Ex-Indian hurler Josh Tomlin goes Big League on Bulls, 3-0
It’s not too often the Durham Bulls have trouble putting runs on the big scoreboard in left field at Durham Bulls Athletic Park. A month into the season, the Bulls led the International League in runs scored coming into Thursday’s game.
However, the Columbus Clippers’ Josh Tomlin possessed whatever antidote opposing pitchers need to stop the Bulls’ offense. Tomlin struck out 10, and allowed just three hits and no walks in a complete-game 3-0 shutout.
It was the first time the Bulls have been shut out this season. And Tomlin, who has appeared in at least parts of four seasons for the Cleveland Indians, completed the game by throwing only 89 pitches, 69 for strikes.
“That guy was on,” Bulls manager Charlie Montoyo said of Tomlin’s performance. “It’s not the first time I’ve seen him in this league. I don’t do this too often, but I’m giving the guy credit, there was nothing we could do.”
The Bulls started Enny Romero, who had a 2-3 record with a 4.44 ERA coming into the game. Of the four pitchers who have started at least five games for Durham this season, the Bulls’ offense had provided the most run support for Romero, averaging 5.4 runs in his five starts.
But the Bulls were not touching Tomlin, who retired the first seven batters. Hak-Ju Lee singled with one out in the third inning to become the first Bull to reach base. But Ali Solis hit into a 6-4-3 double play on the next at bat.
The Clippers gave Tomlin some breathing room in the fourth.
Ryan Rohlinger led off the inning with a single between third and short. He advanced to second as Matt Carson bunted for a single that Bulls third baseman Ray Olmedo was not able to get to in time.
A couple of batters later Audy Criaco knocked in Rohlinger with a line-drive single to left. With two outs, Justin Sellers reached on an infield single just off the outstretched glove of first baseman Vince Belnome to knock in Carson and give the Clippers a 3-0 lead.
The Bulls had their best opportunities to get to Tomlin when they led off the fifth and sixth innings with doubles.
Wilson Betemit led off the bottom of the fifth for Bulls with a double that hit the warning track in left field. The Bulls failed to do anything with Betemit in scoring position. Jerry Sands struck out looking at a breaking ball, Mike Fontenot grounded out to first, and Ray Olmedo struck out swinging.
Asked whether he considered bunting or otherwise sacrificing an at-bat to advance the runner, Montoyo said, “We were just hoping for hits. Down 3-0, we just needed hits.”
In the sixth, Lee led off with a double to the rightfield corner. But Solis grounded out to second, Kevin Kiermaier popped out to third and Justin Christian struck out on a checked swing.
When asked the secret to Tomlin’s success, Bulls manager Charlie Montoyo said, “He threw everything for strikes. I don’t know how many different pitches he has — a slider, change ups, high fast balls with a purpose. He was on. Sometimes you have to tip your hat, say ‘OK.’ What are you going to do?”
The Bulls never got another runner into scoring position.
Solis led off the bottom of the ninth with a deep fly ball that drove Clippers’ center fielder Nyjer Morgan onto the warning track before he made the catch just in front of the 400-foot sign. But that was only followed by plate appearances by Kevin Kiermaier and Justin Christian that resulted in a strikeout and fly out to left field.
NOTES — The Bulls play the second game of their four-game homestand against the Columbus Clippers at 7:05 tonight with lefty Mike Montgomery (3-0, 2.81) making his first appearance since combining on a no-hitter with teammate Brad Boxberger on Saturday. Montgomery pitched 8-1/3 hitless innings in that outing. He’ll face righty Travis Banwart (1-0, 4.15). ... Boxberger was recalled by the parent Tampa Bay Rays Thursday ... The pitching matchup for Saturday’s 5:05 p.m. game is Bulls righty Merrill Kelly (4-0, 2.10) against Clippers righty Trevor Bauer (3-0, 1.40). The series continues Sunday at 5:05 p.m. ...
Columbus Clippers (12-13) 3, Durham Bulls (18-10) 0
May 1, 2014
|Carson, M, LF||4||1||1||0||0||1||2||.264|
|Perez, R, C||4||0||0||0||0||1||2||.375|
2B: Morgan 2 (3, Romero, Liberatore), Sellers (4, Romero).
3B: Moncrief (1, Romero).
TB: Aguilar; Fedroff; Sellers 3; Morgan 4; Ciriaco; Carson, M; Moncrief 3; Rohlinger.
RBI: Rohlinger (5), Ciriaco (6), Sellers (7).
2-out RBI: Sellers.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Moncrief 2; Fedroff 2; Carson, M.
GIDP: Carson, M.
Team RISP: 3-for-12.
Team LOB: 9.
|Lee, H, SS||3||0||2||0||0||0||0||.150|
2B: Betemit (3, Tomlin), Lee, H (1, Tomlin).
TB: Betemit 2; Lee, H 3.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Olmedo; Christian.
Team RISP: 0-for-6.
Team LOB: 2.
E: Lee, H (1, throw).
DP: (Fontenot-Lee, H-Belnome).
|Tomlin (W, 2-1)||9.0||3||0||0||0||10||0||2.06|
|Romero (L, 2-4)||5.2||9||3||3||1||5||0||4.50|
HBP: Rohlinger (by Sandoval).
Pitches-strikes: Tomlin 89-70, Romero 95-61, Sandoval 25-19, Liberatore 8-6.
Groundouts-flyouts: Tomlin 7-4, Romero 6-3, Sandoval 3-0, Liberatore 1-1.
Batters faced: Tomlin 29, Romero 28, Sandoval 7, Liberatore 4.
Inherited runners-scored: Sandoval 1-0.
Umpires: HP: Nick Lentz. 1B: Brad Myers. 3B: Doug Vines.
Weather: 78 degrees, cloudy.
Wind: 15 mph, Out to LF.
Venue: Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
May 1, 2014
Compiled by MLB Advanced Media