[Via email from the Durham Bulls' broadcaster Neil Solondz.]
Chris Richard hit his team-high sixth homer, but it wasn't enough to rally Durham from an early 4-0 deficit in a 10-2 loss to Charlotte on Thursday night. Richard's leadoff homer in the fifth was the first ball hit out of the infield against Wes Whisler (3-2), who was solid over the first 6.1 innings. Durham did rally again in the seventh, and had runners at first and third. Ray Sadler just missed a three-run homer off Adam Russell, and settled for a sac fly that got Durham within 4-2.
Charlotte then put the game out of reach, scoring five runs in the bottom of the seventh, and another in the eighth against Chad Orvella, Durham's third pitcher.
Durham had fallen behind 4-0 as the Knights scored two-out runs in the first, second and fourth innings against David Price (1-4). The top pitching prospect for the Rays lasted only four innings, and walked five without striking out a batter. He allowed six hits and four earned runs. Of the 11 baserunners, nine came with two out.
With the loss and a Norfolk doubleheader sweep of Columbus, the Bulls (16-11) fell a half-game behind the Tides in the South Division. Durham is 1-1 on a six-game road trip.
Durham opens a four-game road series with the Gwinnett Braves on Friday. Wade Davis (3-0) starts for the Bulls. Coverage on 99.9 the Fan's HD2 and www.durhambulls.com begins at 6:40.