[Via email from the Durham Bulls' broadcaster Neil Solondz.]
Chris Richard's three-run homer got the Bulls close in the sixth, but it wasn't enough in a 5-3 loss at Lehigh Valley on Friday night. Richard's three-run homer, his team-leading 10th, gave him 34 RBI, second in the International League. The opposite field blast off Kyle Kendrick (3-3) into the left field bullpen scored Justin Ruggiano and Matt Joyce, who had walked and singled.
Unfortunately the Bulls would not get another hit thereafter. Durham did draw two walks in the eighth, but closer Mike Koplove struck out Ray Sadler to end the threat. In the ninth, Koplove walked leadoff batter John Jaso, but struck out the next three Durham hitters to end the game.
Durham managed six hits, and struck out 11 times (including the last six outs) against four Lehigh Valley pitchers. Matt Joyce (2-for-4) was the only Bull with a multi-hit game. He has eight hits in his last three contests.
Mitch Talbot (3-4) took the loss. Hit batters and walks hurt Talbot. A one-out hit batter led to a run in the first. A leadoff hit batter in the third started a three-run rally that was extended on a two-out walk. Talbot allowed a season-high five runs on nine hits over the first five innings. Chad Orvella and Randy Choate combined to pitch three scoreless innings out of the Durham pen.
The Bulls (25-16), 1-1 on an eight-game road trip, take on Lehigh Valley at 7:05 on Saturday. Coverage on 99.9 the Fan's HD2 begins at 6:45.