DBAP/ DURHAM—On a cold, wet night, the Bulls pieced together a second consecutive shutout against the Gwinnett Braves. Faced with the tall order of facing the Atlanta Braves' number one prospect, the Bulls proved equal to the task despite relying on their fifth starter.
The Bulls' starting pitcher, Jason Cromer, scattered three Braves hits over five scoreless innings of work. Once Cromer left the game after the fifth the bullpen continued its stellar work in the young season, tossing five strikeouts in four innings of work and keeping the Braves off the scoreboard.
The Gwinnett Braves sent Tommy Hanson, their system's pitching phenom, to the hill in his second start of the year.
In his first outing, Hanson struck out 10 batters in four and one-third innings of work against the Charlotte Knights. He didn't prove as dominant tonight, though he did strike out seven in five and two-thirds innings.
Hanson got off to a rough start in the first, needing 30 pitches to get out of a one-out, two-men-on jam. He effectively used his superb curve ball to escape the tough spot, striking out three in the inning.
However, the Durham offense got to him in the third. Jon Weber led off the inning with a single, and promptly moved over to second on a wild pitch. Reid Brignac then tallied his second double and third RBI of the season, driving in Weber on a ball hit over the head of Gwinnett center fielder Gregor Blanco.
After allowing the run Hanson settled down and retired the last 10 batters he faced. He was pulled in the middle of the sixth inning to prevent his pitch count from topping 100.
Cromer got the win, going five innings without allowing a run. Winston Abreu pitched hitless eighth and ninth innings to record his first save. Due to some timely defense (two double plays and a runner caught stealing) the Bulls were able to face 29 batters, only two over the minimum, despite allowing five Gwinnett baserunners.
The Bulls have been getting wins with pitching, only scoring 16 runs en route to a 5-0 start. Durham has only allowed five runs over that five-game period, for a team ERA of 1.00.
The Bulls will be back in action tomorrow for a day game against the Braves; the first pitch is scheduled for 1:05 PM.