[Via email from the Durham Bulls' broadcaster Neil Solondz.]
Henry Mateo homered twice as Durham won its first game without manager Charlie Montoyo, 12-5 on Saturday night. Montoyo left the team on Saturday morning, as his son Alex is due to undergo open heart surgery in the coming week. Hitting coach Dave Myers is taking over managerial duties in the interim.
Mateo hit a leadoff homer in the first to right field off Jack Cassel (5-7), starting a four-run rally. The Bulls also took advantage of three Columbus errors later on in that frame to score three more runs.
In the sixth, with the game at 4-0, Durham scored six more times to blow the game open. Mateo’s second homer of the night, and third of the season off reliever Blaine Neal capped the rally. The blast to right-center came one batter after Craig Albernaz hit a three-run double to left for an 8-0 advantage.
Durham tacked on single runs in the seventh and eighth against the Columbus bullpen.
James Houser (4-4) took advantage of the run support. The lefty allowed just three singles and two walks over the first six innings. Calvin Medlock followed with two scoreless frames before Columbus scored five runs in the ninth to get on the board.
Durham collected 14 hits, as Justin Ruggiano and Reid Brignac had three hits each. Brignac homered, and Matt Joyce had a pair of doubles.
Durham (42-34)has won two straight and is 3-2 on an eight-game road trip through Ohio. The Bulls are tied with Norfolk atop the South Division, and a half-game ahead of Gwinnett. Durham meets Columbus on Sunday at 5:05 as RHP Matt DeSalvo starts for the Bulls. Coverage on 99.9 the Fan ESPN Radio begins at 4:45 with first pitch at 5:05.