Bulls drop sixth in a row

Jun. 23, 2014 @ 07:30 AM

In a word, the Durham Bulls right now are bad.

“We’re not playing very good,” Bulls manager Charlie Montoyo said. “Bad baseball.”

Make that six straight losses for Durham after Syracuse shutout the Bulls 9-0 on Sunday at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.

That’s the longest losing streak of the season for the Bulls (43-35).

It’s one thing to take a few losses in a row when those games are close, but Durham has been getting knocked around pretty good lately, and that makes things tougher, Montoyo said.

Syracuse beat Durham 16-3 on Saturday and won 8-2 on Friday.

This past Tuesday in Louisville, Kentucky, the Bats beat the Bulls 10-5. Tampa Bay Rays right-hander Jeremy Hellickson started that game, a rehabilitation assignment as he battles back from the surgery he had in January to remove some junk that was floating around in his right elbow. He gave up four runs that night.

Hellickson started against Syracuse on Sunday.

“He was better,” Montoyo said. “I don’t know what to tell you after that.”

Syracuse’s Steven Souza Jr. turned Hellickson’s 1-1 pitch in the first inning into a 1-0 game when he homered off the top of the Blue Monster in left field.

The ball bounced back to the field, but the early damage was done. It’s the sort of thing that snowballs against struggling ball clubs, Montoyo said.

Syracuse scored in the second inning on a fielder’s choice, but a throwing error by Bulls shortstop Hak-Ju Lee allowed another Chief to cross the plate.

That was Lee’s seventh error of the season.

In the bottom of the second, Bulls first-baseman Vince Belnome came to the plate with no outs and the based loaded. He struck out. Curt Casali went down swinging, too. A force out at second extinguished Robby Price’s grounder, stranding three Bulls.

Syracuse’s Tyler Moore used his sixth double of the season to drive in two runs in the fifth. Jhonatan Solano brought him home with a single.

Hellickson (0-3) was 80 pitches into it and getting smacked around. He threw one more before getting out of the inning having given up six runs — five of them earned — on eight hits. He did have seven strikeouts.

“I made too many mistakes,” Hellickson said.

Hellickson said it was one of the better rehab games he’s pitched. He said he feels fine physically and is doing a better job of locating the plate. It’s just a matter of regaining arm strength and getting a feel for all of his pitches, Hellickson said.

“The results really aren’t showing how I feel,” Hellickson said.

Merrill Kelly replaced Hellickson in the sixth and gave up an earned run.

In the eighth, Souza got his 12th double of the season, driving in the final two runs of the evening. 

In early May, the Chiefs swept the Bulls in four games in Syracuse.

At the DBAP these past few days, Syracuse has picked up three wins by a combined score of 33-5.

“That’s the best club in this league right now, easily,” Montoyo said.

Chiefs starter Blake Treinen (4-0) struck out eight batters and allowed just three hits over six innings.

The Bulls are back at it this afternoon in the final game of the series with the Chiefs (1:05 p.m., DBAP). Bulls left-hander Mike Montgomery (8-1, 3.38) will start against lefty Aaron Laffey (9-3, 3.08).

The Bulls have to stop giving up so many early runs that force them to play from behind, Montoyo said. That causes Durham’s defense to play flat-footed and leads to errors, he said.

“By the fifth inning, we’re down a touchdown, and it’s not fun,” Montoyo said.

DID YOU KNOW? If you’re wondering why Hellickson was the only player for the Bulls not wearing his pants bloused at the knees, it’s because the Rays, the parent organization of the Bulls, doesn’t allow its players who are on minor-league contracts to wear their pants long.

   

Chiefs 9, Bulls 0

Syracuse|120|031|020 – 9

Durham|000|000|000 – 0

  Syracuse |AB |R |H |RBI |BB |SO |LOB |AVG

Burriss, SS |4 |2 |2 |0 |0 |1 |2 |.274

Rhymes, 2B |4 |1 |2 |0 |1 |0 |3 |.270

Souza, RF |5 |2 |2 |3 |0 |0 |5 |.355

Moore, T, DH |4 |1 |1 |2 |1 |3 |1 |.333

Solano, J, C |5 |1 |2 |1 |0 |0 |3 |.275

Laird, 3B |5 |1 |2 |0 |0 |0 |1 |.313

Goodwin, CF |5 |1 |1 |0 |0 |4 |3 |.222

Peterson, 1B |4 |0 |1 |0 |0 |2 |1 |.259

Johnson, Jo, LF |5 |0 |0 |2 |0 |2 |2 |.220

Totals |41 |9 |13 |8 |2 |12 |21 |

  BATTING

2B: Rhymes (13, Hellickson), Moore, T (6, Hellickson), Goodwin (10, Kelly, M), Laird (15, Kelly, M), Souza (12, Kelly, M).

HR: Souza (9, 1st inning off Hellickson, 0 on, 2 out).

TB: Solano, J 2; Laird 3; Peterson; Burriss 2; Goodwin 2; Rhymes 3; Souza 6; Moore, T 2.

RBI: Souza 3 (39), Johnson, Jo 2 (10), Moore, T 2 (14), Solano, J (40).

2-out RBI: Souza 3; Moore, T 2; Solano, J.

Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Solano, J 2; Souza; Goodwin.

GIDP: Rhymes.

Team RISP: 3-for-15.

Team LOB: 9.

   Durham |AB |R |H |RBI |BB |SO |LOB |AVG

Lee, H, SS |4 |0 |0 |0 |0 |1 |1 |.216

Christian, RF |4 |0 |0 |0 |0 |1 |0 |.265

Figueroa, C, 3B |4 |0 |1 |0 |0 |2 |0 |.297

Mahtook, CF |3 |0 |1 |0 |1 |0 |1 |.322

Betemit, DH |4 |0 |2 |0 |0 |2 |2 |.234

Nix, J, 2B |3 |0 |0 |0 |1 |1 |2 |.221

Belnome, 1B |2 |0 |0 |0 |2 |1 |3 |.223

Casali, C |4 |0 |0 |0 |0 |3 |6 |.260

Price, LF |3 |0 |0 |0 |1 |0 |4 |.245

Totals |31 |0 |4 |0 |5 |11 |19 |

  BATTING

2B: Betemit 2 (11, Treinen, Treinen).

TB: Betemit 4; Figueroa, C; Mahtook.

Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Price 2; Casali.

Team RISP: 0-for-5.

Team LOB: 9.

  FIELDING

E: Lee, H (7, throw), Figueroa, C (6, fielding).

DP: (Nix, J-Lee, H-Belnome).

   Syracuse |IP |H |R |ER |BB |SO |HR |ERA

Treinen (W, 4-0) |6.0 |3 |0 |0 |3 |8 |0 |1.80

Grace |1.0 |0 |0 |0 |1 |0 |0 |0.00

Jackson, Z |1.0 |1 |0 |0 |0 |2 |0 |6.11

Madrigal |1.0 |0 |0 |0 |1 |1 |0 |2.00

  Durham |IP |H |R |ER |BB |SO |HR |ERA

Hellickson (L, 0-3) |5.0 |8 |6 |5 |0 |7 |1 |10.80

Kelly, M |2.2 |4 |3 |3 |2 |3 |0 |2.71

Liberatore |1.1 |1 |0 |0 |0 |2 |0 |2.25

  WP: Kelly, M.

HBP: Peterson (by Hellickson), Burriss (by Hellickson).

Pitches-strikes: Treinen 90-53, Grace 11-6, Jackson, Z 22-14, Madrigal 14-7, Hellickson 81-57, Kelly, M 59-42, Liberatore 20-12.

Groundouts-flyouts: Treinen 7-1, Grace 3-0, Jackson, Z 1-0, Madrigal 1-1, Hellickson 6-0, Kelly, M 4-2, Liberatore 2-0.

Batters faced: Treinen 24, Grace 4, Jackson, Z 4, Madrigal 4, Hellickson 24, Kelly, M 16, Liberatore 5.

Inherited runners-scored: Liberatore 2-0.

Umpires: HP: Carlos Torres. 1B: Joey Amaral. 3B: David Soucy.

Weather: 77 degrees, partly cloudy.

Wind: 7 mph, L to R.

T: 3:05.

Att: 8,609.