||.286|
2B: Ramirez, J (4, Romero), Rohlinger (9, Romero), Urshela (4, Yates).
HR: Moncrief (3, 2nd inning off Romero, 1 on, 0 out), Kottaras (1, 6th inning off Gomes, B, 1 on, 2 out).
TB: Urshela 3; Ramirez, J 2; Moncrief 4; Kottaras 4; Rohlinger 3.
RBI: Moncrief 2 (12), Rohlinger (9), Kottaras 2 (5).
2-out RBI: Rohlinger; Kottaras 2.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Cooper; Johnson, E; Ramirez, J; Kottaras; Aguilar.
Team RISP: 2-for-14.
Team LOB: 8.
SB: Carson, M (6, 3rd base off Thompson/Casali).
E: Moncrief (3, throw).
PB: Kottaras (1).
Pickoffs: Davies (Mahtook at 2nd base).
|Thompson (W, 2-0)||0.2||0||0||0||0||1||0||1.08|
|Yates (S, 12)||1.0||1||0||0||0||3||0||0.45|
|Lee (BS, 1)(L, 0-1)||1.1||4||3||3||1||2||0||7.50|
WP: Gomes, B.
Balk: Gomes, B.
Pitches-strikes: Romero 96-59, Gomes, B 38-21, Riefenhauser 23-15, Thompson 10-6, Yates 18-12, Davies 99-60, Hagadone 22-17, Lee 37-26, Pestano 15-10.
Groundouts-flyouts: Romero 2-6, Gomes, B 1-3, Riefenhauser 1-1, Thompson 0-0, Yates 0-0, Davies 1-8, Hagadone 0-2, Lee 0-0, Pestano 0-1.
Batters faced: Romero 19, Gomes, B 9, Riefenhauser 6, Thompson 2, Yates 4, Davies 23, Hagadone 6, Lee 9, Pestano 3.
Inherited runners-scored: Thompson 1-0, Pestano 2-2.
Umpires: HP: Brian De Brauwere. 1B: Chad Whitson. 3B: Ian Fazio.
Weather: 76 degrees, partly cloudy.
Wind: 10 mph, L to R.
Venue: Huntington Park.
May 22, 2014
Compiled by MLB Advanced Media