by Mike Potter
The Durham Bulls used another solid outing from ace Jeremy Hellickson and some hot bats, beating the host Buffalo Bisons 9-2 Wednesday to even their series at one win apiece.
The Bulls have the best record in the International League at 15-6.
Meanwhile the Carolina Mudcats’ woes continued, as they lost their 10th straight game in a 3-1 road loss to the Jacksonville Suns. It is the second longest losing streak in Mudcats history.
The Bulls play their third of four games at Buffalo tonight, while Carolina visits the Mobile Bay Bears for the opener of their five-game series.
Durham got homers from Chris Richard, Angel Chavez and Rashad Eldridge to get the easy victory.
Hellickson improved to 4-0 while Toby Stoner (0-3) took the loss.
Justin Ruggiano went 3-for-4 with a double and and scored three runs for the Bulls as he stretched his hitting streak to 14 games. Hank Blalock and Dan Johnson each doubled and singles for three RBI.
Chris Carter led Buffalo with a double, a single and an RBI.
Vinny Rottino’s two-run homer in the third inning completed the scoring for Jacksonville as the Suns eked out a close win.
The Mudcats’ losing streak equals a similar slide in 1998, and is just two short of the club record set in 1992.
Brad Stone (1-1) was the winning pitcher, while Alexander Smit (0-2) suffered the loss.
Eric Eymann’s single in the second inning provided Carolina’s only run. Eymann led the Mudcats with two hits, while Denis Phipps chipped in a double.
Bulls at Buffalo, 6:05 p.m.
Heath Phillips (L, 1-1, 3.42) vs. R.A. Dickey (R, 2-1, 3.03)
Mudcats at Mobile, 8:05 p.m.
Matt Klinker (R, 1-2, 1.93) vs. TBA