Beckham's bat comes alive, lifts Bulls past Knights
Durham second baseman Tim Beckham made some mechanical adjustments during spring training in an attempt to minimize unnecessary movement in his swing.
The changes didn’t seem to be very effective through two weeks — on a team that had scored the second-most runs in the International League, Beckham was hitting a team-low .148 with one RBI and no extra-base hits.
But the former overall No. 1 pick showed some promise Wednesday night, going 2 for 4 with a double and three RBI as the Bulls beat the Charlotte Knights 6-2 at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
Beckham had an RBI single in the second and a two-run double off the wall in the third. He could have had an even more productive night, but his lineout out with the bases loaded in the seventh was hit right at shortstop Drew Garcia.
“I thought his timing was pretty good tonight,” Bulls hitting coach and acting manager Dave Myers said. “He hammered that ball off the wall, hit one in the hole, and the bases-loaded ball he crushed, it was just bad aim. ... Hopefully tonight will catapult him to what we thought was going to happen in the beginning.”
Beckham provided enough offense for the Bulls pitchers, who struck out 16 Knights, including four in the seventh inning. Adam Liberatore struck out the first three — Carlos Sanchez reached on a dropped third strike — and Kirby Yates came in to strike out Steve Tolleson.
Coming off a 3-1 series win in Charlotte, the Knights (5-9) got off to another strong beginning against spot starter J.D. Martin, who is in the rotation while Mike Montgomery is on the disabled list with forearm soreness.
Martin (1-1), who had given up nine runs (six earned) in 8.2 innings this season, walked the first batter and then gave up a towering two-run homer on an inside fastball to Tolleson.
But the 30-year-old righty settled down after that. Martin, who made 24 starts for the Washington Nationals in 2009-10, struck out seven and allowed just three hits in 5.1 inning.
“I feel like I was mixing it up a bit better,” Martin said. “I had a good curveball today, and I really took advantage of that.”
The Bulls (9-5) scored runs in the second, third and fourth innings thanks to defensive miscues. Brandon Guyer scored when catcher Josh Phegley dropped the ball on a tag, tying the game at 2-2, and Vince Belnome gave Durham the lead when Garcia’s throw to first base sailed into the Bulls dugout on an attempted double play.
Beckham’s two-run double extended the lead to 5-2, and Durham picked up another run in the fourth thanks to a hustling Hak-Ju Lee, who scored from first on a single by Belnome when the throw from centerfielder Jared Mitchell missed the cut-off man. Belnome finished 3 for 4.
When Martin left, Bulls’ relievers continued to mow down the Knights, and Josh Lueke finished off the performance by striking out the side after a leadoff walk in the ninth inning.
NOTES — Alex Montoyo, the five-year-old son of Bulls manager Charlie Montoyo, underwent his fourth open-heart surgery on Monday at UCLA. “For the most part, the surgery went fine, but he’s had some tough nights,” Bulls general manager Mike Birling. “It’s definitely been hard and we’re just trying to make it as easy as we can on the family. There’s been no timetable in terms of when he’s going to be let out or even if the procedure was a success.” Alex has Ebstein’s anomaly, and needed the procedure to fix a faulty valve. “Charlie’s keeping tabs on the team and trying to keep everything together, but obviously this is a tough time right now,” Birling said. … The song “Sweet Caroline” was played the middle of the fifth inning to honor the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing. … More than 250 dogs watched the game at the DBAP as part of the “Bark in the Park” promotion. … Durham has a rare 11:05 a.m. start today against Charlotte. Jake Odorizzi (0-0, 3.00) goes for the Bulls against fellow righty Matt Zaleski (1-0, 3.27).
Durham Bulls (9-5) 6, Charlotte Knights (5-9) 2
April 17, 2013
|Sanchez, C, 2B||4||0||0||0||0||3||3||.225|
|Anderson, La, DH||4||0||1||0||0||2||3||.250|
|Gallagher, J, RF||4||0||0||0||0||1||4||.308|
|Garcia, A, SS||3||0||1||0||1||1||0||.217|
|Castro, S, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
2B: Anderson, La (1, Yates).
HR: Tolleson (2, 1st inning off Martin, J, 1 on, 1 out).
TB: Anderson, La 2; Garcia, A; Durango; Tolleson 4; Phegley 2.
RBI: Tolleson 2 (12).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Mitchell; Tolleson; Gallagher, J 3.
SAC: Sanchez, C.
Team RISP: 1-for-7.
Team LOB: 10.
E: Garcia, A (2, throw), Mitchell (2, throw), Phegley (1, catcher interference).
PB: Phegley (2).
DP: (Garcia, A-Sanchez, C).
|Gimenez, C, C||2||1||1||0||1||0||1||.282|
|Martin, J, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
2B: Guyer (3, Castro, S), Beckham (1, Castro, S).
TB: Belnome 3; Beckham 3; Guyer 2; Gimenez, C; Myers; Fontenot; Lee.
RBI: Beckham 3 (4), Figueroa (5).
2-out RBI: Beckham 2.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Lee 2; Figueroa; Gimenez, C.
Team RISP: 4-for-11.
Team LOB: 9.
SB: Thompson (5, 2nd base off Castro, S/Phegley).
|Castro, S (L, 0-2)||5.0||7||6||6||3||5||0||6.88|
|Martin, J (W, 1-1)||5.1||5||2||2||2||7||1||5.14|
WP: Liberatore, Yates.
Balk: Castro, S.
HBP: Mitchell (by Yates), Gimenez, C (by Castro, S).
Pitches-strikes: Castro, S 85-48, Heath 29-18, Omogrosso 16-13, Martin, J 87-53, Liberatore 29-18, Yates 24-15, Lueke 18-13.
Groundouts-flyouts: Castro, S 3-7, Heath 1-0, Omogrosso 2-0, Martin, J 5-3, Liberatore 1-0, Yates 1-0, Lueke 0-0.
Batters faced: Castro, S 26, Heath 9, Omogrosso 4, Martin, J 23, Liberatore 6, Yates 6, Lueke 4.
Inherited runners-scored: Liberatore 1-0, Yates 1-0.
Umpires: HP: Toby Basner. 1B: Sean Barber. 2B: Andy Dudones. 3B: David Rackley.
Weather: 81 degrees, partly cloudy.
Wind: 5 mph, Out to CF.
Compiled by MLB Advanced Media