The Game: The Durham Bulls found themselves on the losing end of a 12-7 slugfest against the Buffalo Bisons on Friday night at Coca-Cola Field. Both clubs combined for 19 runs on 27 hits in the contest.
The Bulls jumped out to a two run lead in the second inning. Dan Johnson led off the inning with a walk. Angel Chavez cleared the bases with a two run blast to put the Bulls in front 2-0.
Buffalo cut the lead in half in the bottom of the second. Fernando Martinez hit a solo home run to pull the Bisons closer 2-1.
The Bisons took the lead in the third inning. Mike Jacobs double on a line drive to put a runner on base. Mike Hessman then reached on an error. Chris Carter drove home a run with a single to right to score Jacobs. Hessman later scored on a single by Russ Adams to take a 3-2 lead.
The Bulls battled back to regain the lead in the fourth inning. Justin Ruggiano reached on a line drive single to lead off the inning. Ruggiano then stole second. Dan Johnson reached base on an interference call with Ruggiano moving to third on the play. Ryan Shealy drove home the tying run with a single to left. Both runners advanced into scoring position on a ground out by Chris Richard. Elliot Johnson drove home a run with a line drive to right. Then another run scored when Alvin Colina hit into a double play, scoring Shealy and giving the Bulls a 5-3 lead.
Buffalo broke away from the Bulls in the bottom of the fourth, striking for six runs in the inning. The Bisons hit through the entire lineup in the inning and struck big off a grand slam by Mike Hessman, a solo home run by Chris Carter and an RBI double by Josh Thole to give them a 9-5 lead.
The Bulls collected another run in the fifth inning. Rashad Eldridge reached on a force out. Eldridge then stole second and later scored on a double by Dan Johnson to pull within three 9-6.
But Buffalo’s offense kept rolling, matching Durham’s run and adding another. Jesus Feliciano singled to right. Fernando Martinez then drew a walk to put a second runner on the bases. Feliciano scored on a wild pitch. Then Chris Carter drove home the second run to increase the lead to 11-6.
Durham would chip away at the lead by picking up another run in the sixth. Angel Chavez reached base on a ground rule double. Elliot Johnson drew a walk and Alvin Colina singled to load the bases. Chavez would then score on a bases loaded walk to pull within four, 11-7.
Buffalo struck once again in the sixth . Josh Thole double to center to get things going. Then Jason Pridie drove him home with an RBI double to right, giving them the 12-7 margin of victory.
Aneury Rodriguez suffered the loss, pitching 3 1/3 innings and allowing 7 runs (4 earned) on 8 hits with 4 strikeouts and 2 walks. Heath Rollins followed with 1 2/3 innings and surrendered 4 runs on 6 hits with a strikeout and a walk. Brian Baker pitched the final 3 innings and allowed 1 run on 2 hits with a strikeout and a walk.
Bulls Player of the Game: Angel Chavez; 2 for 4 with a double, home run, 2 RBI’s, 2 runs scored and a walk.
RP Top Prospect Watch:
Aneury Rodriguez: 7 runs (4 earned) on 8 hits with 4 strikeouts and 2 walks in 3 1/3 innings.
A Look Ahead: The Bulls (15-8) head to Frontier Field to open a four game series against the Rochester Red Wings (9-13). Richard De Los Santos (0-0, 6.00) will be making the start for Durham against Matt Fox (1-0, 1.84) for Rochester.