[Via email from the Durham Bulls Director of Media Relations Matt DeMargel.]
A pair of home runs from Reid Brignac and strong work on the mound was enough for the Bulls to pull off a 3-2 win over Charlotte on Friday night in front of a paid attendance of 10,652 at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. The win was the seventh in a row for Durham, their best run of the season.
Brignac’s first homer came in the third after a Henry Mateo line drive ricocheted off Charlotte starting pitcher Jack Egbert’s thigh allowing Mateo to reach first safely with two outs. Egbert was forced to leave the game due to injury and was replaced by Adam Russell. The next batter, Brignac, deposited Russell’s 0-2 pitch over the wall in right to put the Bulls ahead 2-0.
Charlotte cut the Bulls lead to 2-1 in the fourth with an RBI-groundout from Charlotte’s Keith Ginter scoring a runner from third.
Brignac hit another long ball in the fifth, this time a solo shot to right-center off Ehren Wassermann to put Durham up 3-1. Brignac ended the day 2-for-4, with three RBIs which accounted for all three of the Bulls’ tallies.
That homerun would prove to be huge as Charlotte was able to score again in the seventh. An RBI-single from Brent Lillibridge finally chased Cromer off the mound as he was replaced by Bulls reliever Jason Childers with two on and no outs. Childers retired the next three batters in order to get out of the inning with Durham’s lead still intact at 3-2.
Charlotte failed to generate anymore runs as Joe Bateman and Dale Thayer followed Childers out of the Bulls’ bullpen and kept the Knights scoreless with Thayer picking up his second-consecutive save in as many days.
Cromer (2-2) picked up the win after tossing six innings allowing two earned runs off eight hits and one walk with three strikeouts. It is his third straight consecutive start.
During the Bulls season-high, seven-game winning streak, five of their victories have been decided by two runs or less. Durham is now 23-14 this season in games decided by one or two runs.
The Bulls now take their five-game home-and-home series against the Knights to Charlotte for the remaining three matches. Righty Matt DeSalvo takes the mound for the Bulls tomorrow night for their 4th of July matchup against Charlotte with the first pitch scheduled for 7:30 p.m.