by Mike Potter
DURHAM BULLS ATHLETIC PARK The Durham Bulls have been on a hot streak lately, and right now they’re taking on an opponent that has been even hotter.
The Syracuse Chiefs bring a nine-game win streak into tonight’s contest with the Bulls, following a 3-2, 12-inning victory here in Tuesday night’s series opener.
The Bulls will try to get it back tonight, as Alex Torres (2-3, 6.59) takes the hill against Tanner Roark (4-9, 5.37).
The visitors take an early lead before the Bulls stampede back, holding on for a 4-3 decision to even the current series.
Syracuse jumps on Torres in the second. Mark Teahen singles to left, followed by Jim Negrych’s single to right and Carlos Rivero’s single to left. Carlos Maldonado walks to bring on Jhonny Nunez. Negrych scores on Brett Carroll’s grounder to second, and then Rivero comes home on Corey Brown’s single to left.
The Bulls get one back with two out in the fifth as Rich Thompson singles to right and steals second before scoring when Henry Wrigley reaches on an error to Chris Marrero at first.
And they come up with a big inning in the sixth. Chris Gimenez draws a leadoff walk. With one out Tim Beckham singles to right, and then with two down Cole Figueroa walks to chase Roark and bring on Erik Arnesen. Thompson greets him with an RBI single to center, followed by Jesus Feliciano’s two-run single to center for the lead.
And that’s all the scoring.
Lance Pendleton, the Bulls’ fourth pitcher of the night after Kyle Farnsworth’s rehab inning in the third, gets the win by going 4 2/3 shutout innings and allowing three hits with two strikeouts against two walks. Dane De La Rosa gets his eighth save of the season.
Thompson finishes with three hits and two steals, while Feliciano adds two hits and two RBI in the Bulls’ 11-hit attack.
Teahen leads the Chiefs with four hits.
In other news, De La Rosa is the only Durham player named to the International League’s team for the Triple-A All-Star Game July 11 in Buffalo.
Four former Bulls are on the IL team in Toledo pitcher Chris Bootcheck, Charlotte third baseman Dan Johnson, Columbus outfielder Russ Canzler and Louisville catcher Dioner Navarro.
They said it …
Bulls manager Charlie Montoyo: “Well that was a nail-biter. Because of the way our bullpen is and everything, if it’s a tie game going to extras I don’t know what we’re going to do. I had like one guy left in the pen. Lance Pendleton did an outstanding job. He was the key tonight. Farnsworth looks different. This guy closes games in the American League East. In my opinion he’s ready.”
Pendleton: “If you can’t adapt to this game you might as well quit. I felt good, but I just need to quit walking guys late in the game and giving Charlie reasons to take me out. I was pretty frustrated because I hate coming out with my guys on base. I just like to finish innings. That’s my job.”
Thompson: “I think we hit some balls fairly well early, and then we got some walks and a big error we were able to capitalize on. We were able to string together some hits for runs, and taking our walks was big today. This is a loose clubhouse, and our pitching is keeping us in it. Pendleton is doing a great job.”
De La Rosa: “I’m pretty excited about the all-star game. I’ve never been on an all-star team before, so it’s a pleasant surprise. I’m just happy to be chosen. This year it seems like I’ve been rolling since the first month and it’s paying off.”
What does it all mean?
That the Bulls are 1-1 in their current series with the hottest team in the IL.
Stars of the game
Play of the game
Feliciano’s two-run single.
Bulls: Won 1.
Syracuse: Lost 1.
Syracuse leads 4-2.
Bulls (Jim Paduch 4-5, 4.18) vs. Syracuse (Yunesky Maya 5-5, 3.55), Thursday, 7:05 p.m.