ONE WIN AWAY!
Through eight innings of Thursday night’s International League playoff game, the Durham Bulls were cruising with a four-run lead behind a strong effort by starting pitcher J.D. Martin.
Then the Indianapolis Indians finally put together a couple of hits, capped by a three-run homer by Jerry Sands off reliever Steve Geltz to pull within one.
But Durham closer Kirby Yates, who struggled in Game 1, came on to strike out the final three batters he faced to preserve a 6-5 win over the Indians at Durham Bulls Athletic Park for a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series.
“That was his best outing in a while, so that was good to see,” Bulls manager Charlie Montoyo said after Yates walked the first batter before earning the save. “The last inning, Yates has to come in and has to get ready quick. If someone hits a three-run homer, you don’t have time to breathe.
“After that (base on balls), he really looked like the old Yates — that was good to see.”
Cole Figueroa, Vince Belnome and Leslie Anderson drove in a pair of runs each, while Jason Bourgeois had two hits for the Bulls.
Martin, who gave up eight hits and struck out three without walking a batter in eight innings, cruised until a two-run homer by Sands in the seventh that broke the Indians’ string of 15.1 postseason innings without a run. It matched Martin’s longest outing of the regular season, a 7-0 win at Gwinnett on July 22.
“That was a long eight innings, I thought,” Martin said. “I started getting a little tired at the end there. ... I actually felt more tired in the seventh than I did in the eighth. Maybe I kind of stepped it up a little more (in the eighth).”
The Bulls had needed eight innings to get on the scoreboard in Game 1 of this IL playoff series on Wednesday.
In Game 2, they needed only four pitches, as Tim Beckham and Figueroa opened the game with back-to-back doubles.
Martin needed just six pitches to get out of the top of the first.
“They might hit it a little hard, but it was off the end of the bat,” Martin said. “They’re not barrelling the ball. ... After that first inning, I thought, ‘Really? I hope they’re all like that.’”
On the other extreme, Indianapolis’ starter Graham Godfrey made it through only 10 pitches before being lifted by Indians manager Dean Treanor.
That’s because Bourgeois drove in Figueroa with a single, and Belnome doubled in Bourgeois for a 3-0 lead.
The Indians called on Brooks Brown from the bullpen, but Anderson deposited his second pitch into the seats in right field for a two-run homer. It was Anderson’s first home run since Aug. 8 against Rochester, though it doesn’t count toward his season’s statistics.
After that, the Bulls went five innings without a hit against the Indians bullpen.
“I was hoping we would put them away,” Montoyo said. “The moment we didn’t put them away, I knew they had a chance to come back. They’re kind of like us: They’re not hitting right now, but they’re good hitters.
“I felt it — ‘We’re not scoring; we’re not scoring; we’re keeping them in the game.’ And that’s what happened.”
After Sands’ first home run of the night in the top of the seventh, the Bulls added a run in the bottom of the inning. Kevin Kiermaier reached first on an error and scored on a two-out single by Figueroa for a 6-2 lead.
“That hit by Figueroa (after) they just scored two runs, that turned out to be huge,” Montoyo said.
That’s because Geltz gave up a leadoff double to Jared Goedert, who had three hits for Indianapolis, then walked Russ Canzler before Sands’ second home run.
“When you have a lead like that, ... that’s the one you want to win,” Montoyo said. “That would have given them the whole momentum if they would have come back.”
But Yates delivered.
“I was stretching, just in case,” Yates said of his routine in the bullpen while Geltz was on the mound. “Then boom, boom, boom.
“I’d almost prefer (warming up quickly) a little bit more than sitting around and wait to go in the game. It took me a while, but I figured it out a little bit at the end. ... I was being a bit more aggressive — let me be myself. I threw fastballs to the first guy, too; I just missed.”
NOTES — The series shifts to Victory Field in Indianapolis for Game 3 today, with Durham’s Merrill Kelly (8-4, 3.19 ERA) scheduled to pitch against rehabbing Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Wandy Rodriguez. If the Indians win today, Matt Buschman (8-2, 2.97) will pitch for the Bulls on Saturday against Casey Sadler (0-0, 4.50). If Game 5 is necessary on Sunday, Mike Montgomery (7-8, 4.72) is set to start for the Bulls vs. Indianapolis’ Andy Oliver (5-4, 4.05). ... A decisive Sunday game (7:05 p.m.) will be a logistical challenge for the Indians. Victory Field is located two blocks from Lucas Oil Stadium, where the Indianapolis Colts host the Oakland Raiders open their NFL season at 1 p.m.
Durham Bulls (2-0) 6, Indianapolis Indians (0-2) 5
September 5, 2013
|d'Arnaud, C, DH||5||0||1||0||0||1||2||.111|
|a-De Jesus, PH||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||.000|
|Brown, B, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|McDonald, Ja, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-Walked for Paulino in the 9th. b-Struck out for Bocock in the 9th.|
2B: Canzler (1, Martin, J), Goedert 2 (2, Martin, J, Geltz).
3B: d'Arnaud, C (1, Martin, J).
HR: Sands 2 (2, 7th inning off Martin, J, 1 on, 1 out; 9th inning off Geltz, 2 on, 0 out).
TB: Andino; Sands 9; Goedert 5; Paulino; d'Arnaud, C 3; Canzler 2.
RBI: Sands 5 (5).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Sands; Andino; Canzler.
Team RISP: 2-for-6.
Team LOB: 6.
E: Andino (1, pickoff), Hague (1, missed catch).
DP: 2 (Bocock-Andino-Hague, Goedert-Bocock-Hague).
|Beckham, T, SS||4||1||1||0||0||1||3||.500|
|Figueroa, C, 3B||4||1||2||2||0||0||0||.375|
|Anderson, Le, LF||4||1||1||2||0||0||1||.286|
|Roberts, R, 2B||4||0||0||0||0||1||0||.000|
|Martin, J, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
2B: Beckham, T (2, Godfrey), Figueroa, C (1, Godfrey), Belnome (1, Godfrey).
HR: Anderson, Le (1, 1st inning off Brown, B, 1 on, 0 out).
TB: Belnome 2; Beckham, T 2; Bourgeois 2; Figueroa, C 3; Anderson, Le 4.
RBI: Figueroa, C 2 (2), Belnome 2 (3), Anderson, Le 2 (2).
2-out RBI: Figueroa, C.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Albernaz; Belnome.
GIDP: Anderson, Le, Beckham, T.
Team RISP: 5-for-9.
Team LOB: 4.
SB: Kiermaier (1, 2nd base off Brown, B/Paulino).
DP: (Roberts, R-Beckham, T-Belnome).
|Godfrey (L, 0-1)||0.0||4||4||4||0||0||0||-.--|
|Martin, J (W, 1-0)||8.0||8||2||2||0||3||1||2.25|
|Yates (S, 2)||1.0||0||0||0||1||3||0||0.00|
Godfrey pitched to 4 batters in the 1st.
Geltz pitched to 3 batters in the 9th.
WP: McDonald, Ja, Martin, J, Geltz.
Pitches-strikes: Godfrey 11-8, Brown, B 48-29, McDonald, Ja 26-13, Severino 35-23, Reid 9-6, Cordier 5-4, Martin, J 99-65, Geltz 12-5, Yates 19-12.
Groundouts-flyouts: Godfrey 0-0, Brown, B 6-0, McDonald, Ja 3-1, Severino 3-0, Reid 0-0, Cordier 1-1, Martin, J 16-2, Geltz 0-0, Yates 0-0.
Batters faced: Godfrey 4, Brown, B 11, McDonald, Ja 7, Severino 7, Reid 2, Cordier 3, Martin, J 31, Geltz 3, Yates 4.
Inherited runners-scored: Brown, B 1-1, Reid 1-0.
Umpires: HP: Jeff Gosney. 1B: Kelvin Bultron. 2B: Ben May. 3B: David Rackley.
Weather: 85 degrees, clear.
Wind: 5 mph, Out to RF.
Venue: Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
September 5, 2013