Clippers drop Bulls for 2nd straight night
The fans who showed up at Durham Bulls Athletic Park were treated to fireworks after Friday’s game between the Durham Bulls and the Columbus Clippers.
But one explosion was missing — a bottom-of-the-ninth comeback as the Bulls fell to the Clippers 4-3 after giving up a run in the top of the eighth.
“Our bats were not very good today,” Bulls manager Charlie Montoyo said. “We got ourselves out, not too many good (at-bats).”
Mike Montgomery made his first start since pitching 8 1/3 no-hit innings on Saturday. In his six seasons in the minor leagues, Montgomery has had some ups and downs, posting a 5.32 ERA with the Royal’s AAA-affiliate in Omaha, Nebraska in 2012, and a 4.72 ERA with the Bulls last season.
He seemed to have finally found his stride in Durham, accumulating a 3-0 record with a 2.81 ERA coming into Friday’s game.
But, Montgomery’s bid for back-to-back no-hit outings was squashed on only the second pitch of the game. Nyjer Morgan hooked a line drive to left field, the ball landing fair by the narrowest of margins as it kicked up the foul-line chalk for a stand-up double.
Justin Sellers’ sacrifice moved Morgan to third.
A couple batters later, Jesus Aguilar knocked in Morgan with a sharply-hit ground ball down the third base line. Cole Figueroa had trouble handling the ball as it popped out of his glove, eliminating a chance to make a play at the plate, but he was still able to narrowly throw out Aguilar at first and the Bulls escaped without any further damage.
Durham responded with two runs on a two-out rally in the bottom half of the inning.
Justin Christian was hit by a pitch and Wilson Betemit hit his fourth double of the season. Christian beat the throw home to tie it.
Not to be outdone, Vince Belnome knocked a high fly ball off the solemn bearded face of the Burt’s Bees advertisement on the big left field fence, knocking in Betemit to give the Bulls a 2-1 lead.
But defense would be the Bulls’ downfall in the sixth.
Tim Fedroff singled to lead off the inning. A couple batters later, Carlos Moncrief doubled with a high fly ball hit off the left field fence, advancing Fedroff to third.
Ryan Rohlinger hit a lightly-hit grounder toward Bull’s first baseman Wilson Betemit, forcing Montgomery to cover first base. Betemit fielded the ball and made a quick toss to Montgomery who had not yet reached first.
Montgomery tried to apply a tag, but a Rohlinger knocked the ball out of his glove, allowing both Fedroff and Moncrief to score to give the Clippers a 3-2 lead.
“It was not the easiest play, but it was an error and two runs scored,” said Montoyo of the play.
Montgomery left the game later that inning after throwing 92 pitches, 57 for strikes.
“He (Montgomery) pitched well enough to keep us in the game,” Montoyo said. “A tough error cost him two runs.”
The Bulls managed to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Robby Price led off the inning with a walk and advanced to second on a Hak-Ju Lee groundout.
Roman Ali Solis then took a pitch low in the strike zone into centerfield for an RBI single to tie it at 3.
But the Clippers broke the tie in the top of the eight as Rholinger doubled after Jesus Aguilar walked to put runners at second and third. Matt Carson’s sacrifice fly drove in Aguilar with the winning run.
The Bulls never mounted the hoped-for comeback.
Columbus Clippers (13-13) 4, Durham Bulls (18-11) 3
May 2, 2014
|Carson, M, LF||3||0||1||1||0||1||2||.267|
|Perez, R, C||4||0||0||0||0||2||4||.346|
|Lowe, M, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
2B: Morgan (4, Montgomery, M), Moncrief (5, Montgomery, M), Rohlinger (6, Geltz).
TB: Fedroff; Morgan 3; Ciriaco; Carson, M; Moncrief 3; Rohlinger 3.
RBI: Aguilar (17), Rohlinger (6), Carson, M (7).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Moncrief; Carson, M; Ciriaco; Perez, R; Fedroff.
SF: Carson, M.
Team RISP: 0-for-10.
Team LOB: 8.
CS: Sellers (1, 2nd base by Geltz/Solis).
DP: 2 (Sellers-Rohlinger-Aguilar, Rohlinger-Adams).
|Figueroa, C, 3B||4||0||1||0||0||0||0||.333|
|Lee, H, SS||3||0||0||0||1||1||2||.130|
|Montgomery, M, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
2B: Betemit (4, Banwart).
3B: Belnome (1, Banwart).
TB: Solis; Betemit 2; Figueroa, C; Belnome 3; Price.
RBI: Betemit (17), Belnome (8), Solis (8).
2-out RBI: Betemit; Belnome.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Sands; Solis 2.
Team RISP: 2-for-4.
Team LOB: 5.
E: Montgomery, M (1, missed catch), Price (1, fielding).
DP: (Lee, H-Price-Betemit).
|Zagurski (W, 1-0)||0.2||1||0||0||0||0||0||2.53|
|Adams (H, 3)||1.0||0||0||0||0||0||0||4.97|
|Lowe, M (S, 6)||1.0||0||0||0||1||3||0||5.56|
|Geltz (L, 2-2)||2.0||2||1||1||1||1||0||3.86|
Zagurski pitched to 1 batter in the 8th.
HBP: Christian (by Banwart).
Pitches-strikes: Banwart 102-58, Zagurski 7-4, Adams 8-5, Lowe, M 24-16, Montgomery, M 92-57, Beliveau 25-18, Geltz 28-17.
Groundouts-flyouts: Banwart 6-3, Zagurski 1-0, Adams 1-0, Lowe, M 0-0, Montgomery, M 9-1, Beliveau 0-1, Geltz 2-2.
Batters faced: Banwart 27, Zagurski 2, Adams 2, Lowe, M 4, Montgomery, M 25, Beliveau 5, Geltz 9.
Inherited runners-scored: Zagurski 1-0, Adams 1-0, Beliveau 2-0.
Umpires: HP: Brad Myers. 1B: Doug Vines. 3B: Nick Lentz.
Weather: 69 degrees, clear.
Wind: 6 mph, Out to LF.
Venue: Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
May 2, 2014
Compiled by MLB Advanced Media