by Mike Potter
DURHAM BULLS ATHLETIC PARK It’s Game 2 of the Durham Bulls’ four-game set with the Columbus Clippers, and the Bulls are looking to continue a solid homestand.
The Bulls remain in third place in the International League’s South Division, trailing the first-place Charlotte Knights by 10 games with 26 left in the season.
There’s a local guy on the mound tonight, as Clayton High alum Chris Archer (6-8, 4.15) will go against southpaw Eric Berger (2-4, 5.16).
Tonight the Clippers are just a little better, winning 2-1 in 10 innings.
Columbus takes the lead in the first. Jason Donald hits a one-out single to left, advances on Vinny Rottino’s double to left and scores on Matt LaPorta’s fly to center.
The Bulls finally get on the board in the fourth. With two out, Cole Figueroa singles to center and advances on a wild pitch before scoring on Henry Wrigley’s double to left.
Archer has a very solid outing, going 6 2/3 innings and allowing a run on five hits with eight strikeouts against a pair of walks.
Berger also has a quality start, going six innings and allowing a run on five hits with two strikeouts against two walks.
Columbus takes the lead in the 10th as Aaron Cunningham singles, takes second on a Brandon Gomes wild pitch, third on Tim Fedroff’s fly to center and home on Donald’s single to right.
Donald leads Columbus with three hits and an RBI, while Rottino chips in two doubles.
Rich Thompson paces the Bulls with three hits.
They said it …
Bulls manager Charlie Montoyo: “It was good to see Archer throwing strikes. That’s two really solid outings in a row. He’s got that confidence now; pitching in the big leagues (in late June) really helped that. He’s got good stuff. But when we face lefties we struggle on offense.”
Archer: “I’ve been getting ahead of hitters and letting my defense go to work. You throw strikes and attack the zone and let your defense make plays. I’ve noticed that I’ve pitched better since I came back down (June 29). If I can be successful and compete there, I can come back and do the same thing.”
Wrigley: “It was just one of those nights when you have to scratch as much as you can. I feel like our lefties can handle lefties well. Tonight they just threw some good pitches and the results weren’t there.”
What does it all mean?
That the Bulls’ pitching staff is solidifying, but the team has an awful time hitting left-handed pitching.
Stars of the game
Play of the game
Donald’s game-winning single.
Bulls: Lost 1.
Columbus: Won 1.
Bulls (Alex Colome 0-0, 0.00) vs. Columbus (Jeanmar Gomez 5-2, 3.02), Wednesday, 7:05 p.m.