[Game recap provided by the Bull's media relations office]
Scranton overcame an early two-run deficit as the Bulls allowed five runs in the sixth inning and fell to the Yankees 9-3. Jeremy Hellickson was dealt his first loss of the season after being charged with five earned runs in 5.0 plus innings of work, striking out three and walking two in his first defeat since August 10, 2009.
The Bulls struck first with a pair of runs in the fourth inning against Yankees right-hander Zach McAllister. After loading the bases with one out, Chris Richard brought home two with a bouncer through the right side of the infield. It was the only mistake McAllister would make in 7.0 strong innings of work, allowing seven hits and walking one while striking out six to earn his first victory of the season.
After the Yankees added a run in the fifth inning on an RBI double by Reegie Corona, the first four men reached base off Hellickson to open up the sixth inning. With one run already across and the bases loaded, Bulls reliever Mike Ekstrom allowed an RBI single to Matt Cusick before walking ninth hitter Robby Hammock to force home another run. Ekstrom got ahead of Greg Golson 0-2, but he fought a ball off and bounced it through the middle for a two-run single to put the Yankees on top 6-2. Bulls catcher Jose Lobaton helped his pitcher out of the jam, picking off Hammock at second base before throwing out Golson attempting to steal second to end the rally.
Hank Blalock cut the lead to 6-3 with a solo blast in the bottom of the eighth inning off Royce Ring. It was Blalock’s fourth home run of the season, and second off a left-handed pitcher. He finished the day 2-for-4, collecting his 14th multi-hit game in 22 games played on the season.
The Yankees answered right back with three more in the top of the ninth to seal the victory. Juan Miranda started the scoring with an RBI single, and David Winfree followed with a two-run homer off right-hander Winston Abreu to put Scranton on top 9-3.
The loss drops the Bulls to 19-12 on the season, but they still remain 4.0 games ahead of Gwinnett for the lead in the Southern Division standings.
Tomorrow the Bulls play their first game at historic Durham Athletic Park, where they open up a four-game set with the Toledo MudHens. It will be the first time the Bulls have graced the field at the DAP since September 5, 1994, and fans are encouraged to come out and be a part of history as they take the field once again. Game time is set for 7:05 p.m.