When one is considered a draft disappointment due to the players taken behind him, it can be hard to overcome that distinction. Yet, putting together solid numbers and coming up with a big hit in a critical spot can help lessen that stigma. Even though Tim Beckham has struggled a bit this season for Durham, he put together an excellent performance last night, helping the Bulls to victory.
Durham Bulls 10, Rochester Red Wings (Twins) 7
If you enjoy pitching duels, you may not want to read this recap, as this game was an offensive slugfest. After trading runs in the first inning, the Bulls went on top in the second. Three consecutive singles loaded the bases with one out, and Jason Bourgeois hit a sacrifice fly to give the Bulls a 2-1 lead. Another sacrifice fly in the third, this time off the bat of Shelley Duncan, put Durham ahead 3-1. However, the Red Wings tied the game in the bottom of the fourth, as Chris Colabello hit a two run shot to even the score at 3-3. Durham came right back in the fifth, putting runners on first and second with no one out. Duncan doubled, plating a run and moving the runner to third, before Vince Belnome hit a two run single, putting the Bulls back on top 6-3. Rochester refused to be put away, using a solo home run from Eric Fryer and another two run home run off the bat of Colabello to tie the game at 6-6. Durham took the lead again in the top of the seventh. With runners on second and third with one out, as Bourgeois hit a two run single to put the Bulls on top 8-6. They extended the lead in the top of the ninth, as Tim Beckham hit his first home run of the season to give Durham a 10-6 lead. A solo home run cut the lead to three, but the Bulls were able to hold on and take a 10-7 victory. Steve Geltz picked up the win, pitching 2.2 perfect innings with three strikeouts. Durham starter Jake Odorizzi had a rough start, giving up six runs on six hits and two walks in 5.1 innings, with six strikeouts. Every Durham starter had a hit, with Beckham leading the offense, going 4-5 with a home run, a double, two runs scored, and two RBIs.
Montgomery Biscuits 6, Birmingham Barons (White Sox) 3
It is much easier to win a game when the starting pitcher is shutting down the opposition, which is exactly what Enny Romero did to the Barons last night. The Biscuits started off on the right foot, as Kevin Kiermaier doubled, and scored on a base hit by Mikie Mahtook to give the Biscuits a 1-0 lead. Mahtook struck again in the third, driving in Shawn O’Malley with an RBI double, and coming around to score on a sacrifice fly to give the Biscuits a 3-0 lead. Meanwhile, Romero was dealing, and did not allow a hit until two out in the fifth when Cody Puckett broke up the no hitter. The Barons finally got on the board in the bottom of the eighth, as Trayce Thompson drove in Marcus Semien with an RBI single. The Biscuits put another three runs on the board in the top of the ninth, as Kiermaier tripled to plate Kyeong Kang. O’Malley drove in Kiermaier with a single, then stole second and third before scoring on a throwing error, giving the Biscuits a 6-1 lead. The Barons got two back in the bottom of the ninth, but Montgomery held on to the 6-3 victory. Romero picked up the win, allowing only two hits in 6.2 innings of work. He did walk four, and recorded two strikeouts in his start. Mahtook and Kiermaier each had three hits in the victory.
Charlotte Stone Crabs 7, Daytona Cubs 1
The Stone Crabs got on the board in the top of the second, as they had runners on first and third with one out. Taylor Motter doubled, driving in the first run of the game, putting runners on second and third. After a walk loaded the bases, Jake Hager singled off the glove of shortstop Javier Baez, driving in two to give the Stone Crabs a 3-0 lead. They extended the lead in the fourth, as Motter walked, then took second on a balk before stealing third. Willie Argo plated Motter with an RBI single, and moved to second on an error. Argo came around to score on Drew Vettleson‘s triple. Vettleson scored on a double off the bat of Alejandro Segovia, as Charlotte jumped out to a 6-0 lead. The Cubs got a run back in the bottom of the inning on a fielder’s choice, but were unable to come any closer as the Stone Crabs took a 7-1 victory. Jake Floethe picked up the win, pitching five scoreless innings of relief, allowing three hits and a walk while striking out six. Segovia and Vettleson each had three hits and an RBI in the win.
Fort Wayne TinCaps (Padres) 3, Bowling Green Hot Rods 0
Both starters, Blake Snell for the Hot Rods and Max Fried for the TinCaps, were locked in a pitcher’s duel, with the team that cracked first likely to lose the game. For a moment, it appeared as though the Hot Rods would get on the board first. With one out in the top of the fifth, Bowling Green had runners on first and second. Leonardo Reginatto singled to center, but Ryan Dunn was thrown out at the plate attempting to score. With runners now on second and third with two outs, Fried managed to get a groundout to end the threat. The TinCaps would up striking first in the sixth. With one out, Gabriel Quintana bunted for a base hit, and was followed by a two run home run from Jeremy Baltz to give Fort Wayne the lead. A two out RBI double from Rodney Daal gave the TinCaps a 3-0 lead. The Hot Rods had their chances, loading the bases with one out in the seventh and putting runners on first and second with one out in the ninth, but were unable to come up with the key hit to get on the board. Snell took the loss, allowing the three runs on six hits and three walks in 5.2 innings, while striking out four. Reginatto was 2-4, and Justin O’Conner went 1-3 with a double and a walk in the loss.