[Via email from Matt DeMargel.]
Durham, NC – The Bulls made it four in a row with a 9-3 victory Friday night over Scranton. Rashad Eldridge and Joe Dillon each had three hits for the offense, while Richard De Los Santos earned his first win of the season as the team improved to 19-10.
The Bulls got the scoring started in the bottom of the first, as Fernando Perez led off the game with a double off the wall in left. A fly out moved the runner over to third and Dillon walked before Hank Blalock and Dan Johnson laced back-to-back RBI-singles to give the Bulls a 2-0 lead.
The Yankees came right back in the top of the second inning against De Los Santos. The damage was done by a two-run blast off the bat of Chad Huffman, his fourth of the season, to tie the game at two apiece.
A solo homer by Jose Lobaton, his second in as many days, put the Bulls on top 3-2 and the score remained that way until the top of the sixth. De Los Santos allowed a leadoff double to Kevin Russo, who came around to score on an RBI-single by Eduardo Nunez one batter latter to tie the score once again. The Bulls starter was able to get out of the jam however, as he induced David Winfree to ground into the 5-4-3 double-play to end the inning.
De Los Santos got through 6.2 innings of work allowing three earned runs on five hits while walking one and striking out four. It was his longest outing since June 4, 2008 when he picked up the win against Carolina as a member of Double-A Montgomery.
The Bulls offense picked up their starter, putting together a four-run rally all with two outs against Yankees reliever Amaury Sanit to put them on top for good. Eldridge got things started with a two-out double blooped down the line in left. After a walk to Perez, Elliot Johnson followed with a double of his own to score Eldridge with the go-ahead run. After a wild pitch brought home another run, Dillon laced an RBI-double and Blalock followed with an RBI-single to put the Bulls ahead 7-3.
They tacked on single runs in the seventh and eighth innings to finish off the scoring. Eldridge brought home a run with his third hit of the night, and Dillon knocked a ball out of the park for a solo homer for his third hit of the night, his fifth blast of the season.
Joe Bateman did his job putting together an inning and a third of scoreless relief, while Dale Thayer closed it out in the ninth with a scoreless inning of his own. With the victory the Bulls improve lead in the Southern Division to 4.5 games over Gwinnett.
The two teams continue the series tomorrow, as LHP Carlos Hernandez (2-0 3.10) takes the ball for the Bulls to be matched up against RHP Jason Hirsch (2-3 3.06) for the Yankees. Game time is set for 5.05 p.m.