It was a really good day at the office for Curt Casali. The Durham catcher led the Bulls with six RBIs, including a three-run home run in the fifth, as Durham defeated Indianapolis 9-4 at the DBAP.
Casali’s blast over the right field fence have the Bulls (59-37) a commanding 9-1 lead. And even though the Indians (53-43) would chip into the deficit in the sixth, Durham’s lead, thanks to Casali, was big enough to overcome.
“The home run was very impressive,” Bulls’ manager Jared Sandberg said. “Anytime you see a home run go opposite field in this ballpark you know it’s well struck. He is seeing the ball well, it’s just been a matter of him trusting himself.”
Singles from Patrick Leonard and Jake Hager gave the Bulls a 2-0 lead in the second. After loading the bases in the third, Leonard drew a walk to make it 3-1, setting the stage for Casali, who nailed a double to score Jake Bauers, Willie Adames and Leonard. Casali swung for the fences in the fifth, hitting his third home run of the season. Casali’s two-hit performance was his 15th multi-hit game this season. The six runs batted in wasn’t a career-high for Casali, who drove in seven with Charlotte in 2013.
“I don’t have many home runs this year and I don’t really know what the issue is with my lack of power throughout the season,” Casali said. “But it just comes and goes. I put it some good work in the cage, and it’s a lot easier to hit when you get in a situation when the pitcher is worn down and he’s going to leave the pitch up.”
The double came at a crucial moment in the game for the Bulls, who were facing two outs with three runners on and it appeared that Nick Kingham was going to get out of the inning. That was Casali’s second at-bat - he drew a walk his first time up - and he had a good feel for what Kingham had.
“I ended up getting walked and I think that set me up for three fastballs,” Casali said.
Yonny Chirinos picked up his 10th win of the season, earning his fifth straight win. Chirinos (10-3) went six innings, striking out eight. The bulk of the Indians runs came in the sixth, three coming from a three-run home run from Danny Ortiz to make it 9-4 in favor of Durham.
Casali said catching for Chirinos was “easy.”
“Every time I’ve caught him he’s more and more impressive,” Casali said. “He works hard on the four days he’s not pitching and it’s hard to find somebody with a sinker like that. When he wants he can rip it 96 or let it cruise at 92 and let it rip even more. He’s been a blessing for our team every since he got here.”
Ryan Garton came on for relief in the seventh inning, striking out two in two and not surrendering any hits.
The Bulls take on Lehigh Valley on Thursday at the DBAP. Austin Pruitt (0-0) gets the start for Durham. Jake Thompson (3-11) starts for Lehigh.