by Mike Potter
DURHAM BULLS ATHLETIC PARK The Durham Bulls come into the finale of their homestand looking for a split of their four-game set with the Columbus Clippers.
The Bulls are coming off back-to-back losses, having dropped a 3-0 decision on Wednesday night after falling 2-1 in 10 innings on Tuesday.
Matt Torra (5-5, 4.97) will go against Clippers lefty David Huff (5-5, 4.97) in front of a big crowd on a warm evening.
The bats are back, as Chris Gimenez homers twice with five RBI and everyone in the lineup hits safely in a 12-2 romp.
The Bulls take a 2-0 lead in the first, as Gimenez follows Brooks Conrad’s Texas League single to right by blasting a 3-1 offering over the Blue Monster wall in left.
But Columbus ties it in the fourth on back-to-back two-out homers. Matt LaPorta launches a 2-2 offering over the Monster just inside the foul pole, and then former Bull Russ Canzler rockets an 0-1 pitch out of the yard in left center.
The Bulls take the lead again in the bottom of the frame, as Conrad leads off by launching a 1-1 pitch over the Monster.
And they really pour it on in the fifth. Gimenez’ three-run homer followed by Wrigley’s solo shot spark a four-hit, six-run inning that knocks Huff out of the game.
Durham adds three more in the sixth off Bryan Price, with the big hit a two-run triple from Ryan Thompson.
Torra lasts seven innings and allows two runs on seven hits, striking out one without a walk.
Everybody in the Bulls’ lineup hits safely.
They said it …
Bulls manager Charlie Montoyo: “I was waiting for one of these days — good pitching and good hitting. It makes that 4 o’clock wake-up call tomorrow a lot easier. … Torra did a good job. He kept us in the game early against a good team and then the offense took over. He needs to be sharp and locate, and he did that today.”
Gimenez: “Tonight was a lot of fun. I thought the first one was going to hit the wall, and I tried my hardest to get to second. I heard the crowd reacting and I looked up and saw the umpire waving his finger and said ‘What the heck, I might as well jog the rest of the way.”
Torra: “Everything felt pretty good. I had control of all three pitches and was able to just go with it. You get a couple of home runs in the middle, but you just shake it off and keep it going. It’s nice to get that kind of run support. It was a sound win for us all around.”
What does it all mean?
That at least for one night the Bulls have their bats back.
Stars of the game
Play of the game
Gimenez’ three-run homer.
Bulls: Won 1.
Columbus: Lost 1.
Bulls (Cesar Ramos 4-3, 2.61) at Toledo (Brooks Brown 3-3, 5.07), Friday, 7 p.m.