[Via email from the Durham Bulls Director of Media Relations Matt DeMargel.]
Chris Richard struck out with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning ending the Bulls’ five-run rally just a few tallies short as the Braves knocked off Durham, 8-6 on Thursday night. A paid attendance of 8,311 watched as the Bulls dropped to 50-37 on the season.
Durham was behind 8-1 entering the bottom of the ninth inning when the bats came alive. Richard started the rally with a one-out single followed by a single from Ray Sadler and a walk to Craig Albernaz to load the bases. Rhyne Hughes singled to score Richard, then a passed ball by Clint Sammons allowed Sadler to score making it 8-3. Elliot Johnson then singled home Albernaz ending the night for pitcher Jon Huber.
Lefty Juan Perez entered the game and retired Henry Mateo on a sacrifice fly to make it 8-5. Perez then suffered a bout of wildness, beaning Reid Brignac and walking Matt Joyce and Justin Ruggiano to force home a run and make it 8-6. With the bases loaded, the home plate umpire ruled Richard failed to check his swing on a controversial first strike followed by a called strike two and a strikeout swinging to end the game.
RHP Bobby Brownlie (1-1) picked up his first win allowing one run on five hits in seven innings of work for Gwinnett, while RHP Matt DeSalvo (0-3) took the loss allowing six runs (five earned) on six hits and three walks in three and two-thirds innings. Perez picked up his first save of the season.
The Bulls head to Norfolk for a three-game series beginning on Friday night at Harbor Park in Norfolk, VA. Catch all the action with Neil Solondz on www.durhambulls.com.