by Mike Potter
They still have a 4 ½-game lead in the International League’s South Division, and are 11-7 on the season at home.
Tonight’s opponent is the Pawtucket Red Sox, who have traditionally been the Bulls’ worst tormentors.
The Bulls beat the PawSox in three straight games to win the Governors’ Cup in 2003, but
Pawtucket has the winningest record of any IL team against the Bulls. The PawSox are 55-40 all-time against Durham including a 30-19 record at DBAP.
My theory has always been that the Red Sox affiliates are built to play in a park containing something like Durham’s Blue Monster, 32 feet high at the 305 mark at the left-field foul pole.
Pawtucket hasn’t been on a roll lately either, coming into the current four-game set on a three-game losing streak. The PawSox’ left fielder is N.C. State alumnus Aaron Bates.
The rains apparently chased the Bulls down in Durham, but they may have washed away their offensive woes as well since the game is suspended with the home team up 5-0 and nobody out in the bottom of the second.
The Bulls jump all over Boof Bonzer with four runs on four hits and an error in the first. Desmond Jennings walks and takes second on Elliot Johnson’s single to right before the runners execute a double-steal with Jennings scoring on catcher Dusty Brown’s errant throw to second. Justin Ruggiano singles to right and steals second before Dan Johnson’s sacrifice fly to right scores Elliot Johnson. Joe Dillon’s single to left scores Ruggiano, and after Chris Richard singles to right Angel Chavez’s sacrifice fly to left scores Dillon.
Durham adds another in the second as Fernando Perez singles to left, steals second, advances on a Jennings single and scores on Elliot Johnson’s infield single to third.
They said it …
Bulls skipper Charlie Montoyo: “After a tough road trip when we didn’t hit, it was great to see our offense get something going against a big-league guy. Hopefully the rain won’t stop our momentum. We like to run, but we haven’t been getting anyone on base so we haven’t been going anywhere. Any time we get somebody who’s slow to the plate, we’re going to take a chance.”
Pawtucket manager Torey Lovullo: “We have yet to talk about what we’re going to do. We have a couple of candidates, but we haven’t figured out how we’re going to divide the innings up. (The Bulls) came out ready to play. They’ve got a bunch of really nice players. Give them some credit, they came out and attacked us. Boof was OK. He wasn’t getting lit up, but he made a couple of mistakes and they made him pay for it.”
What does it all mean?
That if the first inning is any indication, the Bulls have their hitting shoes on.
Durham: Lost 5.
Pawtucket: Lost 3.
Pawtucket at Bulls (comp. susp. game) 4 p.m.
TBA vs. Richard De Los Santos (R, 2-2, 4.76)
Pawtucket at Bulls (regularly scheduled game)
Felix Doubront (4-0, 2.51 at Portland EL) vs. Carlos Hernandez (L, 3-2, 2.42)