Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Durham Bulls Lose 6-3 To Gwinnett Braves

Durham Bulls[Via email from the Durham Bulls' broadcaster Neil Solondz.]

Reid Brignac had four hits to key the Durham attack, but it wasn't enough on Monday in a 6-3 loss to Gwinnett. With the loss, the first of four against the Braves, both teams are 65-51, tied for first in the South Division with 28 games left for each club.

The Bulls had 12 hits, drew three walks, and had two runners on base due to errors, but scored just single runs in the second, eighth and ninth, going 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position. The Bulls also hit into three double plays, two on balls hit to the outfield.

Durham took a 1-0 lead on John Jaso's sac fly in the second. Jeremy Hellickson (2-1) retired 12 of his first 13, and got out of a first-and-second none out jam in the fifth to keep Durham up 1-0 through five. However, Hellickson allowed a two-run homer to rehabbing shortstop Omar Infante in the sixth for a 2-1 Braves lead.

Hellickson should have had a 1-2-3 seventh, and departed with the game at 2-1 after seven. However, Durham committed two errors on the infield, and Hellickson left with two on and one out. The Braves took advantage of the miscues, as well as two walks and a hit batter to score three unearned runs that frame for a 5-1 lead.

Durham had second and third none out in the eighth, but got just one run to get within 5-2, and a Wes Timmons sac fly extended the lead in the bottom of the eighth for a 6-2 Gwinnett advantage.

Elliot Johnson did homer to start the ninth, and Durham later loaded the bases with one out, but Luis Valdez struck out Matt Joyce and Chris Richard to end the game.

Durham will look to bounce back on Tuesday with a bullpen-by-committee approach. Calvin Medlock is expected to start in place of Carlos Hernandez. Air time on 99.9 the Fan ESPN Radio is at 6:55, with first pitch at 7:05.

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