Sands' walk-off single ends 11-inning pitching gem
An anticipated pitchers’ duel between undefeated starters Merrill Kelly and Trevor Bauer fulfilled all expectations — and then some.
Finally, after 10 ½ scoreless innings, Jerry Sands came off the bench and delivered the only clutch hit of the game.
Sands’ bases-loaded single with one out in the 11th gave the Durham Bulls a 1-0 win over the Columbus Clippers Saturday at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
Kelly gave up just three hits and two walks and struck out nine in 7.2 innings, lowering his ERA to 1.67. Bauer, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2011 MLB Draft, ran into more trouble but still threw seven shutout innings to lower his ERA to 1.10.
“Any time there’s zeroes on the board, you always want to give your team a chance to win,” Kelly said. “With Bauer pitching the way he did tonight, I’d say it’s more motivation just to keep it even.”
Kelly and the bullpen —Adam Liberatore and Kirby Yates (1-0) both threw 1.2 scoreless innings — were needed on a night when Durham once again struggled to generate offense. The Bulls have scored just 34 runs in their last 10 games.
Still, Durham (19-11) had plenty of chances Saturday. The Bulls loaded the bases with no outs in three separate innings, and a fourth time had runners on the corners with no outs. But in its first eight at-bats with a runner on third, Durham struck out six times and grounded out twice.
The Bulls finally converted an opportunity in the 11th. Wilson Betamit drew a leadoff walk, Justin Christian reached on a bunt single down the first-base line and Cole Figueroa’s bunt was mishandled by pitcher Frank Herrmann (1-1) to load the bases.
After Kevin Kiermaier struck out, Columbus put in lefty reliever Mike Zagurski. Bulls manager Charlie Montoyo countered with the righthanded Sands in place of lefty Robby Price, who entered the game with a .302 average but was 0 for 4 Saturday with seven runners left on base.
“I thought about it,” Durham manager Charlie Montoyo said. “Sands is one of our best hitters, and he’s very good against left-handed (pitchers), so in a way it’s an easy move. But Price has gotten so many big hits. But the matchup was too good to pass up.”
Sands leads the team in RBI (23) and slugging percentage (.550). After taking two balls, the Smithfield-Selma High graduate hit the first strike he saw to the warning track in right field to score Betamit and give the Bulls their first walk-off win of the season.
“We’ve had some long games,” Sands said. “Our bullpen has been pretty taxed. I just wanted to go in there and get a good pitch to hit, and don’t miss it.”
Sands’ hit gave Durham its first win over Columbus (13-14) in the four-game series, which concludes today at 5:05 p.m. Nathan Karns (2-2, 8.20) is scheduled to start for the Bulls against T.J. House (1-1, 2.08).
Durham Bulls (19-11) 1, Columbus Clippers (13-14) 0
May 3, 2014
One out when winning run scored.
|1-Carson, M, PR||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.267|
|Perez, R, C||4||0||1||0||0||3||2||.339|
|Wood, Bl, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Barnes, S, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Herrmann, F, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|1-Ran for Rohlinger in the 10th.|
2B: Perez, R (3, Kelly, M), Fedroff (2, Kelly, M).
TB: Fedroff 2; Sellers; Morgan; Perez, R 2; Rohlinger.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Fedroff; Morgan; Ciriaco; Moncrief.
Team RISP: 0-for-7.
Team LOB: 8.
PO: Perez, R (2nd base by Kelly, M).
E: Wood, Bl (1, fielding), Herrmann, F (1, throw).
DP: 3 (Rohlinger-Sellers-Cooper, Sellers-Cooper, Sellers-Rohlinger-Cooper).
Pickoffs: Bauer (Kiermaier at 1st base).
|Figueroa, C, 3B||4||0||2||0||0||1||0||.341|
|Rodriguez, E, C||3||0||1||0||0||1||2||.152|
|1-Lee, H, PR||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.130|
|Kelly, M, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
a-Singled for Price in the 11th.
1-Ran for Rodriguez, E in the 8th.
2B: Figueroa, C (7, Bauer).
TB: Sands; Rodriguez, E; Christian 2; Betemit; Kiermaier 3; Fontenot; Figueroa, C 3.
RBI: Sands (23).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Olmedo; Rodriguez, E; Christian 2; Belnome.
SAC: Olmedo; Figueroa, C.
GIDP: Betemit, Price 2.
Team RISP: 3-for-14.
Team LOB: 12.
PO: Kiermaier (1st base by Bauer).
Pickoffs: Kelly, M (Perez, R at 2nd base).
|Herrmann, F (L, 1-1)||1.1||1||1||1||2||3||0||1.93|
|Yates (W, 1-0)||1.2||1||0||0||1||4||0||0.61|
Wood, Bl pitched to 3 batters in the 8th.
WP: Herrmann, F, Kelly, M 2.
Pitches-strikes: Bauer 106-68, Wood, Bl 9-5, Barnes, S 10-6, Pestano 12-9, Herrmann, F 35-17, Zagurski 4-2, Kelly, M 109-71, Liberatore 28-17, Yates 29-19.
Groundouts-flyouts: Bauer 9-5, Wood, Bl 1-0, Barnes, S 0-0, Pestano 2-0, Herrmann, F 1-1, Zagurski 0-0, Kelly, M 9-4, Liberatore 2-0, Yates 0-1.
Batters faced: Bauer 26, Wood, Bl 3, Barnes, S 2, Pestano 4, Herrmann, F 8, Zagurski 1, Kelly, M 27, Liberatore 7, Yates 7.
Inherited runners-scored: Barnes, S 3-0, Pestano 3-0, Zagurski 3-1, Liberatore 2-0, Yates 1-0.
Umpires: HP: Doug Vines. 1B: Nick Lentz. 3B: Brad Myers.
Weather: 75 degrees, partly cloudy.
Wind: 9 mph, Out to CF.
Venue: Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
May 3, 2014
Compiled by MLB Advanced Media