Jerry Sands drives in pair, Bulls pitch 2-hitter, top Norfolk
The Durham Bulls took a 3-2 lead into the ninth inning against Norfolk and preserved it at Durham Bulls Athletic Park on Thursday.
Durham’s pitching held up after a depleted bullpen cost the Bulls on Wednesday when backup catcher Mayo Acosta climbed the mound and absorbed a loss as a reliever after coming in to a 6-6 game.
Starting Bulls pitcher Merrill Kelly (3-0) struck out six batters in six innings and he and two relievers combined on a two-hitter.
That’s more like it, Bulls manager Charlie Montoyo said.
“He was outstanding,” Montoyo said about Kelly. “He was very good, kept the ball down.”
The Bulls needed those strong six innings from Kelly, because Norfolk southpaw T.J. McFarland (0-1) was really good and likely will be called up to the Baltimore Orioles before too long.
The Bulls took it to McFarland in the first inning, going up 2-0 when Jerry Sands drove in a couple of runs with a single to right field.
Norfolk matched those runs in the second when Alexi Casilla brought two teammates home with a single to right.
Kelly said he wasn’t trusting his pitches at that point in the game. He said he just had to get back to pitching his game.
“I tried to speed up a little bit with my delivery. I just felt like I was a little too deliberate in that second inning,” Kelly said. “I tried to really, kind of, place things rather than just letting it go.”
After a Norfolk pitching change in the sixth, Durham’s Mike Fontenot reached first on a fielding error by second-baseman Jemile Weeks.
That was reliever Chris Jones’ first pitch.
Weeks’ error allowed Sands to score, giving the Bulls the 3-2 margin and earning Kelly the win.
“He had the one tough inning, gave up two runs,” Montoyo said. “But then he just dealt. He’s been very good.”
The Bulls will need more Ks from Kelly as the season progresses, Montoyo suggested.
“He’s one of the reasons we won the championship last year,” Montoyo said. “And he’s doing it again.”
Kirby Yates earned his fifth save for the Bulls.
NOTES: N.C. Central basketball coach LeVelle Moton threw out the ceremonial first pitch — a strike. ... The Bulls begin an eight-game road trip tonight at Harbor Park in Norfolk against the Tides. Righthander Nathan Karns (1-1, 8.76 ERA) gets tonight’s 7:05 p.m. start against Norfolk righty Suk-min Yoon (0-2, 16.20). The teams play again Saturday at 7:05, Sunday at 2:05 and Monday at 12:05 p.m. ... The Bulls return home Saturday, April 26 to face Scranton/Wilkes-Barre at 5:05 p.m.
Durham Bulls (11-4) 3, Norfolk Tides (4-10) 2
April 17, 2014
|Weeks, J, 2B||2||0||0||0||2||1||0||.282|
|Adams, D, 3B||3||1||1||0||0||1||0||.175|
|Casilla, A, SS||2||0||1||2||1||0||0||.205|
|Jones, C, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
2B: Adams, D (3, Kelly, M).
TB: Adams, D 2; Casilla, A.
RBI: Casilla, A 2 (4).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Borbon; Urrutia.
Team RISP: 1-for-5.
Team LOB: 4.
SB: Casilla, A (3, 2nd base off Kelly, M/Rodriguez, E).
E: Weeks, J (3, fielding).
Pickoffs: Jones, C (Kiermaier at 1st base).
|Rodriguez, E, C||3||0||1||0||1||0||2||.136|
|Kelly, M, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
2B: Mahtook (2, Alderson).
TB: Kiermaier; Sands; Rodriguez, E; Olmedo 2; Christian; Mahtook 2.
RBI: Sands 2 (15).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Fontenot; Price 3.
Team RISP: 2-for-9.
Team LOB: 9.
SB: Mahtook (2, 3rd base off Jones, C/Joseph), Fontenot (2, 2nd base off Jones, C/Joseph).
CS: Kiermaier (1, 2nd base by Jones, C/Joseph).
PO: Kiermaier (1st base by Jones, C).
E: Fontenot (1, throw).
|McFarland (L, 0-1)||5.2||5||3||2||2||8||0||1.84|
|Kelly, M (W, 3-0)||6.0||2||2||2||2||6||0||1.50|
|Oviedo (H, 2)||1.0||0||0||0||0||1||0||4.50|
|Yates (S, 5)||2.0||0||0||0||2||3||0||0.00|
IBB: Rodriguez, E (by Jones, C), Fontenot (by Alderson).
Pitches-strikes: McFarland 90-58, Jones, C 23-11, Alderson 16-9, Kelly, M 90-58, Oviedo 12-7, Yates 35-18.
Groundouts-flyouts: McFarland 8-1, Jones, C 3-0, Alderson 2-1, Kelly, M 7-4, Oviedo 0-1, Yates 2-1.
Batters faced: McFarland 24, Jones, C 7, Alderson 5, Kelly, M 22, Oviedo 3, Yates 8.
Inherited runners-scored: Jones, C 2-1.
Umpires: HP: Max Guyll. 1B: Tom Honec. 3B: A.J. Johnson.
Weather: 63 degrees, clear.
Wind: 5 mph, In from CF.
Venue: Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
April 17, 2014
Compiled by MLB Advanced Media